NEW YORK – Supporters of Palestinian- American, anti-Israel activist Linda Sarsour gathered outside New York’s City Hall on Monday to express their solidarity after the controversy caused by her upcoming speech at a City University of New York commencement ceremony.

Last month, CUNY said it stands by its decision to invite Sarsour to address graduates of its School of Public Health and Health Policy, despite much criticism by Jewish leaders.

Sarsour, who was among the organizers of January’s Women’s March on Washington, has been vocal against Israel. In an interview conducted in March, she said one cannot be part of the feminist movement unless he or she is critical of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.

Jewish groups such as the Zionist Organization of America and local Jewish politicians like New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind and New York City Council member Rory Lancman, have expressed outrage and called on the university and the state to rescind Sarsour’s invitation Among those who gathered to support Sarsour on Monday were members of the New York Justice League, an organization for racial justice and immigrant rights, who said Sarsour “has become the target of a vicious smear campaign and character assassination led by two elected officials,” citing Hikind and Lancman.

“Linda will not be intimidated.

Nor will we. An attack on Linda is an attack on us all,” one of the members read out loud.

“We have all the privilege of working closely with Linda, and we know first-hand that she is a dedicated organizer who brings communities together.

“We call upon the City University of New York School of Public Health to stand with Linda,” the statement continued.

“We call upon leaders in the New York State Assembly and the New York state government to condemn the false and hateful claims made by Hikind and Lancman. We also call upon the people of conscience to support Linda by contacting the offices of Hikind and Lancman and condemning their attacks.”

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