Andrew Yang’s new mayoral campaign manager Sasha Ahuja is a longtime progressive activist with ties to controversial Palestinian-rights fighter Linda Sarsour, a overview of social media information by The Put up exhibits.
Sarsour, 41, has for years been a deeply polarizing determine in metropolis politics, the place critics regularly accuse her of anti-Semitism.
“I perceive why Andrew Yang employed her; attempting to venture your self as a progressive,” Mark Meyer Appel, founding father of The Bridge Multicultural Advocacy Venture, instructed The Put up. Appel, a supporter of Yang opponent Eric Adams, stated Ahuja has been “hanging out with some actual hassle makers.”
Polling suggests Yang is the undisputed frontrunner within the race for Metropolis Corridor. Ahuja, 33, was lately promoted to the management of Yang’s campaign, named a co-campaign manager earlier this month together with Chris Coffey, a bruiser advisor from Tusk Methods.
A lot of Ahuja’s affiliation with lightning-rod Sarsour has been documented on social media. On March 8, 2017, the pair have been arrested collectively throughout a protest outdoors Trump Worldwide Resort & Tower in Manhattan.
“We get arrested in civil disobedience (unplanned 🙈) on Worldwide Ladies’s Day through the #DayWithoutWoman midday occasion organized by the Ladies’s March,” Sarsour stated in a Fb publish documenting the second, and sharing a photograph of her, Ahuja and fellow activist Faiza Ali being arrested.
Ahuja has gushed about her controversial mentor.
“What they don’t understand is that @lsarsour has raised a era of activists. She paved the way in which for all of us. Once they come for her, they arrive for all of us. Not on our watch. NOPE. We love you and stand with you all the time, Linda! #StandWithLinda,” she stated in a single tweet from Aug. 2020.
“Linda Sarsour is a freedom fighter and she or he taught us how to combat #istandwithlinda,” she stated in one other. “Linda Sarsour is my shero. The tip. #phenomenalwoman” Ahuja added in but a 3rd social media homily to the activist.
Earlier than Yang, Ahuja spent her time in additional progressive circles and seems extra philosophically aligned together with his opponent Maya Wiley — to whom she donated $250 in Aug 2020 (earlier than Yang entered the race).
In 2019 Ahuja supplied a tweet sympathetic to Kimberly Watkins — who accused Yang of firing her when she labored at his firm Manhattan Prep as a result of she was married. Yang denied the allegation.
She at present additionally serves because the Chair of New York Metropolis’s Equal Employment Practices Fee.
Sarsour and her Ladies’s March have been carefully aligned to hate boss and Nation of Islam chief Louis Farrakhan. Sarsour herself delivered a passionate speech at his #JusticeOrElse march in Washington D.C in 2015. She has additionally publicly praised Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odeh, who was convicted in 1970 for taking part within the bombing of a Jerusalem grocery store which left two lifeless.
Sarsour has regularly lauded the advantages of Sharia Legislation and helps the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions motion towards Israel.
“Her views haven’t any place in our political discourse and any candidate who associates together with her is responsible of handing a megaphone to anti-Semites across the nation,” Ronald Lauder, a Republican and President of the World Jewish Congress, instructed The Put up in September after Sarsour was named an official surrogate of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign.
Sarsour didn’t reply to a request for remark however doesn’t seem to have made an endorsement within the race. A overview of her social media suggests she is personally friendlier with Eric Adams — who she backed in his campaign for Brooklyn Borough President in 2013.
Yang has made a concerted effort to court docket the town’s Jewish voters. He’s come out exhausting in favor of Israel and towards BDS, and voiced help for larger autonomy among the many metropolis’s non secular Yeshiva faculties. On Thursday he named David Schwartz, a Brooklyn district chief, as his “Jewish Group Outreach Director.”
“Andrew and I’ve been outspoken in our help for Israel and equally outspoken in our opposition to BDS, which singles out Israel, the world’s solely Jewish state, for delegitimization. The non-public relationships of campaign staffers haven’t any bearing on the clearly said coverage positions of Yang for New York. We unequivocally reject BDS —all the time have and all the time will,” campaign co-chair Congressman Ritchie Torres instructed The Put up.
Reps for the campaign refused to say what function — if any — Sarsour would possibly play in a future Yang administration.