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Zahra Billoo Removed as Keynote Speaker at San Mateo County’s RISE 2022

The fallout from Zahra Billoo’s antisemitic incitement – which came to international attention thanks to this Israellycool post – continues. Per the Jewish News of Northern California:

Zahra Billoo, a Muslim civil rights attorney and activist in the Bay Area who came under fire recently for controversial remarks attacking mainstream Jewish organizations, has been removed as a keynote speaker from San Mateo County’s RISE 2022 women’s leadership conference.

Billoo, the executive director of the local branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, was slated to be one of three keynote speakers at a two-day virtual conference organized by the San Mateo County Commission on the Status of Women, scheduled for March.

She was meant to join Sallie Krawcheck, the CEO and co-founder of robo-advisor investment platform Ellevest; and Haleema Bharoocha, a Muslim social impact consultant. According to conference organizer and county employee, Tanya Beat, Billoo was dropped due to remarks she made on Nov. 27, 2021, in a speech at an annual conference of American Muslims for Palestine in Chicago.

“Ms. Billoo is no longer scheduled as the keynote speaker,” Beat wrote in a Feb. 7 email to J. “The San Mateo County Women’s Leadership Conference seeks to provide an inclusive space for women and girls from all backgrounds to connect freely and engage in open dialogue. Ms. Billoo’s remarks from November 2021 do not align with those goals or the core values of the Commission on the Status of Women or the County of San Mateo.”

Responding to a Twitter message from J., Billoo sharply criticized the women’s leadership conference decision.

“In a progressive region like ours, it is completely unacceptable that San Mateo County is censoring the supporters of Palestinian human rights and capitulating to bigoted pressure to exclude Muslim women from a discussion about gendered Islamophobia,” she wrote. “Doing so unfortunately serves as a real-life example of exactly what our keynote panel was intended to address.”

Note Billoo’s response is following the handbook: attack those who take exception to the antisemitism of someone who just happens to be Muslim by painting them as bigots. This tactic is getting old, fast.

In any event, it is great to see there can be repercussions to such antisemitic incitement, and that posts from little ol’ websites like this, as well as from readers like yourselves, can actually effect some kind of change.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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