New York City mayoral candidate Andrew Yang, also a former Democratic candidate for president, was confronted over his strong opposition to BDS by a group that included Malik Hassan from the Muslim American Society New York and the Democratic Socialists of America while touring businesses in Brooklyn, N.Y.
According to a video published on Twitter by Politico reporter Joe Anuta, Hassan, who has defended the Hamas terrorist organization in the past, accused Yang of comparing the Palestinians to the Nazis.
“Saying that it is akin to fascist boycotts of Jewish businesses, that completely disappoints many Palestinian activists, many Arabs and many Muslims,” said Hassan.
Yang replied that he had “never made comments to that effect.” When he attempted to walk away, he was temporarily prevented from leaving.
In a piece in The Forward last month, Yang strongly denounced the BDS movement, saying “a Yang administration will push back against the BDS movement, which singles out Israel for unfair economic punishment.”
He also said that BDS is “rooted in anti-Semitic thought and history, hearkening back to fascist boycotts of Jewish businesses.”
“Strong ties with Israel are essential for a global city such as ours, which boasts the highest Jewish population in the world outside of Israel,” he wrote. “Our economy is struggling, and we should be looking for ways to bring back small businesses, not stop commerce.”
Yang is leading the crowded Democratic field of mayoral candidates, according to a recent poll ahead of the June 22 primary. According to the poll by Fontas Advisors and conducted by Core Decision Analytics, some 28 percent of New Yorkers back Yang, with Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams garnering 17 percent and City Comptroller Scott Stringer with 13 percent. Several other candidates polled in the single digits.