Linda Sarsour, a co-organiser of the annual Women’s March, used last weekend’s event to back a boycott of Israel.
She said in a speech to demonstrators in Washington, DC that she defended “freedom of speech and the constitutional right to boycott, divestment, and sanctions in these United States of America”.
While many Jewish groups and individuals said they would not attend the march, some did, including New York-based Abby Stein, a transgender Jewish woman and ordained rabbi.
During the New York rally, a woman who was later identified as a far-right activist seized the microphone on stage and yelled “The Women’s March hates Jews”.
Together with fellow marchorganiser Tamika Mallory, Ms Sarsour has been criticised for the movement’s association with Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the “Nation of Islam” hate group and a vocal antisemite who compared Jewish people to termites.
In an interview with the broadcaster PBS, Ms Mallory refused to say if she thought Israel had the right to exist or if Jews were indigenous there.
She told the programme, which was shown last week: “The Palestinians are native to the land. There are people who have a number of sort of ideologies around why the Jewish people feel this should be their land.”