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Biden human rights nominee withdraws amid GOP criticism for past Israel statements

BDS advocates for pressuring, boycotting and isolating Israel politically, economically and culturally in protest of their policies and how they interact with the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.

January 26, 2023 5:55pm

Updated: January 26, 2023 6:48pm

Sarah Margon, President Joe Biden's nominee for Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, withdrew her name from consideration this week in the face of Republican opposition in light of her past statements on Israel.

"At present, I don't see a path forward for confirmation, and after 1 ½ years, it's time to move on. I will continue to work on democracy and human rights, and am grateful to President Biden and Secretary [of State Antony] Blinken for their confidence in me and the honor of a nomination," Margon said, according to Politico.

She indicated to the outlet that she had made the decision to withdraw and that Biden had not changed his mind on her nomination.

Biden tapped Margon for the post in April of 2021, but concerns over her past statements on social media drew opposition from Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, who accused her of supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

BDS advocates for pressuring, boycotting and isolating Israel politically, economically and culturally in protest of their policies and how they interact with the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. Margon has denied supporting that movement.

A 2018 tweet, however, saw Margon praise Airbnb for agreeing to halt listings in disputed, Israeli-settled areas.

"Yesterday [Airbnb] agreed to stop renting in the Israeli-occupied settlements. Today we released a report showing how they had benefited from such a discriminatory regime. Other companies should follow [Airbnb]'s lead," she wrote.

Margon previously worked as the Washington director for Human Rights Watch and currently serves at that Open Society Foundations, a group founded by left-wing megadonor George Soros, Politico noted.

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