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CAIR Philadelphia’s Confused Priorities

A version of this article appeared in the Times of Israel.

Rather than focusing on fixing the anti-Semitic problems of Philadelphia’s mosques, CAIR Philadelphia Executive Director, Jacob Bender chose to needlessly weigh in on Israel’s decision to block entry to Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar.

In a press release full of false accusations, false assumptions, blatant lies  and sins of omission, Bender showed his prejudicial hand at the get go by touting the falsehood that  Israel has anti-Palestinian policies  and that is why Israel prevented these congresswomen from being “firsthand” observers.

What Bender didn’t say was Tlaib and Omar’s trip was planned by the anti-Semitic, pro-terror Miftah organization,  founded in 1998 by PLO official and terrorist supporter Hanan Ashrawi and which published a blood libel against Jews on  March 27, 2013.   On their itinerary a meeting was planned with members of the Defense for Children International– Palestine , an organization, known for leading the campaign exploiting children to promote demonization of Israel and for links to the designated terrorist group The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

If  Tlaib and Omar were truly interesting in an objective, first-hand look at Israel and its relationship with the Palestinian Arabs they would have joined most of their Democratic congressional colleagues  on an  American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF) trip that gave them a first-hand, educational experience about the realities in Israel from both Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

What they were truly interested in was pushing their BDS agenda, which Bender actually admited, but falsely described as a movement in support of Palestinian rights.  This myth of BDS as the champion of Palestinian rights has been debunked and exposed by the founder of BDS  Omar Barghouti himself, who said: “No Palestinian, rational Palestinian, not a sell-out Palestinian, will ever accept a Jewish state in Palestine.” Barghouti  opposes  the “two state solution.”  Why does Bender refuse to acknowledge the founder of BDS’ clearly stated goal of BDS is to destroy the State of Israel?

Bender also accused Israel of preventing Tlaib from visiting her grandmother, never acknowledging that Israel granted  the Congresswoman permission to travel for this purpose but Tlaib refused to go unless she could use the trip to promote BDS.

Next Bender suggested that because Israel decided not to let these two enemies of Israel into its country Israel can no longer say it is the only democracy in the Middle East.  Of course, Bender does not name any other Middle East democracy. But the United States also bans officials from entering our country, such as Kurt Waldheim, because of his Nazi past.  Does Bender question the democracy of the United States?

Instead of going far afield to criticize Israel, there is plenty CAIR-Philadelphia could be doing to improve relations between Jews and Muslims closer to home.

In the last ten month we have seen repeated incidents of Antisemitism deriving from Islamic centers in the Philadelphia area.  At the  Al-Aqsa Islamic Society Imam Abdelmohsen Abouhatab was caught on camera delivering three anti-Semitic sermons between November 2018 through January 2019.

Then in January 2019,  sermons  from Iman Naeem Abdullah of the Masjid Al-Mu’min mosque and the Nur Uz-Zamaan Institute in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, were revealed showing Abdullah preached  that Jews are “running everything” and “have all the money,” and that Allah “changed some of them into apes and pigs … we are asking Allah to guide us on the straight path and [to not] make us like the Jews… ‘And not like those who go astray’ — the Christians.”   Imam Abdullah is also the imam of Masjid Uthman Dan Fodio  in West Philadelphia, which was the subject of a recent ABC Action News  Investigative report by Chad Pradelli on child weddings and  child sexual abuse.   The report showed evidence of a 24 year-old man who “married” two sisters, 17-year-old and 10-year-old sisters respectively.

In May a children’s skit featuring dancing and singing about  the beheading of Jews was revealed to have taken place at the Muslim American Society of Philadelphia.  The video showed the children singing, “We will defend Palestine with our bodies… we will chop off their heads and we will subject them to eternal torture.”

Why has Bender done nothing to address issues of Islamic anti-Semitism or take a stand against child marriage and exploitation?

Perhaps it is because CAIR’s real objective has nothing to do with advocating for civil rights. Proof of CAIR’s nefarious intentions is an FBI analysis of a 1993 meeting in Philadelphia called by Hamas members and supporters to devise a strategy for torpedoing the Oslo Accords aimed at Middle East peace. Federal authorities subsequently tied CAIR to Hamas in three separate court filings, including the Holy Land Foundation case.  Prosecutors identified CAIR as part of the Muslim Brotherhood’s “Palestine Committee” created to advance the Hamas agenda within the United States, demonstrating a direct connection between CAIR and the Palestine Committee using captured brotherhood documents.

Rather than concerning himself with international matters that he has no control over, and no business in, Bender should focus on eradicating anti-Semitism promoted in Philadelphia mosques and reigning in their possible threats to Philadelphia and American society.

Leonard  Getz, CPA, is an associate in Philadelphia for the Counter-Islamist Grid (CIG) and a  freelance writer whose work has appeared in The American Thinker, The Algemeiner, PJMedia, Lifestyles Magazine, Nostalgia Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Bulletin ,the Jewish Exponent,  Lock Haven Express 

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