Friday 8 December 2023

White House Scrambles To Distance Itself From CAIR After ‘Shocking Anti-Semitic Statements’

 President Joe Biden’s administration scrambled on Thursday to distance itself from the Council on American-Islamic Relations after the organization’s executive director celebrated Hamas’ October 7 terrorist attack against Israel.

Nihad Awad, the executive director of CAIR, said late last month that he was happy to see the people of Gaza “breaking the siege” on October 7, when Hamas murdered 1,200 Israelis.

“The people of Gaza only decided to break the siege, the walls of the concentration camp, on October 7th,” said Awad while speaking at the American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) convention in Chicago. “And yes, I was happy to see people breaking the siege and throwing down the shackles of their own land, and walk free into their land, that they were not allowed to walk in. And yes, the people of Gaza have the right to self-defense, have the right to defend themselves, and yes, Israel, as an occupying power, does not have that right to self-defense.”

The Biden administration included CAIR in its National Strategy to Counter Anti-Semitism White House fact sheet while excluding exclusive use of the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism.

“We criticized Biden’s antisemitism report for this and other reasons when it first came out,” said former U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman. “The report literally enlists CAIR — a Hamas sympathizer — as a partner in combating antisemitism. It seemed ridiculous then; it’s downright criminal now!”

White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates responded to Awad’s remarks in a statement to Jewish Insider: “We condemn these shocking, antisemitic statements in the strongest terms. Every leader has a responsibility to call out antisemitism wherever it rears its ugly head.”


The report noted that CAIR’s name was deleted from that fact sheet following Awad’s comments.

“CAIR was not listed in the strategy. They were one of several independent organizations listed in a supplemental document,” a White House official claimed to Jewish Insider in reference to the fact sheet. “The White House removed their commitment from the supplemental document today as a result of the comments.”

The administration also said that CAIR was not involved in developing its national strategy against Islamophobia.

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