April 15, 2014
In the American civil rights movement, Rosa Parks and Martin
Luther King were among those who set the moral tone. They were
champions of non-violence who believed in civil disobedience to
generate change by casting light on unjust laws
If Saturday's fundraising dinner for the group American Muslims for
Palestine (AMP) is any indication, role models for their cause include
an unrepentant killer
a woman directly responsible for two people's deaths in a grocery
store bombing. Prosecutors say she is in America only because she kept
that crime a secret from immigration officials.
In addition to its praise for Rasmieh Odeh, the dinner at a banquet
hall outside of Chicago offered further insight into AMP's radical
ideology. Other speakers included a man identified as a Muslim
Brotherhood leader in Jordan who previously led a Hamas-propaganda arm
in America and a man listed as a member of the Palestine Committee, the
Muslim Brotherhood's umbrella organization of American-based
And it is especially relevant if claims that AMP is working with the
U.S. Department of Education and is developing a curriculum about the
Palestinian cause for high school students prove to be true. While AMP
members have a right to their beliefs, public officials should be wary
of the group's consistent support for terrorists.
As we reported previously
AMP does not advocate for a peaceful solution to the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Rather, it openly endorses "resistance," a
euphemism for violence, and speakers demand rejecting Israel's
It is in that context that Odeh received a hero's welcome. She was
singled out as "a great community member, a great member for the
Palestinian cause" by master of ceremonies Rami Bleibel.
Odeh was indicted
in October and charged with naturalization fraud. She failed to
disclose her arrest, and 10 years in an Israeli prison, for her role in
1969 bombings by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Two
people were killed when one of the bombs went off in a grocery store.
The case is "politically motivated and its intent is to hurt the
active Palestinian solidarity movement and to hurt all strong
Palestinian activists that are standing up for the just cause of
Palestine," said Bleibel, AMP's chapter coordinator
Speaking for AMP, he said that "Rasmieh's case is our case, as
activists for this just cause of Palestine and supporters of human
rights and supporters of justice for all over the world."
Politically motivated. That's the standard Islamist reply to
virtually all prosecutions of terrorists and their supporters. It has
been trotted out to minimize the conviction
of five men in a Hamas-financing trial - the largest terror finance trial in U.S. history. It continues to be invoked
in the case of a former Palestinian Islamic Jihad board member. And
now, prosecuting a terrorist who lied on her applications to get into
this country and obtain citizenship is politically motivated.
"We will not be intimidated," Bleibel said Saturday evening about
Odeh. "We will continue to work day-in, day-out, night and day, to
serve this beloved cause, until we see a free Palestine. I want to take
this moment to ask all of you to get up, stand up, and give Rasmieh
Odeh a round of applause and to applause to show the community is
behind her and we will continue to support her."
The bombing was never mentioned. Odeh received several ovations.
Flyers available at the dinner urged supporters to sign a petition
and call Illinois U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade, "to demand that she
DROP THE CHARGES NOW!"
It's a message consistent with previous AMP gatherings, including a 2011 conference which cast
Palestinians convicted on terror-related charges in America as heroes.
The AMP is no fringe outlier among Islamist groups. It is a founding member
of the new U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations, joining
the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Muslim American
Society (MAS) and the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA).
Internal documents place CAIR
on the Muslim Brotherhood's Palestine Committee, and, in 2008, the FBI cut off
non-investigative interaction with the group over lingering questions of whether its leaders have ties to Hamas.
MAS was formed
by Muslim Brotherhood members in the United States as the group's branch here.
ICNA's curriculum features Islamist authors
like Sayyid Abu 'Ala Maududi, and its charter
calls for the "establishment of the Islamic system of life" in the world, including in politics. Its handbook urges
"striving to make this Deen [religion] a way of life for all."
AMP Media Director Kristin Szremski later introduced a video showing
some of AMP's work. The group is working with the Department of
Education, she said, "to protect free speech on college campuses."
That's an apparent reference to Northeastern University's attempt to suspend
Students for Justice in Palestine, an AMP affiliate, for vandalism and
violations of other policies during anti-Israel programs.
The video described "thousands" of workshops that AMP has had with
Muslim high school students who "don't connect with their Islamic
heritage in the Holy Land." AMP plans to develop a Palestinian
curriculum "that will fit seamlessly into high school social studies or
history lesson plans."
It also hopes to generate a policy paper aimed at persuading Congress to cut off aid to Israel.
Earlier, the audience heard from Sabri Samirah, introduced as "a
longtime global and national Palestinian activist." Samirah spent years
government attempts to bar his return to the United States after a trip to Jordan because of visa issues.
The case was punishment for his work on the Palestinian issue, he
said. None of that was mentioned in his court fight, but Samirah does
have numerous connections that should prompt concern among U.S.
immigration officials. During a 2011 appearance on Al-Jazeerah
, for example, Samirah was introduced as "a political analyst and leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan."
And before he left the U.S., Samirah served as chairman of the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), a propaganda arm
for Hamas and a cog
in the Muslim Brotherhood's Palestine Committee, court records show.
During his tenure as chairman, the IAP's annual conference
had the uncompromising title, "All Palestine is Sacred."
The evening's fundraising was led by another man with Palestine
Committee ties. Jamal Said is included in the prosecution's list of unindicted co-conspirators
in a section for Palestine Committee members. He also is listed in an internal Palestine Committee telephone list
Keynote speaker Salman Abu Sitta, meanwhile, offered hyperbolic rhetoric about Palestinian suffering that ignored 20th century history
The creation of Israel, what Palestinians call Al Nakba, or the
catastrophe, "is the largest ethnic cleansing operation in modern
history," he said, "and is the most comprehensive ethnic operation,
cleansing operation, in modern history. It is also the continuous
ethnic cleaning operation. There is nothing like it. In Palestine's
5,000 year history there is nothing like it."
It should go without saying that the German Holocaust, aimed at
eliminating European Jewry, ended up with 6 million Jewish dead. In
Bosnia, officials tried to rid the country
of Muslims and Croats.
In 1994, 800,000 Rwandans were killed as the dominant Hutu population tried to eliminate
the Tutsi minority.
And, it bears mentioning that a nation trying to ethnically cleanse
itself of a minority population would not ensure voting rights and parliamentary representation
for that minority.
Sitta's absolute statement fits right in with AMP's message. The
organization has no interest in compromise or peaceful co-existence.
Its ambition is a Palestinian state replacing Israel. The group's true
message must not be forgotten when schools, especially if any public
schools, are approached by AMP representatives offering their version
of a curriculum on the Palestinian issue.
Read more: Family Security Matters http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/detail/american-muslims-for-palestines-telling-choice-of-heroes?f=must_reads#ixzz2yxfxqT3V
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution
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