The U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and its non-Muslim allies have sprung into action. They are demanding that President Obama make Israel end its offensive against Hamas which, in characteristic Islamist fashion, they are falsely depicting as a genocidal crusade. Obama blames Hamas, but the pressure from Islamists, the anti-Israel left and other countries like Britain and France, may be taking a toll. He signaled possible opposition to an Israeli ground operation, saying it’d be “preferable” to end the Hamas rocket threat without sending in troops.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim Brotherhood entity whose executive director was fundraising for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in May, has published a falsehood-laden press release signed by six other groups: The Islamic Circle of North America, the Muslim American Society, American Muslims for Palestine, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, the American Muslim Alliance and the Muslim Legal Fund of America.
The first two groups are known Muslim Brotherhood fronts. American Muslims for Palestine is an Islamist group and its own statement condemns Israel without even mentioning Hamas’s rocket attacks, much less condemning the terrorist group itself. Its conferences feature Brotherhood activists and Hamas apologists. The leadership of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee has a history of defending Hamas and Hezbollah. Its statement condemns Israel for “indiscriminate slaughter” and does not mention the terrorism of Hamas.
The Advocacy Director of CAIR-NY, Cyrus McGoldrick, explicitly endorsed Hamas’s terrorism in a tweet on November 15. He wrote, “Palestine is a land occupied by foreign settlers. They have the right to resist, to defend themselves, ‘by any means necessary.’” CAIR-NY board member Lamis Deek tweeted that Gaza is a “beacon of resistance” that “inspires revolution” and “’Israel’ won’t last.” On November 12, Deek wrote that jihadists headed to Syria should instead head to Israel: “On mayadeen: the question: there are jihadiyeen from everywhere entering #syria, why do they not enter #palestine? (My answer: follow the$)”
The joint statement claims that “American taxpayer-funded weapons are used to kill civilians—including babies—and to destroy the civilian infrastructure in Gaza.” The group’s statement says it regrets harm done to civilians on either side, but does not condemn Hamas as a terrorist organization. Instead, they make it sound like Hamas is defending the lives of innocent Palestinians. The groups claim that the conflict was sparked by the Israeli military’s murdering of a 13-year-old boy playing football and a 23-year-old man who may have been mentally challenged that walked near the border fence.
The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), founded by Brotherhood ideologues, said Israel’s campaign is “about assassination of Palestinian leaders, destruction of Gazan infrastructure and the gross killings of Palestinian civilians, including women and children.” It urged the U.S. to force Israel to recognize a ceasefire that doesn’t involve sanctions and blockades that “punish the people of Gaza.” MPAC said that attacks on Israel will not end because “the greatest act of violence in the West Bank and Gaza is the ongoing Israeli occupation.” Though MPAC says it “opposes the move towards more active warfare by both sides,” it does not explicitly condemn Hamas and depicts it as a victimized and legitimate authority.
RadicalIslam.org sets the record straight. An Israeli soldier was injured in a bomb attack on October 23. Then on November 6, three soldiers were injured by a bomb near the border, followed by rocket fire. On November 8, another soldier was injured by shelling, and an anti-tank missile was fired at a military jeep on November 9, injuring four more soldiers. At least 128 rockets were fired at Israel in the week prior to the beginning of Operation Cloud Defense. President Obama agrees that Hamas started the conflict by firing rockets. Since the operation began on November 14, a missile has landed in Israel once every six minutes on average.
The truth is that Israel implements a wide variety of tactics to protect civilians, even aborting missions when necessary. The video of the killing of the Hamas military chief shows how Israel used a missile just powerful enough to destroy his vehicle and launched it after he moved away from nearby cars. Another video shows how Israel destroyed a missile site without significantly damaging the mosque next to it. On November 18, the Israeli military even coordinated the arrival of 124 trucks into Gaza to deliver aid, including medical supplies and dairy products.
This is a sharp contrast to what Hamas does. It deliberately targets civilians and teaches hatred to children. Its Interior Minister has bragged about using the elderly and children as human shields. The Israeli Defense Forces have put out several videos documenting Hamas’s series of lies since the operation began. Hamas claims its rocks have struck Israeli warships, military bases, the parliament building, the stock exchange and have downed fighter jets and forced the closing of Ben Gurion International Airport. It uses manipulated photos actually taken in Syria and makes up reports of Israeli war crimes.
A picture of a killed Palestinian boy with his forehead being kissed by Egypt’s Prime Minister went viral as proof of the brutality of Israel’s “aggression.” The evidence indicates the boy was actually killed by a Hamas rocket. About 100 rockets fired by Hamas have accidentally landed in the Gaza Strip so far.
Nevertheless, Israel opponents like Cenk Urgur of the Young Turks blast Israel as a greater human rights abuser than Hamas. “When Palestinians kill civilians, they’re terrorists. When Israel kills civilians, it’s just collateral damage,” Urgur said in a YouTube video. He talks about the deaths of Palestinian civilians and sarcastically says, “collateral damage—gee golly, I wonder how these end up happening,” inferring that Israel is carelessly killing civilians.
The Islamic Society of North America, another Brotherhood creation, is taking a lighter tone. It accuses Israel of breaking the ceasefire first but calls on both sides to end their attacks. It also admits there have been “minor violations of the ceasefire on both sides.” One of the objectives of this softer tone is to win over other religious groups. In the same press release, ISNA boasts that it is working with the World Jewish Congress and National Interreligious Leadership Initiative for Peace in the Middle East towards a two-state solution.
The energy the Islamists are investing into these interfaith partnerships can be seen at the website of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. The coalition’s condemnation of Israel’s offensive similarly does not condemn Hamas, nor does it event mention its rocket attacks. It boasts that Presbyterian and United Methodist churches have voted to boycott products made in Israeli settlements. It is also trying to turn Black Friday into the “Boycott SodaStream Day of Action.”
A look at the 152-member organizations of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation is shocking. There are many Christian and Jewish groups working with this coalition that won’t condemn Hamas but will condemn Israel. Hatem Bazian, chairman of Americans for Palestine, was a speaker at the 11th Annual National Organizers Conference of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. Bazian has a history of disturbing statements and his organization’s events are stocked with Islamist speakers, many of whom defend Hamas and are linked to the Brotherhood.
The Muslim Brotherhood affiliates in the U.S. have only just begun. They are rounding up their interfaith allies and non-Muslim partners with a shared opposition to Israel. If President Obama is getting weak-kneed already, then it’s only a matter of time before he tells Israel to suspend operations and go back to a shaky ceasefire that allows Hamas to prepare for the next round.By Ryan Mauro
This article was sponsored by the Institute on Religion and Democracy.