CAIR and JVP: A Love Story
Did you know that in 2014, the United Arab Emirates listed CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, as a terrorist organization, a list of 80 groups that includes the likes of Al Qaeda, ISIS, al-Shabab and Boko Haram?
The UAE isn’t fooled by CAIR’s posture as an Islamic civil liberties advocacy group, and called out the organization for its promotion of extremism, financing of terrorism and links to the Muslim Brotherhood.
So why has Jewish Voice for Peace just accepted the first-ever CAIR “Defender of Liberty” award?
Both CAIR and JVP offer similar benign-sounding mission statements, characterizing themselves as human rights groups in an era where “human rights” is the buzzword du jour. CAIR purports to speak for the majority of American Muslims to “promote justice and mutual understanding,” while JVP claims to act in the name of the Jewish value of tikkun olam, which it describes as social justice.
But this is all an obfuscation to shield both groups’ hidden agendas.
Omar Ahmad, shortly after meeting secretly with Hamas leaders, founded CAIR in 1994, and the group’s executive director, Nihad Awad, then declared his support for the terrorist organization. CAIR has received funding from the Holy Land Foundation, the American arm of Hamas, and CAIR returned the favor by fundraising for the HLF. In the trial where HLF was found guilty of raising millions for Hamas in the US, CAIR was named as an unindicted co-conspirator. At least seven CAIR officials have documented ties to terrorism.
CAIR tries to whitewash Islamic terrorism and works to disrupt counterterrorism efforts. After the San Bernardino terror attack, CAIR peddled the myth of the attack as “workplace violence,” attempting to debunk the linkage to Islam. CAIR often portrays anti-terrorism personnel as villains who frame innocent Muslims, and CAIR dissuades Muslims from talking to the police, using the tagline, “Snitches get stitches.” Former FBI counterterrorism chief Steve Pomerantz said, “CAIR has taken the lead in trying to mislead the public about the terrorist underpinnings of militant Islamic movements, in particular, Hamas.”
CAIR has buried its terrorist connections and “rebranded” itself into a media darling; it has ties to the Obama White House, Congress and numerous universities. The image makeover was a skillful PR coup and is an insurance policy against investigation, but sometimes the truth resurfaces. Hussam Ayloush, the head of CAIR’s Los Angeles office — as well as a 2012 Democratic convention delegate and White House visitor — recently called for the overthrow of the US government and denigrated Jews as “ZioNazis.” CAIR Board member Lamis Deek labeled the October slaying of two Israelis in Jerusalem by a Hamas terrorist as “self-defense” and called the murderer a “martyr.”
CAIR accuses Israel supporters of promoting “a culture of hostility towards Islam.” When criticized for not denouncing Hamas and Hezbollah, CAIR board member Awad said, “They should condemn Israel at all times, and we will not condemn any organization.”
Like CAIR, JVP is an extremist organization masquerading as human rights activists. The Anti-Defamation League calls it one of the 10 worst American anti-Israel organizations. It demonizes, defames and delegitimizes Israel, labeling it an “occupier,” “apartheid” and “racist,” while embracing the global boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign (BDS) that wants to destroy the Jewish homeland.
In its “Nakba Fact Sheet,” JVP characterizes Israel’s founding as a “catastrophe,” just as the Palestinians do. JVP posted a Facebook statement referring to the deadly 2015 Palestinian knifings of innocent Israeli civilians as “Palestinian popular resistance,” praising “a new generation of Palestinians rising up en-masse against Israel’s brutal, decades-old regime of occupation, settler colonialism and apartheid.”
CAIR works with anti-Zionist groups like Jewish Voice for Peace to immunize themselves against charges of bigotry against Jews. JVP uses its relationship with CAIR to boost its credibility in the anti-Israel movement. It’s a symbiosis of mutual tactics and goals.
CAIR attempts to shut down the speech of anyone it labels anti-Muslim. It branded Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Muslim women’s rights advocate, an “Islamophobe” — which resulted in Brandeis University canceling her 2014 speaking invitation. JVP similarly disrupted a New York City Council meeting discussing a Holocaust commemoration, and participated in campaigns to “shut down AIPAC.”
Responding to the Charlie Hebdo and kosher supermarket massacres in France, CAIR executive Ayloush remarked, “You know, you don’t hear about the thousands of Jewish-American kids who join the Israeli army killing the people of Gaza.” JVP’s comment was that “Muslims are at greatly heightened risk in the context of pervasive, systemic and long-standing anti-Islam bigotry.”
CAIR has refused to divulge its own funding sources, and concealed donations from overseas through a series of shell organizations in what could be called a money laundering operation. JVP is equally secretive, but, thanks to NGO-Monitor, a number of their funders have been identified, including the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF). The RBF apparently buys into JVP’s subterfuge of human rights advocacy, but in reality, JVPs activities contradict RBF’s mission to promote a “peaceful world.” One would think that the alliance of JVP with CAIR would cause RBF concern.
The relationship between CAIR and JVP is a witches’ brew — a diabolical concoction of anti-Israel hatred and Islamic terrorist connections. Rather than “defenders of liberty,” they are defenders of the Islamic agenda. CAIR and JVP are a match made in hell.
Ziva Dahl is a senior fellow with the Haym Salomon Center with a Master of Arts degree in public law and government from Columbia University and an A.B. in political science from Vassar College. Her bylines have appeared in the New York Daily News, the New York Observer, and The Hill. This article was originally published by the Washington Times.