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August 1, 2018 12:16 pm

Senior Muslim Brotherhood Official Touts Linda Sarsour’s Gaza Video

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Linda Sarsour (right). Photo: Screenshot.

When Linda Sarsour speaks, a senior Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood official apparently likes what he hears.

Gamal Heshmat shared an anti-Israel video by Sarsour on his Facebook page last Friday. In it, Sarsour glosses over Hamas’ role in coordinating the “Great March of Return” in May. She fails to inform viewers that the protesters used kite bombs, incendiary balloons, and rockets to try to attack Israeli civilian areas. She does speak about the death toll, however, noting that 50 Gazans died on May 14.

“[These] people didn’t choose to die. People were killed. They were massacred at the hands of snipers,” Sarsour said in the video, originally posted in May.

In reality, Hamas leaders took full credit for the violence, boasting that the overwhelming majority of casualties were members of the terrorist group. Subsequent Israeli analysis confirmed the Hamas claim.

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“This is not peaceful resistance,” Hamas Politburo member Mahmoud al-Zahhar told Al-Jazeera on May 13. “Has the option [of armed struggle] diminished? No. On the contrary, it is growing and developing. That’s clear. So when we talk about ‘peaceful resistance,’ we are deceiving the public.”

Heshmat belongs to the Brotherhood’s Shura Council, the legislative body that sets the group’s agenda. It isn’t clear what prompted him to post the two-month-old video Friday, but he tried to pretend the prominent Hamas role in instigating the violence was somehow a secret.

“The crimes of the Zionist Entity are increasing in light of international protection which betrays its principles, and an Arabic guardianship which thwarts its Umma, and an Islamic silence which harms the Religion and forsakes the Truth, we will expose it to everyone to publish and distribute,” Heshmat wrote in the post.

Having a senior Brotherhood official tout her video is bad optics for Sarsour, said Zuhdi Jasser, founder and president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD).

“It’s no longer credible to say that it’s guilt by association when a major thought leader in the Muslim Brotherhood is using her material to establish a political agenda,” Jasser said.

Sarsour’s video calls for a Palestinian right to “return to their original homelands” — a demand that would effectively eliminate Israel as a Jewish state. She also called Gaza a “prison” due to a blockade aimed at preventing Hamas from smuggling weapons into the area for future terrorist attacks.

Top Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh cited the same talking points in a June 7 column posted on Hamas’ website.

Despite her hateful rhetoric, Sarsour remains a hot political commodity. She spent last weekend, for example, in Michigan campaigning for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed.

John Rossomando is a senior analyst at The Investigative Project on Terrorism.

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