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July 26, 2022 11:08 am
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Why Are Cori Bush’s Ties to Palestinian Activist Who Tweeted About ‘Burning Israelis Alive’ Generating Zero Media Coverage?

avatar by Rachel O'Donoghue

Opinion

Democratic Congressoman Cori Bush poses for a portrait after beating incumbent Rep.William Lacy Clay in their primary election, in St Louis, Missouri, US. August 5, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Lawrence Bryant

Rarely a week goes by when United States Congresswoman Cori Bush (D-MO) isn’t featured in the news.

Whether getting arrested at an abortion rights protest outside the Supreme Court or facing questions about her privately-funded security while simultaneously campaigning to defund the police, it seems that American media outlets cannot get enough of Bush’s headline-grabbing antics.

Therefore, it’s a genuine mystery why the mainstream media was so quiet when it was recently revealed that Bush had accepted fundraising assistance from a woman who has a well-documented history of advocating for the genocide of Jews and Israelis.

According to the watchdog group Canary Mission, Naveen Ayesh, who is the Government Relations Coordinator for the American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) chapter in St. Louis, Missouri, is not only a supporter of burning every Israeli alive, but is also a big fan of Congresswoman Bush, who she has worked alongside since 2017.

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In 2014, Ayesh tweeted: “I want to set Israel on fire with my own hands & watch it burn to ashes along with every Israeli in it. Call it what you want to call it idc [I don’t care].”

This came hot on the heels of other posts in which she announced how she would love to “spit” in the faces of every “Jew Israeli” she came across, as well as throwing stones at them.

In 2011, Ayesh used the hashtag “crimes worthy of the rope” to announce her belief that “being a Jew” merits this particular death sentence.

She is also an admirer of Palestinian terror group Hamas, having previously praised the organization’s armed wing Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, and revealing that she would love to be the “first female to join their group” alongside the acronym “lol” — laugh out loud.

Such a history of antisemitic incitement, however, did not prevent Bush from working with Ayesh over the years. In 2017 and again in 2020, they were pictured during fundraisers together. As recently as July 16, Ayesh invited people to attend a reception with Bush and the St. Louis Muslim community.

Bush, a member of a small branch of the Democrat Party collectively dubbed “the Squad,” has never hidden her animus towards the Jewish state.

In addition to being an outspoken proponent of the controversial Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, whose ultimate goal is to dismantle the Jewish state, she was last year one of just nine US representatives to vote against funding for Israel’s life-saving Iron Dome technology.

Defending her decision, she declared: “Palestinians deserve freedom from militarized violence too,” before accusing Israel of being an “apartheid state.”

We can only assume Bush was blithely unaware that the Iron Dome is a missile defense system designed to prevent rockets from landing on the homes of Israeli civilians.

Just months before the 2020 fundraiser, where Ayesh and Bush were photographed together, Ayesh was publicly censured by Missouri lawmakers after she had given testimony against a bill that sought to prevent companies from engaging in economic boycotts against Israel.

Video shows that members of the Missouri State House of Representatives read out several of Ayesh’s most hateful tweets to highlight the discrepancy between her testimony that asserted the BDS campaign is a peaceful movement and her views as stated on her social media account.

Bush’s inability or unwillingness to call out Ayesh’s incendiary views on Israel seemingly dovetails with the group that the latter represents, American Muslims for Palestine (AMP).

AMP is a charity that effectively comprises an A to Z of antisemites, including its chairman Hatem Bazian, who, among other things, has called for an intifada in the United States; discussed a “Palestinian Holocaust” while likening Gaza to a concentration camp; accused Israelis of raping, murdering, and harvesting the organs of Palestinians, and posted antisemitic cartoons, including one of an Orthodox Jew labeled an “Ashke-Nazi.”

Meanwhile, AMP’s Associate Director of Outreach & Grassroots Organizing, Taher Herzalleh, who, worryingly, was invited to speak to students at the University of California San Diego in May, has sought to justify Hamas rocket attacks and praised the killing of Israeli soldiers as the most “beautiful” sight.

It could be that Cori Bush was until recently blissfully unaware of Ayesh’s chilling comments, or indeed the antisemitism that has been espoused by her colleagues at American Muslims for Palestine.

Now that the cat is out of the bag, will she now go on record to condemn her past association with Ayesh and unequivocally denounce her anti-Jewish hatred?

More importantly, will American news outlets publicize any mea culpa and report on the events that led to it?

The author is a contributor to HonestReporting, a Jerusalem-based media watchdog with a focus on antisemitism and anti-Israel bias — where a version of this article first appeared.

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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