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The contact for the Wasserman Schultz EMERGE fundraiser was listed on the group’s event flyer as Rasheed Shihada, an individual who posted on his Facebook site a video in support of a leader from Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and a rant he [Shihada] authored denouncing Christianity.
Immediately, our information was picked up by a number of media sources, including Fox News and the Drudge Report. According to radio talk show host Dennis Miller, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked a question about it.
Sensing the fallout from being involved in such an event, Wasserman Schultz cancelled her speaking engagement, and all advertisements for the fundraiser were pulled down from EMERGE USA’s website. As confirmation of her cancellation, one of this article’s authors – who happens to be a candidate for Congress against Wasserman Schultz – was told by a staffer of hers that she would no longer be speaking at the function.
But that was not what was told to the media.
Wasserman Schultz’s spokesman, Jonathan Beeton, told Florida’s Sunshine State News, “There was a miscommunication, she is not speaking to the organization. We never agreed to do a fundraiser, nor this event.” Beeton told the Washington Free Beacon the same, word for word.
However, an editorial written by EMERGE USA head Khurrum Wahid, which was printed in the South Florida Sun Sentinel, rebuts the statement made by the Wasserman Schultz camp. According to Wahid, Wasserman Schultz “agreed to speak at the banquet of EMERGE USA” – and then later backed out after what he describes as the “character assassination” of his group took place. [Of course, this alleged character assassination refers to our original investigative piece on this subject.]
For Debbie Wasserman Schultz to fabricate a story about her participation at the EMERGE banquet like she did, she must have considered the issue a very serious one. Indeed, for someone who publicly flaunts her Jewish identity as she does, it cannot help her to be seen as being an assistant fundraiser for a group led by those who appear to have animosity towards Jews and Israel.
Wasserman Schultz should never have agreed to help raise money and be the keynote speaker for such a radical group, and it is unfortunate and disturbing that it took criticism from these authors and others for her to finally decide not to do it. It is even more unfortunate that she would lie about her involvement.
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