This past July, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer convened the first meeting of his newly formed Committee on Multicultural Affairs. According to the group’s website, “This appointed committee is comprised of 17 community leaders that represent diversity in race, gender, age, religious beliefs, national origin, cultural background, profession, sexual orientation and gender identity.” Part of the Mayor’s diversity appears to, as well, include extreme bigotry against Jews and the state of Israel, as fourth down on the list of the 17 member names (on the Orlando government page devoted to the committee) is none other than rabid anti-Semite Rasha Mubarak.
Rasha Ahmad Mubarak has an intense hatred of Israel. As a result, she has affiliated and continues to affiliate herself with radical Muslim groups associated with Hamas, including: CAIR, which has foundational and financial ties to Hamas; Islamic Relief (IR), which the Israeli government has labeled a Hamas front and has banned; and the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF), which has coordinated activities with the Holy Land Foundation (HRF), a now-defunct Hamas financing wing that the US government named a Specially Designated Terrorist (SDT) in December 2001. Mubarak is currently the President of the PCRF Orlando chapter.
Beyond her radical affiliations, Mubarak has exhibited her own support for Hamas. At the end of the 2014 Israel-Gaza Conflict, along with photos of a jubilant Hamas, who had, bizarrely, just declared victory, Mubarak tweeted, “Thousands of people celebrating in the streets of Gaza for the victory. Alhamdulillah. #VictoryForGaza.” And following continued Hamas rocket attacks against Israel, in November 2012, Mubarak retweeted her fellow CAIR operative, Laila Abdelaziz, who had tweeted, “Don’t worry ya Gaza, we’re working hard for you in Florida.” Mubarak emphatically added, “Yes we are!”
Mubarak has a history of promoting material from Hamas-supporting media. Two, Palestine Info Center and Shehab News, are directly affiliated with Hamas and publicize the group along with shocking anti-Semitic cartoons of evil looking Orthodox Jews. Another, Falastin News Palestine: glorifies Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) fighters as heroes; outright states, “God bless Hamas”; features numerous photos of armed masked terrorists interacting with little kids; has graphic images stating, “Death to Israel” and “Delete Israel”; and showcases photos of dead US and British Jews murdered in a Jerusalem synagogue, referring to the dead as “Occupiers.”
Mubarak is offended at the very notion that Israel has a right to self-defense. This past May, when Hamas launched more than 600 rockets into Israel, leading to the deaths of four civilians, Mubarak tweeted against anyone who would dare defend Israeli retaliation, including former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and the producer of The Ellen Show, Andy Lassner. In February 2013, Mubarak flippantly posted on Facebook that US diplomats mouth the words “right to defend itself,” regarding Israel, “when they snore.” And in November 2012, she tweeted, “#LiesImTiredOfHearing Israel has the right to defend herself.”
Part of Mubarak’s activism is organizing anti-Israel rallies. Though marketed as pro-Palestinian, the events have contained the worst of anti-Jewish rhetoric. A January 2009 Mubarak-led rally featured signs equating the Jewish star with the Nazi swastika and a sign reading, “Terrorist: noun: Ones that commit violent or destructive acts. SEE JEW.” At Mubarak’s December 2017 ‘HANDS OFF JERUSALEM RALLY FOR PALESTINE,’ Mubarak’s uncle, Orlando real estate investor Said Lutfi, was caught on camera barking horrifically anti-Semitic comments, including referring to Jews as “the crappiest piece of s**t on this planet,” “baby killers” and “Jesus killers.”
In September 2013, Mubarak ridiculed Jews, herself, when a report came out claiming Orthodox Jews had asked the Israeli government for “beard-friendly gas masks.” The call for new masks was over legitimate concern that Syria might retaliate against Israel following a US military intervention of Syria and that normal masks do not accommodate a lot of facial hair. The US military has dealt with this same issue. About the report, which featured the side profile of an observant Jew with a long beard and side curls, Mubarak mockingly wrote, “Seriously? No seriously! Ufff… Lol…”
Speaking of the US military, Mubarak has also targeted American Vets with attack. This past February, she retweeted Chicago-based organizer Walad Shami’s claim that, at Saint Xavier University, Veterans “get special treatment from the dean of students because they’re white and killed babies in Iraq” and Shami’s complaint that he “was almost expelled by the veterans association for tweeting ‘f**k Veterans Day.’”
Buddy Dyer has known Rasha Mubarak for many years. A plethora of photos of them together, including at least one from August 2011 of him with her and her family, exist for all to see. Video of Mayor Dyer and Mubarak embracing, this past March, at a vigil for the victims of the New Zealand mosque shooting is online. No doubt, Dyer and Mubarak are close. Yet, given all of the evidence – given the extreme level of anti-Israel activism and anti-Jewish fervor surrounding Mubarak – how can Mayor Dyer continue to allow her name and her likeness to remain on his committee’s webpage?
To be sure, Mubarak’s actions are not just mere criticism leveled against the nation of Israel. If that were the case, this article would not be necessary. No, Mubarak’s radical stance that Israel has no right to defend herself along with her involvement in groups linked to Hamas, in addition to many other things mentioned in this piece, are affronts to the Jewish community, a community that plays a significant role in the multicultural makeup of Orlando and Central Florida.
It is time for Mayor Dyer to do the right thing and remove Rasha Mubarak from his Committee on Multicultural Affairs. He should do so immediately.