CAIR head Nihad Awad, who had a history of supporting Hamas, addressed an American Muslims for Palestine conference, an organization with its own Hamas history, and stated that, “The people of Gaza only decided to break the siege, the walls of the concentration camp, on October 7. And yes, I was happy to see people breaking the siege and throwing down the shackles of their own land, and walk free into their land, which they were not allowed to walk in. And yes, the people of Gaza have the right to self-defense, have the right to defend themselves, and yes, Israel, as an occupying power, does not have that right to self-defense.”
All of this was on video and was made public by MEMRI.
The Biden administration was forced to condemn CAIR. Awad and CAIR responded that the statements were taken “out of context”.
You can watch the video and decide for yourself.
#CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad At AMP Convention: I Was Happy To See The People Of #Gaza Break The Siege On #October 7; They Were Victorious; The People Of Gaza Have The Right To Self-Defense – #Israel Does Not – Audio of report here https://t.co/RuowERHqGZ #MEMRI pic.twitter.com/DS4YcIL2rV
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) December 7, 2023
Awad’s CAIR press release claimed that he had “again and again condemned the violence against Israeli civilians on Oct. 7th and past Hamas attacks on Israeli civilians”.
The evidence of that was CAIR’s statement attacking Israel on Oct 10.
One Awad statement linked by CAIR ranted about “Netanyahu’s far-right, openly racist government” is committing “war crimes”.
“Targeting civilians is wrong, whether they are Palestinian or Israeli. Just as our nation condemned the violent targeting of Israeli civilians last weekend, our nation must condemn—and stop sanctioning—the violent targeting of Palestinian civilians now.”
That’s not a condemnation of Hamas, which the press release doesn’t even mention, nor is it even a condemnation of targeting Israeli civilians.
What Awad and CAIR actually said was, “just as our nation condemned the violent targeting of Israeli civilians last weekend.”
That’s actually a statement that America condemned Hamas, not that CAIR did.
Awad and CAIR are assuming that much of the media won’t even bother reading or scanning their statement. Let alone parsing the words.
But this is important. CAIR’s post-Oct 7 statement did not condemn Hamas or killing Israeli civilians. It only condemned Israel.
On Oct 7, CAIR published a statement by the United States Council of Muslim Organizations which condemned Israel, made no mention whatsoever of Hamas or the attacks on Israel, but urged other Muslim countries to end relations with Israel.
On October 8, CAIR National published a statement from its New Jersey chapter stating that the “growing civilian casualty toll comes in response to Hamas’s latest offensive, which killed at least 250 Israelis and wounded hundreds more. The assault on Israel came as a response to the Israeli Defense Forces’ most recent assault on al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem and its ongoing siege and blockade of Gaza.”
Not only wasn’t this a condemnation, but it was a defense of the Hamas assault on Israel in “defense” of what Islam claims is the Al Aqsa Mosque, but is the Jewish Holy Temple in Jerusalem.
The statement went on to say that, “that the people of Gaza effectively broke out of prison — resisting an occupation that is not only inhumane but also illegal under international law — is inevitable and should not be unexpected” and “in the same ways that these elected officials have supported the Ukrainian people’s sovereignty, resistance, and will, they must also do the same for Palestinians.”
None of this is a condemnation of Hamas. At best, CAIR, while attacking Israel, has occasionally said that targeting Palestinian and Israeli civilians is wrong. And therefore Americans should oppose Israel. When asked to document its condemnation of terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians, it tends to reach back twenty years to 2002 and 2003, and the Passover terrorist attack on senior citizens at the Netanya Hotel.
The actual condemnation is no longer on CAIR’s site, but apparently, it consisted of stating, “CAIR, a Washington-based Islamic advocacy group, today condemned a bomb attack on a Passover celebration in the Middle East that left 20 people dead and more than 100 wounded. In a statement, CAIR said: ‘We condemn this attack and all other attacks on innocent civilians. Illegitimate and counterproductive tactics must not be used in the legitimate struggle to end Israel’s brutal occupation.”
There was no mention of Hamas or even the fact that the attack took place in Israel, but there was a condemnation of Israel. And that’s from 20 years ago, yet CAIR insists on citing it today.
As the Discover the Networks profile of CAIR and its founder and executive director Nihad Awad shows,there’s a long history of support for Hamas and ties to the Islamic terror group.
In 1993, Awad, who had developed into an increasingly outspoken advocate for the rights of Palestinians, became the public-relations director of the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP)—a front group for Hamas.
With the help of a $5,000 donation from the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF)—yet another Hamas front group—CAIR opened up an office in Washington, D.C.
In his new position with CAIR, Awad’s affinity for Hamas became increasingly evident. At a March 22, 1994 symposium at Barry University in Florida, he declared: “I used to support the PLO, and I used to be the President of the General Union of Palestine Students which is part of the PLO here in the United States, but after I researched the situation inside Palestine and outside, I am in support of the Hamas movement more than the PLO.”
In an interview that same year with newsman Mike Wallace, Awad was asked if he supported the “military undertakings of Hamas,” to which he replied: “The United Nations Charter grants people who are under occupation [the right] to defend themselves against illegal occupation.”
In 2006, during the campaign of antisemitic Islamist candidate Keith X. Ellison, Awad claimed, “I don’t support Hamas today.”