Joe Kaufman is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and the Chairman of the Joe Kaufman Security Initiative. He was the 2014, 2016 and 2018 Republican Nominee for U.S. House of Representatives (Florida-CD23).
This past January, following his wife’s accusation of domestic violence against her, Hassan Shibly resigned his leadership position within CAIR, a Hamas-linked group founded in June 1994. Shibly was Executive Director of CAIR’s Florida Chapter. Today, Shibly describes himself as a self-employed attorney, but his embrace of Hamas groups continues. This month, as a new Mid East conflict erupted, Shibly has promoted Hamas-related charities and cranked up his own extreme rhetoric. He has even gone so far as to post an anti-Semitic video calling for the Jews in Israel to go back to Europe. CAIR or no CAIR, Shibly is out and about spreading terror.
On December 20th, Imane Sadrati created a GoFundMe page to advertise her claim that she had suffered physical and mental abuse at the hands of her then-husband Hassan Shibly, beginning when she was pregnant with her first child. It was a huge scandal for Shibly, separating him from his beloved job at CAIR and tarnishing the star he had become in Islamist circles. It was just over a year prior that he had successfully fought the US government in the courts on the constitutionality of its terror watch list, a list that Shibly himself had his name on. Unlike his alleged domestic violence, though, he could blame the watch list on “Islamophobia.”
While much of this exposes the true face of Shibly, it is his extreme hatred for Israel that really defines him. In November 2006, he labeled Hezbollah “basically a resistance movement” and “absolutely not a terrorist organization.” In August 2014, he tweeted, “Israel and its supporters are enemies of God…” In April 2017, he used Facebook to laud Palestinian terrorist Marwan Barghouti as a “hero.” And in May 2019, he used CAIR’s Tampa office to meet with convicted Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) operative, Hatem Fariz. According to the indictment against him, Fariz “was a PIJ member” who conspired “to commit offenses against the United States…”
Recent events have, once again, triggered Shibly’s rage.
Looming evictions of Arab families illegally living in homes located on once-Jewish-owned land in East Jerusalem have led to unrest in different parts of Israel, where large numbers of both Jews and Arabs reside. Israeli police have been called upon to keep peace, as confrontations between the two communities flare. The situation exploded, when security forces stormed the al-Aqsa mosque, considered one of Islam’s holiest sites. Hamas and PIJ exploited these events and rising tensions by firing hundreds of rockets into Israeli civilian neighborhoods, including those in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, eliciting a large scale military action by Israel on terror targets.
On May 9th, the same day as the al-Aqsa episode, Shibly posted on Instagram a photo of an Israeli soldier detaining a distraught Palestinian boy, writing, “Israeli Apartheid Government is the Empire. Palestinians are the Rebellion. Long live the resistance!” On May 10th, he posted an image of the entire map of Israel draped in a Palestinian keffiyeh scarf with the words, “EXISTENCE IS RESISTENCE” and a message exclaiming, “Palestinians have a right to defend themselves!” And on May 11th, Shibly tweeted a graphic with the words “Israel is an illegitimate apartheid terrorist state” repeated two dozen times.
The declarations are not merely empty rhetoric coming from the mind of an anti-Israel activist. Shibly just spent ten years of his life with a group linked to Hamas, that being CAIR. Shouting “resistance” and labeling Israel “illegitimate” is hostile speech that incites terror and is confirmation of Shibly’s devotion to the Hamas cause. Further, when Shibly says that Palestinians have a right to self-defense, he no doubt is talking about the rockets being launched by globally-recognized terrorist organizations and the suicide bombings that were perpetrated before them.
Shibly’s statement regarding the legitimacy of Israel came directly after a post he made about the Hamas charity, Holy Land Foundation (HLF), which was shut down by the US government, in December 2001, for providing millions of dollars to Hamas. In the post, Shibly outrageously described HLF as “Palestinian American Muslim humanitarian aid providers to Gaza.” He said it was “hypocrisy” for the US to have prosecuted HLF, at the same time as financing Israel. During the federal trials against HLF, CAIR was named a co-conspirator to the crime, though unindicted. All of the defendants, including HLF itself, were found guilty of all charges.
Amidst the fighting between Hamas and Israel, Shibly posted several solicitations for donations for a charity called Human Appeal. Originally Human Appeal International (HAI), the group was founded in Manchester, England in 1991. A 1996 CIA report referred to HAI as a Hamas front. Prior to the Holy Land Foundation’s closure, HLF had a significant working relationship with HAI. Forms filed with the IRS show HLF provided hundreds-of-thousands of dollars to HAI. The two groups, as well, had overlapping leadership. According to Shibly’s posts, Human Appeal is on the ground, in Gaza, “providing humanitarian aid,” the same words he used in describing HLF.
Shibly’s support for terror is not only meant to target Israelis, but Jews in general.
On May 19th, Shibly posted a brutally anti-Semitic video on Instagram, calling on Israelis to go back to Europe, stating “Listen to what this Christian Palestinian priest has to say.” In it, Father Monk Antonio Sanania applauds his brethren “for fighting in Palestine and outside Palestine.” His message to Jews: “Zionists, I want to tell you something. You must go back to Europe. You must go back to Czechoslovakia, Poland, Germany. You must seek what you lost, homes they kicked you out, and leave your homes in Palestine… Go back to Europe. We are taking Palestine.” The priest wildly accuses Jews of seeking “to destroy the world with nuclear bombs.”
It is clear that Hassan Shibly is a dangerous individual and violence-prone bigot. He is alleged to have physically abused his ex-wife. He has spent years on a federal terrorist watch list. He excuses terrorism as “resistance.” He supports terrorist charities. He holds meetings with terrorists. And he promotes cruel and crude material aimed at demonizing Jews. His native country is Syria, and his actions appear to have been taken from a terrorist handbook found there. His continued presence in the US is not only troubling, but poses a threat to national security.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.