Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.
Forget academic boycotts and protesting Israeli oranges in the produce aisle. The new BDS targets are Jewish charities with a special focus on those that provide services and support in ’67 Israel.
Under its new Muslim boss, Amna Farooqi, J Street U has been pressuring Jewish charities not to help Jews living in territory which had been conquered and ethnically cleansed of Jews by the invading Muslim armies during Israel’s War of Independence. Other groups, including T’ruah, which had a prominent role at Obama’s toxic Chanukah party, have also made Jewish charities into their target.
But the BDS campaign against Jewish charities has reached a new level of ugliness with a lawsuit by CAIR’s favorite lawyer which demands that Jewish charities be stripped of non-profit status and that the charities and their donors be potentially listed “as specially designated global terrorists".
The lawsuit targets a number of pro-Israel groups, including Friends of IDF, an organization that helps wounded Israeli soldiers who have lost arms and legs in the fight against Muslim terrorism learn to live fulfilling lives again. The lawsuit uses claims made by the left-wing anti-Israel group Breaking the Silence as the basis for its hateful campaign against FIDF and Israeli soldiers. It contends that providing “financial, social, and emotional support” to soldiers serving in the Israeli army is a war crime.
The term “terrorist” is frequently thrown around in the lawsuit. It’s a term that the lawyer behind it is quite familiar with.
CAIR is an unindicted coconspirator in funding terrorists. The accusation that Martin F. McMahon falsely levels at Jewish charities has been found to be true of his CAIR clients, as confirmed by the Assistant Attorney General.
Martin F. McMahon demands that pro-Israel groups and donors be labeled as “specially designated global terrorists". Again, he has represented one of those in the past.
John P. O'Neill, the counterterrorism expert who played a key role in investigating Al Qaeda, died on 9/11 along with thousands of Americans. His family sued a variety of institutions and figures for bankrolling the Islamic terror group.
Martin F. McMahon served as counsel for the International Islamic Relief Organization, headed by Osama bin Laden's brother-in-law, the Muslim World League, a violently anti-Semitic Islamist organization linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and terror groups, Saleh Abdullah Kamel, alleged to be one of the main Saudi sponsors of Al Qaeda, and Wael Hamza Julaidan, a founder of Al Qaeda.
Of these, the status of Wael Julaidan is clearest. The Treasury Department listed the former Muslim Student Association president as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. Osama bin Laden called him, “our brother”. Martin F. McMahon not only represented a founder of Al Qaeda, but his Rabita Trust, which had already been designated a month after the September 11 attacks.
While lawyers can and do defend whom they choose, including Al Qaeda leaders, Martin F. McMahon has a history of representing Islamist groups and individuals, some with confirmed terror ties.
Aside from CAIR and a founder of Al Qaeda, Martin F. McMahon represented the Syrian Emergency Task Force. The SETF’s director has shown support for Hamas and urged engagement with the Islamic Front, a Jihadi coalition allied with Al Qaeda. A top Islamic Front leader had described himself as Al Qaeda.
Martin F. McMahon lashed out at the female Prime Minister of Bangladesh for her actions against radical Islamist groups, including Hefazat-e-Islam, which demanded death for atheists and a ban on working women. In his application to the ICC, McMahon describes Hefazat as a “religious group” and its leader Allama Junaed Babunagari only as a “popular cleric”. That would be the “cleric” who called for “capital punishment” for atheist bloggers and spoke of them being beheaded.
Thus far four atheist bloggers have been brutally murdered in Bangladesh by Islamic terrorists.
While Martin F. McMahon accuses Israel of war crimes, his pro-Islamist ICC filing whitewashes an actual war criminal, Moulana Delwar Hossain Sayedee, who had been found guilty of genocide, mass murder and other horrifying crimes.
Lawyers can’t always be judged by their clients, but it appears that when Islamists need a lawyer, they call Martin F. McMahon. And it’s not clear that there is a Muslim group too repugnant for Martin F. McMahon, who even represented the Nation of Islam’s International of Representative, to work with.
McMahon’s case against Jewish charities is pro-bono, which suggests that he has some personal investment in it, and it’s all over the place. The lead plaintiff, Mohammed Abdel Aziz, is an Egyptian immigrant who has never lived in Israel. Instead, based on a strange digression that has nothing to do with the actual case, he may be a Muslim Brotherhood member. Instead of spelling this out, the filing claims that, “Plaintiff Abdel Aziz comes from Egypt, and personally witnessed the atrocities that the Mubarak regime inflicted on ordinary Egyptian citizens.”
What does Mubarak have to do with Israel? Much of the lawsuit is equally messy. The filing manages to misquote the Bible, claims that the JNF plants trees to “obstruct the ruins of ethnically-cleansed Palestinian villages” and cites at least one anti-Semitic site. It demands audits for donors to a whole range of Jewish charities, a blatant intimidation tactic, and is nearly as ridiculous as McMahon’s earlier letter to Secretary of State John Kerry demanding a travel ban on the Prime Minister of Bangladesh.
And yet it is impossible to ignore the fact that the lawsuit is based on the work of left-wing anti-Israel groups. The lawsuit cites Breaking the Silence, J Street, Peace Now, the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, Yesh Din, Btselem, Haaretz and the Forward. But if the lawsuit is taken at face value then the targets potentially include some of the same liberal mainstream Jewish charities who fund anti-Israel groups through the New Israel Fund. By aiding these groups, they are not only helping attack Jews in Israel, but they are laying the groundwork for an attack on their own organizations in America.
Attacks on Jewish charities have become the new wave of BDS and the presence of T’ruah at the Obama Chanukah party shows that this form of BDS has the support of the White House. Jewish liberals who think that the Jewish targets of T’ruah or J Street U have it coming should consider that attacks on Jews historically begin with easy targets and escalate from there. This lawsuit is an example of what such an escalation could look like and will look like if they don’t end their support for all forms of BDS.
We know from the Z Street case that Obama already has an “Israel Special Policy” for pro-Israel groups. The left’s war against Jewish charities did not begin yesterday. And it must be exposed for it to end.