Last month, I attended a rally outside the Hallandale Beach, Florida Commission, in support of Hallandale Commissioner Anabelle Lima-Taub. Taub, who was born in Haifa, Israel, was being unfairly targeted and criticized for speaking out against the anti-Semitism and extremism of newly elected United States Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib. For Taub’s courageous deed, she was repeatedly labeled “anti-Muslim” by the media, ‘censured’ by her fellow commissioners, and on the receiving end of death threats.
On January 8th, Lima Taub tweeted the following against US Representative Rashida Tlaib: “A Hamas loving anti-Semite has NO place in government! She is a danger and would not put it past her to become a martyr and blow up Capitol Hill.”
The tweet sparked outrage, both from the press, which labeled Taub “anti-Muslim,” and the radical Muslim community, which described her post as “Islamophobic.” To most reasonable people, the reaction the tweet invited was a severe overreaction, as Taub’s post merely singles out one individual – that being Tlaib – and never goes as far as to disparage all Muslims or their faith.
Contrary to the criticism and abuse she received, Commissioner Taub’s words, while perhaps somewhat hyperbolic, should be welcomed. The tweet is well-deserved by Congresswoman Tlaib, who no doubt has exhibited the type of anti-Semitism and extremist behavior that warrants such words and warnings.
It is Tlaib who has called for a ‘one-state solution’ regarding Israel and her Palestinian neighbors, which of course would result in the destruction of Israel. Tlaib recently flaunted this, when she – smiling broadly – allowed herself to be photographed with a map broadcasting a Post-it note renaming Israel “Palestine.” It is Tlaib who brought up the anti-Semitic canard of ‘dual loyalty,’ when she questioned the loyalty of US Senators after they came out against the BDS boycotting of Israel. It is precisely these actions that have provided Tlaib a formal condemnation from the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Furthermore, it is Tlaib who has cavorted with known terrorist supporters, such as Abbas Hamideh, who referred to convicted child-killer Samir Kuntar as a “legendary Hezbollah martyr.” Tlaib’s fanatical views and associations are a threat to our government and society.
Commissioner Taub’s words contained legitimate accusations and concerns, and she should be commended for them, not criticized. However, like the media and Muslim radicals, Taub’s fellow commissioners went after her, voting to censure her.
Following the rally, I headed over to the commission meeting to view the proceedings and to sign up to speak. It was a packed house with mostly Taub supporters in the audience. Taub arrived to much fanfare, strutting and singing (along with much of the crowd in Hebrew) and raising her hands in the air to victory.
Leading the charge against her was her fellow Commissioner Michele Lazarow, who sponsored a shameful resolution to censure Taub “for promoting bigotry, fueling hatred, and creating a hostile environment for the city’s Muslim residents.” The resolution was co-sponsored by Vice Mayor Sabrina Javellana and Commissioner Mike Butler.
Around 40 people signed up to speak, both for and against Taub. They included individuals involved with radical Muslim organizations, who called for Taub’s resignation.
Representing the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) were CAIR-Florida Outreach Coordinator Yusuf Nganga and CAIR-Florida Communications Director Wilfredo Amr Ruiz.
Since its founding, in June 1996, CAIR has been associated with Hamas. CAIR was established as part of an umbrella group headed by then-global leader of Hamas, Mousa Abu Marzook, and CAIR has been cited by the US government for its involvement in the financing of Hamas. CAIR-Florida, itself, has been the co-sponsor of a pro-Hamas rally held in Downtown Miami, in July 2014.
Besides his connection to CAIR, Ruiz is the legal advisor for the American Muslim Association of North America (AMANA), a group that champions white supremacist leader David Duke. AMANA’s President Sofian Zakkout is a strong advocate for Hamas and refers to Duke as “David Duke, a man to believe in!” Ruiz, as well, is heavily involved in the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), an Islamist group linked to Hamas financing and those who harbored Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.
Another Muslim radical who spoke was Rasha Mubarak, an Orlando-based activist who has been involved with both CAIR and an additional terror-related group, Islamic Relief (IR), and who has appeared with Tlaib outside Tlaib’s congressional office.
Israel has banned IR, labeling it a Hamas front and arresting its Gaza Program Manager, Ayaz Ali, in 2006, for providing assistance to Hamas. At the end of 2014, Britain’s HSBC bank cut ties with Islamic Relief over concerns about “terrorist financing.” Reports show that Islamic Relief has sent millions of dollars to and received tens of thousands of dollars from groups related to al-Qaeda.
In November 2012, while Israel was at war with Hamas in Gaza, Mubarak posted her own controversial tweets. She tweeted, “Don’t worry ya Gaza, we’re working hard for you in Florida… yes we are.” And “#LiesImTiredOfHearing Israel has the right to defend herself.”
Inside the Commission, Mubarak sat in front of me, giving me the opportunity to ask her about her tweets on video. “Rasha, does Israel have the right to defend herself?” She gave me a glance, then quickly turned around and refused to answer. I asked her once again, as her handlers put their hands up to block my camera. I asked her if she had stated such a thing and, if so, why. No response.
Mubarak did not give the same level of disrespect to the reporter seated next to me to my left, Sarah Blaskey from the Miami Herald. After reading Blaskey’s column mentioning my presence at the Commission meeting, I understood why. She wrote, “Filming the event was Joe Kaufman, founder of CAIR Watch, an organization dedicated to disparaging the Muslim-advocacy group, and frequent contributor to FrontPage Mag, a far-right extremist publication founded by David Horowitz.”
So CAIR – which has representatives like Wilfredo Ruiz, who works with an organization championing David Duke, and Rasha Mubarak, who doesn’t believe Israel has the right to defend herself – is called a “Muslim-advocacy group,” but the news outlet I write for, FrontPage Magazine, where I have the fortune of exposing the statements and activities of these fanatics, is labeled a “far-right extremist publication.” Ms. Blaskey has it backwards.
It is this same flawed reasoning of attacking the truthful messenger that has Commissioner Taub – a Jew who simply called out someone’s blatant anti-Semitism – branded a bigot, herself. She did nothing to deserve such a wrongful characterization, and now she is receiving death threats because of it.
In the end, Commissioner Taub, who remained strong and unrepentant throughout, was censured. One of her fellow commissioners, Mike Butler, even thanked CAIR.
As I stated during my speech in front of the Commission, thank you Commissioner Taub for having the guts to speak out and do what is right. Our nation is dying of political correctness. Thank you for not giving in to this.
Instead of rallying around Commissioner Taub, her accusers have aided and abetted those who want to harm our country.
Shame on them and those who attacked a valiant and much needed truth teller.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.