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).
Nourhan Mesbah is part of an ever-increasing number of individuals within Democratic Party circles, who harbor animosity towards Jews. This past September, after the resurfacing of an anti-Semitic tweet from her past, calls were made for Mesbah to resign, first from her position as Diversity Director of the College Democrats of America (CDA) and then from her newly elected position as CDA Vice President. She did neither, instead attempting to change the subject to one of her own victim status via a false narrative of “Islamophobia.” Why is she still VP? Is this merely about one tweet, or is this but a fragment of a dangerous and deeply troubling pattern.
On September 17th, just prior to the CDA election, the CDA Jewish Caucus put out a press release exposing a 2016 tweet Mesbah had written as a young girl, blaming a presidential debate between ex-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and then-candidate Donald Trump on “the yahood,” i.e. the Jews. Tagged in the tweet was an acquaintance of Mesbah, Dima Jubara, a vocal anti-Semite who has repeatedly tweeted that “Allah will kill the Jews.” The Jewish Caucus called on Mesbah to resign as CDA Director of Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA) and to forfeit her candidacy for CDA VP. Mesbah refused and won her election.
Following the election, Mesbah’s successor as IDEA Director, Jeremy Ward, announced an independent investigation into Mesbah’s conduct. On November 10th, Ward issued an internal report concluding that Mesbah’s tweet was indeed anti-Semitic and that she further exhibited “a pattern of discrimination against members of the black community.” Ward, in addition to several CDA chapters, demanded Mesbah’s resignation as VP, at least one CDA chapter threatening “impeachment.” Again, Mesbah refused to step down.
The CDA National Council voted on a resolution to censure Mesbah and require that she undergo cultural sensitivity and anti-Semitism training. The resolution passed 19-3.
Mesbah, via a CDA press statement and assisted by the Democratic National Committee (DNC), responded by issuing a half-hearted apology claiming that her offending statement was misconstrued due to her being a “relatively new immigrant… with a different regional and dialectic linguistic comprehension” – Mesbah refers to herself as a “North African Egyptian” – and was therefore exonerated from charges of Jew hatred. She, as well, declared (within the so-called apology) that all the talk against her had been due to “Islamophobia,” an expression denoting hatred of Muslims often used to silence critics of Islamist terror and their supporters.
Using the term “Islamophobia” was important to Mesbah, as it allowed her to flip the narrative of the case against her. No longer was this a case about a clearly anti-Jewish statement, now it was about bigotry against Muslims. This opened the door for the Islamophobia industry, headed by the terror-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), to step in, crying foul and putting pressure on anyone wishing for Mesbah to be dropped from the CDA. One extreme group of attorneys, Palestine Legal, pledged to provide its support to Mesbah, turning the issue into a cause célèbre.
However, apology or no apology, the anti-Semitic Clinton-Trump debate tweet is not the only troubling message that originated from Mesbah’s Twitter account. Indeed, many things she has posted are far worse.
In June, Mesbah tweeted a post made by the Hamas-affiliated Shehab News Agency and mourned a Palestinian woman who was shot dead attempting to attack Israeli soldiers with her car and then knife. In May, Mesbah tweeted that deceased senior Hamas leader Mujahid al-Hadidi was “innocent” and made the confounding declaration that asking Palestinians or their supporters to denounce Hamas is “racist.”
For Mesbah, it is not okay for anyone to criticize her for spreading bigotry on her social media or to ask someone to repudiate Hamas – a globally-recognized terrorist organization – because by doing so, he/she is either an “Islamophobe” or a “racist.” This equation is only made valid in Mesbah’s alternate Islamist universe. The real issue is that Mesbah has been accused by members of her own group of targeting Jews and blacks with inflammatory hatred. And not only these things, but she has also been accused of anti-homosexual conduct.
In June, Mesbah joined a group of anti-Israel activists to harass and ridicule different Florida Democrat lawmakers who refused to sign onto a statement, which was authored by Mesbah and which contained the College Democrats logo, demanding the legislators denounce a Florida law they had voted for that protects Jews from anti-Semitism. One of the lawmakers they bullied was Florida State Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith, the group shouting at him outside of his office. Smith, who is gay, accused the group of homophobia, something that Mesbah has been accused of on at least one other occasion.
Nourhan Mesbah is a toxic individual who is following the victimhood playbook. Together with her Islamist colleagues she has intimidated the Democratic Party into accepting her anti-Jewish incitement and is attempting to strong-arm Democrat lawmakers into accepting the same. Submitting to Mesbah and her allies will only embolden them to exploit their advantage further and silence legitimate criticism.
If Mesbah continues to refuse to resign from her position as CDA Vice President, the National Democratic Party should intervene and force her resignation, instead of consulting with her on insincere “apologies.” Her defense of and empathy for terrorists is indicative of her anti-democratic and anti-Western mindset. Her cause is violent bigotry, and as such, she should be ostracized by both sides of the political spectrum.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.