Joe Kaufman is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center; a writer for the Counter-Islamist Grid, a project of the Middle East Forum; 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).
Rasha Mubarak, the Finance Director for US Representative Rashida Tlaib, recently began hosting a podcast show, where she interviews guests, who, like her, have animosity towards Israel. Mubarak’s first show featured a woman (along with Mubarak) mourning the death of her cousin, a Palestinian car-ramming terrorist. Another included a gay Muslim activist lamenting the fact that there are people permitting the existence of Israel, unchallenged by the host. Tlaib seems to have a similar sentiment, so it is logical that she would condone her staffer’s extremist activity. Yet, the entire Democratic Party appears to be silent about Mubarak. Why?
The first episode of Mubarak’s show, Unbought Power, released in December, had her interviewing lawyer and activist Noura Erakat, the niece of recently deceased PLO Secretary General Saeb Erekat. During the show, Erakat and Mubarak spent much time mourning and honoring Erakat’s late cousin, Ahmed Erekat, who was shot and killed after attempting to run over an Israeli border officer, at a checkpoint east of Jerusalem. Erakat, scrambling for excuses, blamed her cousin’s attempted murder of the officer on the fact that he was driving “a Korean car.” She further said that the video of the incident may have been “doctored” by Israelis.
Another episode, also released last month, featured gay activist Samer Owaida, who describes himself as a “hardline anti-Zionist” and who goes by the nickname “Samer the Sodomite.” During the show, Owaida repeatedly voiced his opposition to Israel’s existence, which Mubarak happily allowed. He distressingly stated, “It’s the 70-something year occupation of Palestine by Israeli settlers, and we have only gotten to this point by the collective action of the rest of the world, so for Israel to continue existing, people are permitting it.” Ironically, Israel is the only safe place in the area for an openly gay male like Owaida to live, as his brethren would execute him.
The most recent episode featured former Florida State Senator Dwight Bullard, who discussed a highly controversial trip he took, in May 2016, to the West Bank. Bullard laughed, when he told Mubarak of the criticism he received by those saying “I was over there trying to collaborate with terrorists.” Yet, on his trip, Bullard was accompanied by Mahmoud Jiddah, an ex-member of the PFLP terrorist group, who spent 17 years in an Israeli prison for planting bombs. Bullard was, as well, photographed speaking with Ahmad Abuznaid, a founder of Dream Defenders, the sponsor of the trip, who has openly praised PFLP terrorists, including plane hijacker Leila Khaled.
These issues go along with Mubarak’s past history of extreme hatred of the Jewish state. For nearly a decade, Mubarak has been pushing the notion that Israel has no right to self-defense, to the point of attacking those, who believe otherwise, in her social media. Mubarak has posted photos of Hamas celebrations, and she has been involved with groups linked to Hamas. She has organized anti-Israel events that have devolved into base anti-Semitism, and she personally ridiculed Orthodox Jews, who because of rising tensions in the Middle East, asked the Israeli government for “beard-friendly gas masks,” a matter that our own US military has dealt with.
Probably none of this – the content of Mubarak’s show nor her bigoted history – fazes Congresswoman Tlaib, who has also appeared as a guest on Unbought Power and who has her own history of anti-Israel hate. In fact, just this month, Tlaib was quoted in the media calling Israel a “racist state.” But what are we to make of the mostly muted response about Mubarak from the Democratic Party, a party that still contains at least some who claim to stand by Israel? Apart from canceling one Florida event, this past October, due to Mubarak’s participation, the party has largely ignored her actions.
While Mubarak is Finance Director for Congresswoman Tlaib, she also holds the position of National Committeewoman of the Florida Young Democrats (FYD), a group that has gone out of its way to defend her. As well, she is a member of the Orlando, Florida Committee on Multicultural Affairs. She was appointed to the position by Orlando Democrat Mayor Buddy Dyer, but he has done nothing to remove or rebuke her.
Rasha Mubarak has a dangerous obsession with the state of Israel. It is seen in her radical history as well as her new show, Unbought Power, where her guests, without repercussion, honor terrorists and openly oppose the Jewish state’s existence. As long as Mubarak holds a position within the Democratic Party, the party cannot say that it is a body that stands against hatred and extremism. Indeed, when the party embraces Mubarak, it is embracing terror and bigotry.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.