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).
Rasha Mubarak, an anti-Israel activist and Finance Director for US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, is destroying relationships she has spent years building in the Democratic Party. She is leading an angry group of Israel bashers on a journey to intimidate and ridicule Progressive members of the US and Florida Legislatures, who do not cater to her and her group’s full list of demands. One of these legislators, Carlos Smith, following a testy and vulgar encounter with Mubarak and co., accused the group of homophobia. It is common for Islamists and their allies to target Jews and gays, and it is like Mubarak to add more Democrats to her list of enemies.
Rasha Mubarak hates Israel, so much so that she says Israel, a sovereign nation, has no right to self-defense. She also supports Palestinian terrorists. At the end of the 2014 Israel-Gaza Conflict, she cheered Hamas. This past March, she posted a video on her social media honoring former PFLP spokesman Ghassan Khanafani. In June and July 2020, Mubarak posted memorials for car-ramming terrorist Ahmed Erekat, who was shot and killed after attempting to run over a female Israeli border officer. And this past November, Mubarak promoted then-jailed Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) leader Maher al-Akhras with a message to free all like him.
This month, once again, Mubarak sought to whitewash terror. On June 12th, when Israeli border guards shot dead a Palestinian woman approaching them with a knife at a West Bank checkpoint, after she ignored orders to stop, Mubarak absurdly and baselessly described the event as “Israel’s deliberate attempts at Palestinian erasure.” Also, this month, Mubarak posted a statement written by Hamas fan Samer Owaida, ridiculously claiming that “Not a single Palestinian resistance org has ever committed a war crime.” This, when suicide bombings and firing rockets indiscriminately into civilian neighborhoods are universally considered war crimes.
It is this same irrational fanaticism that has driven Mubarak, under the banner ‘Florida Palestine Network,’ to organize others in an effort to terrorize Florida lawmakers from the US and Florida Legislatures with bullying tactics and a list of untenable demands. These demands include: 1. condemning Israel for “state sanctioned violence” against Palestinians and “forced expulsions” from and “forced demolitions” of Palestinian homes, 2. ending US military aid to Israel, and 3. denouncing Florida bill H.B. 741, which protects Jews from anti-Semitism.
H.B. 741, which was voted for unanimously in the Florida House and Senate, impacts Mubarak and her group of radicals personally, as it acts in part against those (anti-Semites) who single out Israel for attack on college campuses. The bill was signed into law by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the signing ceremony of which took place in Jerusalem.
At least two of the Florida legislators who have been targeted by Mubarak, Representatives Carlos Guillermo Smith and Anna Eskamani, in the past, have been seen as friends and allies of Mubarak. They have participated in events with Mubarak and embraced Mubarak. Now, these two have been vilified by Mubarak and her group with a vengeance.
On June 3rd, the group showed up on Representative Smith’s office doorstep. He came outside and, for over 40 minutes, listened to them, as they piled abuse on him. They accused him of “actively diminishing Palestinian rights” and being “complicit” with “Islamophobic rhetoric.” One member kept bringing up the term, “Jewish supremacy.” Another told him, “You just want to be coddled and told you’re doing fine. Oh, you did okay, because one time you said that you were pro-Palestine. That doesn’t matter now… People are f**king dying, so if we have to come here and yell at you, then that’s what we have to do.” She called his words to them, “bulls**t.”
When Representative Smith left, Mubarak began a chant, “Carlos Smith, you can’t hide.” The group mockingly laughed at him, as he quickly came out to tell the group he was not hiding. Later, Mubarak can be seen on video shouting at Smith, “Get out of my face!” She accused Smith of repeatedly “slamming the door on my face” and “almost severing my fingers off.” According to Smith, who is openly gay, someone from the group was “shouting into the megaphone about my husband” and saying his name. He stated, the “group began laughing after someone called him my ‘boyfriend.’” He accused the group of practicing homophobia.
The disrespect shown to Representative Smith was also given to Representative Eskamani. During the Smith episode, Mubarak’s younger cousin, Syria Lutfi, wore a placard around her neck of a long note Eskamani had sent her on social media. Lutfi, who at five years old, in January 2006, allegedly witnessed her father Mohammed attempt to stab her mother with a steak knife, described Eskamani’s tweets to her as “belittling,” “ignorant,” and meant to “serve as a tactic distraction to deflect from Palestinian voices.” In the note to Lutfi, Eskamani accused Mubarak of not liking her “on a personal level” and claimed the group was “yelling” at her.
It appears that Mubarak’s ‘Florida Palestine Network’ project has been a complete failure, as not one of the Representatives and Senators the group has targeted have given in to the group’s demands. On top of this, Mubarak and her group have looked like bullies, stalkers and, at times, lunatics, in the process. Furthermore, relationships with key Democratic lawmakers, who Mubarak had spent years developing alliances with, have now been severely compromised, and quite possibly these individuals will never be able to work with her again.
On June 25th, Rasha Mubarak is scheduled to speak along with US Congressman Andre Carson, at a lunch session, during the Indiana Young Democrats (IYD) convention. The Indiana Democratic Party (IDP) – indeed, the National Democratic Committee (NDC) – should take note of how Mubarak is working to tear down Democratic leaders and sow divisiveness within the Democratic Party and move to cancel this event. Bigotry against Jews and homosexuals should never be tolerated by any political party, let alone the party which claims to be the paragon of tolerance and inclusivity.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.