Darrell Issa, a nine-term congressman who retired last year, will run against fellow Republican Duncan Hunter in California’s 50th district. Republicans Carl DeMaio, a former city councilman in San Diego, and state senator Brian Jones are also challenging Hunter, who is not giving up his bid despite a looming trial on corruption charges.
The “GOP Brawl,” as Politico put it, enhances the prospects of Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar, who lost to Hunter by 3.4 percentage points last November. As Robin Abcarian of the Los Angeles Times explains, Campa-Najjar has been telling voters “Whether in two years, four years, or 10 years. I’m going to be your congressman one day.” So the “Palestinian Mexican,” as he sometimes bills himself, has been playing down his terrorist family members.
His grandfather, Muhammad Abu Yousef al-Najjar, was a commander of Black September, the Palestinian terrorist cell that abducted, tortured and murdered 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. A veteran of the Muslim Brotherhood, he coordinated the military arm of Fatah, served on the executive committee of the PLO and was a member of the Palestinian National Congress. “Not exactly a small fish,” as the intrepid Pedro Gonzalez notes, and the father Yasser al-Najjar is also of interest.
In 1973, Israeli commandos killed Muhammad Yusuf al-Najjar and his wife in Beirut. The king of Morocco then adopted Yasser al-Najjar, who lived in Egypt until 1981, when he moved to San Diego County and met his wife Abigail. How the son of a high-profile terrorist managed to enter the United States is a matter of some mystery, and so are his trips to Gaza.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, “Yasser al-Najjar later moved from California to Gaza,” and “Campa also lived there from ages nine to 12 before returning to San Diego just before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.” Why anybody would leave San Diego, “America’s Finest City,” for Gaza is an interesting question. And once in Gaza, where his grandfather was a hero, why return to the United States?
None of this emerged in 2012 when Ammar Campa-Najjar served on POTUS 44’s reelection campaign and secured a position in the White House. The American establishment media did not turn up his grandfather’s role in the Munich massacre. That emerged in a February, 2018, Haaretz piece headlined “Grandson of Munich Massacre Terrorist Is Running for Congress.” The revelation was not in the campaign materials of grandson Ammar Campa-Najjar, which said only that he was “the son of a Mexican American mother and a Middle Eastern immigrant father.”
When the grandfather’s role at Munich could not be denied, Campa-Najjar said he had “hoped this tragedy wouldn’t be politicized.” When Hunter raised the issue, local and national media blasted him as Islamophobic, racist, and desperate. Hunter prevailed but the Democrat is back, with a new outlook on his grandfather.
“I condemned him because I presumed — I accepted the premise that my grandfather was absolutely the mastermind or involved in the Munich attack,” Campa-Najjar told Newsweek in July, “And if he was, hell, I would be the one to take him out.” On the other hand “Now, I found that it’s disputed. So, upon that evidence, you can’t have your beliefs immune to evidence.”
That comes from New York Times Magazine writer Ronen Bergman, who contends that Abu Yousef al-Najjar was not involved in the Munich terrorist attack nor part of Black September. On the other hand, Barton Gellman wrote in the Washington Post in 1996, Muhammad Yusuf al-Najjar, “was a senior leader of the PLO’s Black September extremist wing. He helped plan the attack at the 1972 Munich Summer Olympics that killed 11 Israeli athletes.”
Son Yasser Najjar, then 34 and a mid-level manager in the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, “is proud of his father and refuses to accept that killing athletes was more repugnant than the violence of Israeli occupation over the years.” Yasser Najjar explains, “he was a different generation. We will never measure up to him and people like him.” Nothing in Gellman’s 3,000-work piece notes Yasser Najjar’s move to San Diego, California, nor his son Ammar, born there on February 24, 1989.
Ammar Campa-Najjar’s story is full of trap doors and escape hatches, just like Dreams from My Father, which POTUS 44’s official biographer David Garrow proclaimed a novel, and the author a composite character. So is Ammar Campa-Najjar, billed as a working-class progressive, a “Latino Arab-American,” and a “Palestinian-Mexican.”
The Democrat-media axis charged that anyone less than worshipful of the former Barry Soetoro was racist. In similar style, explains the headline on Abcarian’s piece, “Ammar Campa-Najjar is running again despite racist attacks in midterms.”
Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar, grandson of Muhammad Abu Yousef al-Najjar, and son of Yasser al-Najjar, spent time in Gaza then returned to California, where he became a member of Obama Youth. The 2018 loser is telling voters, he’ll be their congressman whether it takes two, four or ten years.
The “GOP brawl” with Darrell Issa et al will surely make things interesting. Still, if voters continue to see the progressive Palestinian-Mexican as the Munichian candidate it would be hard to blame them.