J Street, the controversial brainchild of George Soros and friends, calls itself “pro-Israel,” but those whom it attracts to its functions paint an entirely different picture for the group. Case in point: Last week, during J Street’s “kickoff event” in South Florida, the former leader of a Hamas-related charity, Sofian Abdelaziz Zakkout, showed up to attend the function and was welcomed by applause.
J Street was established in April 2008 by former senior domestic policy advisor to President Bill Clinton, Jeremy Ben-Ami, with the backing of left wing financier George Soros and other liberal interests. The group bills itself as an alternative to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and other Israel lobby organizations it (J Street) considers to be too aligned with the political right.
On Sunday, August 25th, Young Zionists (YZ), an organization this author is a spokesman for, held a demonstration in Sunrise, Florida against J Street, outside the Soref Jewish Community Center (JCC), where the group was holding its inaugural event.
The YZ demonstration, which focused on J Street’s anti-Israel activities, featured speeches made by this author and Dennis Brown, the former South Florida District President of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA). Signs read: “J Street – the Road to Israel’s Destruction,” “Jihad Street,” and “Terrorists Walk on J Street.”
As the demonstration was winding to a close, a dark minivan drove up and snapped a photo of the protest-goers. As the vehicle was driving away, this author thought he recognized the logo that was fastened to the outside of the driver’s door, so we took a small party to investigate the matter.
The minivan was located, and this author was correct. The logo on it was that of American Muslims for Emergency Relief (AMER), a North Miami Beach Islamist charity run by the American Muslim Association of North America (AMANA).
AMANA was incorporated in September 1999. For years, the group has propagated, via its website and events, material attacking various entities, including Jews, Christians and homosexuals. A little over one month ago, an anti-Semitic video of white supremacist leader David Duke was placed atop the homepage of the AMANA site.
As well, AMANA has put a number of terror-related links on its site. These include links to Jihad in Chechnya (Qoqaz.net), one of the main websites that was raising funds and recruiting fighters for al-Qaeda and the Taliban, and the al-Haramain Foundation (AHF), an Islamic charity that has been banned worldwide by the United Nations for, as well, being a financing arm to al-Qaeda and the Taliban.
Today, on AMANA’s homepage, one can find a graphic link to Islam Online (IOL), a website that is run by the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an individual banned from entering the U.S. According to fatwas (religious rulings) currently located on IOL, it is “obligatory” for Muslims to attack American troops overseas, suicide bombing is not really suicide, and throwing homosexuals off of tall buildings is proper punishment for homosexuals.
Additionally, the former Executive Director of the South Florida chapter of the Hamas-related Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Miami) and organizer of violent, anti-Semitic Palestinian rallies, Muhammed Malik, is a volunteer coordinator for AMANA’s “charity” AMER..
We made our way to where the J Street affair was taking place. Peering inside the meeting room, amidst roughly 40 others was the radical behind both AMANA and AMER (and the person responsible for putting the Duke video on the AMANA site), Sofian Abdelaziz Zakkout.
Zakkout is a native of Gaza, who grew up in Kuwait and moved to the U.S. in 1977. Since he has been in the States, he has worked hard to become involved with extremist Muslim organizations, including ones beyond AMANA and AMER.
Shortly after AMANA’s incorporation, Zakkout was named the Vice President of the Health Resource Center for Palestine (HRCP), a Hamas-related charity then-based in Deerfield Beach, Florida. Zakkout’s colleague at HRCP – HRCP’s Secretary/Treasurer – Syed Khawer Ahmad, was the then-webmaster and creator of the official website of the Islamic Association, Al-Jamiya Al-Islamia, the Gaza-based parent organization of Hamas.
It is these affiliations for Zakkout that caused him to, this past July, lose his appointed position he held on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
All of this considered however, according to different sources, Zakkout, along with three others attending the J Street kickoff – all identifying themselves as “Palestinians” – when introduced, received applause from the J Street audience.
Question: If J Street is as pro-Israel as it says it is, why would the group be attracting (and applauding) someone connected to Hamas?
The answer is that J Street is nothing but a lie – a political ruse to get Democrats and other left leaning individuals identifying themselves as Zionists to become involved with an anti-Israel organization. Indeed, whenever Israel does anything significant to defend her nation, J Street goes on the attack.
So when someone like Zakkout, whose organizations openly target Israel, whose group AMANA posted a video onto its site stating, “Please help us protect our children from the Zionist jews” –– When someone like Zakkout attends one of J Street’s events, it is fitting to say the least.
Joe Kaufman is the Chairman of Americans Against Hate and the spokesman for Young Zionists. He has been responsible for the closure of at least one terror-related charity and has convinced a number of government officials to shun the Hamas front group, CAIR. In June 2009, he won a lawsuit brought against him by seven Dallas-area radical Muslim organizations.