It seems as if Maher Abdel Qader of the Palestinian American Congress is everywhere. He knows everyone, at least in the Democrat Party, and has a hand in everything. He is close to Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Ramallah) and Cori Bush (D-Race Hate Hysteria), as well as a prominent former congressman, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison. Abdel Qader has also hosted numerous fundraisers for New York City Mayor Eric Adams and was part of a committee putting together a fundraiser for Jesse Jackson’s son Jonathan Jackson, who is running for the House in Illinois. There are lots of well-connected, well-heeled people out there, but Abdel Qader is striking because he is a vociferous anti-Semite. So why is he palling around with so many prominent Democrats? Apparently, their views are compatible.
Abdel Qader appears to be closest to Tlaib, who has, according to Fox News, “participated in several events with Abdel Qader over the years, with the most recent fundraiser posted to his Instagram account on September 25, 2021. One day after the fundraiser, Abdel Qader posted a picture of himself alongside Tlaib on a Manhattan, New York, rooftop. He has been quite generous to Tlaib: “Abdel Qader has not only been a key fundraiser for Tlaib, donating $6,500 to her campaign since 2018, but he was also the chairman of her finance committee during her successful 2018 Congressional campaign. Tlaib introduced Abdel Qader by the title at a campaign event. And in 2018, Tlaib presented Abdel Qader with a medal as a sign of gratitude for his help with her inaugural campaign.”
Tlaib, a vehement critic of Israel, was apparently untroubled by Abdel Qader’s anti-Semitism. The other Democrat candidates Abdel Qader supported didn’t seem to be bothered by it, either. In May, Abdel Qader posted on Instagram: “May 18, 2022, Fundraiser for Keith Ellison the 30th attorney general of the State of Minnesota in Manhattan- New York. Also attended by Michael J. Garner, Chief Diversity Officer, MTA Department of Diversity and Civil Rights.” Of course it was. Of Jonathan Jackson, Abdel Qader wrote: “Jonathan Jackson son of Jesse Jackson/ Chicago is running for congress and needs our support. He is a staunch supporter of Palestine, Palestinians and our Arab American community.”
As for Cori Bush, Fox reported that “in early November, Abdel Qader posted a Bush fundraising flier for a reception hosted by the St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee and the Muslim Community of St. Louis, which solicited donations between $100 and $2,500 for Bush’s campaign, according to the flier. It appears he donated $250 to her campaign for the fundraiser.” Apparently, Abdel Qader likes Tlaib better than Bush.
The oddest friend of Abdel Qader is Eric Adams, who has courted New York’s Jewish community and appointed two Orthodox Jews to his administration. But they are friends nonetheless. Early in 2021, Abdel Qader was one of only six community leaders to speak with Adams on a Zoom call and talk over the then-candidate’s “campaign vision [and] issues,” as well as to “engage in his campaign.” Abdel Qader noted in an Instagram post that has apparently been removed that Adams was “on board with our community and will stand to support us.” Then in September 2021, Abdel Qader posted on Instagram in another post that was later removed or concealed: “Arab and Muslim community leaders met at Marriott hotel – LaGuardia and held a Fundraising for Eric Adams the democratic nominee for New York City mayor….Event was organized by the Muslim Agenda 2021 Coalition.”
It is, therefore, clear that Adams was publicly friendly with Abdel Qader years after Abdel Qader posted an article on Facebook in 2016 that charged Jews with being “satanic” and claimed that they “practice subversion and treason.” In 2017, Abdel Qader posted a list of the Jewish members of Congress, headed “U.S. Senators and Congressmen with Duel [sic] Citizenship with Israel,” strongly implying that those listed have dual loyalty to Israel and the United States, as Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Mogadishu) alleged back in 2019. In November 2019, he shared a video that repeated the claim that Jews are “satanic” and added the paranoid anti-Semitic trope that they control the media, while he also minimized the Holocaust.
Was Adams’ campaign so careless that it didn’t pick up this material about Abdel Qader? Or was Adams’ election such a sure thing, since New York is essentially a one-party state with a moribund Republican Party, that the campaign figured that Abdel Qader’s anti-Semitism simply didn’t matter? The worst possibility is that Adams’ campaign calculated that Abdel Qader’s anti-Semitism would resonate with the Democrats’ hateful, far-Left, pro-BDS base and counterbalance the street cred the candidate lost by being a former police officer.
Is anti-Semitism now so mainstream on the Left that an open Jew-hater such as Maher Abdel Qader can become an influential mover and shaker for Democrat candidates? There doesn’t seem to be any doubt as to the answer.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 23 books including many bestsellers, such as The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), The Truth About Muhammad and The History of Jihad. His latest book is The Critical Qur’an. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.