Education Secretary Miguel Cardona hosted a meeting this month with an anti-Israel activist who has praised Hamas and Hezbollah and called for violence against Israel.
Cardona on Nov. 15 met with 13 activists—including Palestine Legal advocacy manager Lina Assi—to address the "extremely disturbing pattern of hate and threats of violence in schools and college campuses" following Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack on Israel. Assi has called Iran and its terrorist proxy, Hezbollah, "crucial and important" in "resisting imperialism" in the Middle East. As a student activist, she led a crowd in a chant of "Viva, viva Intifada," a call for violent uprising against the Jewish state.
Assi’s organization represents Students for Justice in Palestine, an anti-Israel student group that projected the pro-Hamas statement "Glory to our martyrs" on buildings at George Washington University. Palestine Legal is representing the Students for Justice in Palestine chapter at the University of Florida, which was kicked off campus for expressing solidarity with Hamas in its "Day of Resistance Toolkit."
Cardona’s meeting is the latest example of the Biden administration recruiting terrorist sympathizers for anti-terrorism initiatives. The White House earlier this year tapped the Council on American-Islamic Relations as part of its "national strategy to counter antisemitism." CAIR allegedly funded Hamas front groups in the 2000s, and blamed Israel for the "root causes" of last month’s attack. The Department of Homeland Security has awarded millions of dollars in grants to mosques that have pushed anti-Semitic views and condoned Hamas’s attack on Israel, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
Cardona hosted Assi weeks after she urged the Department of Education to address what she claimed is a "surge in anti-Palestinian and Islamophobic racism" on campuses across the country. Assi asserted in a letter to the department last month that "Israel blatantly conducts a genocide in Palestine."
Cardona met with officials from other groups—Emgage, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, and Arab American Institute—that have blamed Israel for provoking the Hamas attack. An official with the Muslim Students Association who met with Cardona has said he "wouldn’t be surprised if Israel is behind [Jeffrey] Epstein’s pedophilia ring."
Assi was the subject of an investigation at Canada’s McMaster University in 2017 after her tweets calling for violence against Israel surfaced. She shared a Hamas parliamentarian's sermon calling Israel "the vilest and most despicable nation in history."
In October 2017, Assi wrote: "Hezbollah and Iran's role in resisting imperialism in the region is important and crucial, and I commend their role," according to Canary Mission, which tracks anti-Semitism. She later stated it was "important to give credit to Hezbollah," Iran, and North Korea for "providing material support, military training and safe havens," for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a terrorist group behind suicide bombings and airplane hijackings in the 1960s and 1970s.
In 2019, Assi led protesters in Toronto in the chant, "Viva, viva Intifada," a call for violent uprising against Israel. She said, "Palestinians have a right to resist by any means necessary!"
More recently, she promoted a "resistance arts" scholarship in honor of Ghassan Kanafani, a leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Free Beacon found.
It is unclear whether the Department of Education was aware of Assi’s remarks before hosting her. The agency did not respond to a request for comment. Palestine Legal did not respond to a request for comment.