Dearborn, Michigan, mayor Abdullah Hammoud (D.) has called Israel an "apartheid system," falsely accused Israel of bombing a Gaza hospital, and called for the eradication of the Jewish state. Now, he will serve on a blue-ribbon State Department panel working to "shape a foreign policy for all Americans."
The State Department last week tapped Hammoud for its Assembly of Local Leaders program. The Democrat joins a group of state governors and big city mayors on the "first-of-its kind" initiative to help the agency identify "key issues that affect their communities."
For Hammoud, who represents one of the largest Arab-American enclaves in the country, one of those key issues is the anti-Israel cause. In a 2021 Facebook post, he wrote "from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free," a rallying cry for the annihilation of the Jewish state. Hammoud said Hamas’s invasion of Israel on Oct. 7 was "inevitable" because of Israel’s "decades of illegal military occupation and imprisonment of Gaza." He pushed Hamas’s false propaganda that Israel—"emboldened by a green light from the Biden administration"—killed 500 Palestinians in the bombing of Al-Ahli Arab hospital in Gaza. The Biden administration has since said the rocket in question was fired by the Gaza-based terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Those sentiments could raise questions for the Biden administration, which has come under fire for mixed messages of support for Israel. While President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken have condemned the Hamas attacks, the State Department’s Office of Palestinian Affairs faced scrutiny for urging a ceasefire shortly after the Hamas invasion, in which 1,300 Israelis were slaughtered.
The attacks also called into question the administration’s past affiliations with pro-Hamas organizations. Earlier this year, the Biden White House picked the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) to work on its "National Strategy to Combat Anti-Semitism." CAIR has been linked to Hamas, and its leaders have pushed a variety of anti-Israel measures. CAIR president Nihad Awad on Friday derogatorily referred to Biden as a "Zionist" because the president has not called for a cease fire in the Israel-Hamas war.
The State Department has given millions of dollars in aid to organizations in Gaza and the West Bank, the Washington Free Beacon reported. Two recipients, Al-Quds University and Al-Quds Open University, have a history of hosting Hamas rallies. Both praised Hamas terrorists as "righteous martyrs" after the recent terrorist attack.
The State Department official leading the diplomatic initiative, Nina Hachigian, has a history of going easy on American adversaries. Hachigian, the State Department’s special representative for city and state diplomacy, worked closely in the past with Chinese Communist Party influence groups and urged American policymakers to "embrace China." At the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, Hachigian was part of a program with a CCP-linked think tank that proposed "exchanges of military personnel" between the American military and the People’s Liberation Army to strengthen the U.S.-China relationship.
Hachigian said the Assembly of Local Leaders program convenes "incredible leaders" who will "shape a foreign policy for all Americans." The State Department and Hammoud’s office did not respond to requests for comment.