Organizer of 2010 Gaza Flotilla Launches Congressional Campaign

Terrorist lawyer Huwaida Arraf says in campaign launch she's 'not afraid of a fight'

Anti-Israel activist Huwaida Arraf in 2010 (Abbas Momani/AFP via Getty Images)
November 11, 2021

An anti-Israel activist who helped organize the 2010 flotilla of ships to the Gaza Strip and was the lawyer for a Palestinian terrorist who killed two Jewish college students is running for Congress as a Democrat in Michigan.

Huwaida Arraf, who this week launched her campaign based on her record of "fighting injustice" on the world stage, is an activist lawyer who cofounded the International Solidarity Movement, which encourages anti-Israel activists to take "direct action" to force confrontations with Israeli forces. Arraf has used her status as an American citizen to protect Palestinian terrorists, including during the infamous 2010 flotilla to Gaza that was blocked by the Israeli military. The flotilla, which was paid for by a group with ties to terrorist organizations, was loaded up with weapons and military equipment for Hamas.

Arraf was also on the legal team for Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odeh, who planned a 1969 Jerusalem terrorist attack that killed two and injured several others. Odeh was released in a 1980 prisoner exchange and later moved to the United States, where she was granted citizenship after she lied on immigration forms. Documents show that Arraf joined Odeh's U.S. legal team in July 2016, as Odeh fought to maintain citizenship. Odeh was deported in 2017 by the Trump administration.

Arraf and the International Solidarity Movement did not respond to requests for comment.

Arraf's campaign comes as anti-Semites gain a foothold in the Democratic Party. Fellow Michigan activist Rashida Tlaib, first elected to Congress in 2018, has in just a few years become an influential member of the Democratic caucus.

The incumbent congresswoman whom Arraf is challenging told the Washington Free Beacon that the last thing the country needs is another "Squad" member.

"Huwaida Arraf is a Bernie Sanders-style socialist who does not share the views of Michigan's 10th Congressional District," Rep. Lisa McClain (R.) told the Free Beacon. "The last thing we need in Congress is another member of the Squad, and that's exactly who she would align with if elected."

Ron Weiser, the chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, agreed, telling the Free Beacon, "We don't need more extremists in Congress."

Arraf has been criticized by watchdog groups, such as NGO Monitor, for shielding terrorist groups. NGO Monitor points to a 2002 incident in which Arraf came to the aid of the armed terrorists who sieged a historic church in Bethlehem and murdered at least one civilian. Arraf told CNN that she organized a mission to provide food and water to the terrorists holed up in the church—and that the mission was also intended to shield those terrorists from the Israeli military.

Arraf said her group "put international activists inside in the hopes of providing an international civilian shield, if you will."

"During the April 2002 standoff between the Israeli army and terrorists in Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity, Arraf and a group of activists acted as voluntary human shields on behalf of the terrorists," NGO Monitor explains.

Her intentions were similar in the 2010 Gaza flotilla, which was aimed at forcing Israel to drop its blockade of goods to the terrorist-controlled Palestinian territory. Arraf's role, she explained later, was to put herself forward as an American citizen to dissuade Israeli security from using force to block the ships. "We tried to put our bodies in the way," Arraf explained. "We repeated that we're on an American flag vessel."

One of the activists associated with Arraf, Rachel Corrie, was killed while working for the International Solidarity Movement. Corrie, encouraged by Arraf's organization to go in harm's way to stop the Israeli military, attempted to interfere with Israel Defense Forces troops that moved to destroy a terrorist tunnel during the Second Intifada in 2003. Corrie was run over and killed by a bulldozer.

Arraf has a long record of glorifying and justifying Palestinian terrorism. Arraf in a 2002 article wrote that "Palestinian resistance must take on a variety of characteristics, both non-violent and violent."

"Yes, people will get killed and injured," she wrote, but these deaths are "no less noble than carrying out a suicide operation." Arraf added that she is "certain" that "if these men were killed during such an action, they would be considered shaheed [martyrs]."

The opening salvo of her congressional campaign indicates that she will promote her past work with terrorists.

"I have been beaten, shot at, imprisoned and hijacked at sea standing up to injustice on the global stage," Arraf said in her campaign-launch tweet. "I'm not afraid of a fight. Today, I'm announcing my campaign for Congress in Michigan's 10th District."

Democratic fundraising platform ActBlue, which this year has begun distancing itself from some controversial candidates, is being pushed to block Arraf from its services. Anti-Semitism watchdog Israel War Room called on the platform to remove Arraf over her ties to terrorism.

"@actblue should not allow their platform to fundraise for terrorists," the group wrote.

The fundraising giant in August kicked off former New York governor Andrew Cuomo (D.) in the wake of multiple accusations of sexual misconduct. Cuomo resigned that month. ActBlue did not respond to request for comment.