A Hamas financier who has organized campaign fundraising events for Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) accused Israel of bringing brutal terrorist attacks upon its civilians with its "genocidal war against the people of Gaza."
Salah Sarsour on Tuesday shared a flier for a "Gathering In Support of the People of Gaza" sponsored by the Islamic Society of Milwaukee, for which he serves as president. The flier, posted on Sarsour’s Facebook page, accused the Israeli government of "intentionally bombing" buildings filled with "innocent people." It makes no mention of the fact that the Israeli military is attacking Hamas targets in Gaza in response to the terrorist group’s surprise invasion of the Jewish state, which has resulted in the deaths of over 1,000 Israelis and 14 Americans.
Such a glaring omission is unsurprising from Sarsour, who played a direct role in raising funds for a Hamas front group in the late 1990s, according to an FBI memorandum. Sarsour now serves on the national board of American Muslims for Palestine, which issued a statement Saturday claiming "Israeli violence" was the root cause of the Hamas invasion.
"The onus rests with the Israel apartheid regime to end the brutal siege on Gaza, or else the Palestinians will find themselves compelled to end it themselves as we’ve seen in the past 48 hours," Sarsour’s group said.
— American Muslims for Palestine (@AMPalestine) October 9, 2023
It’s a position Sarsour shares with Tlaib, for whom he co-hosted a fundraising event in July 2018. Tlaib blamed Israel for Hamas’s attack on the country, saying in a statement Saturday that Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip has created "conditions that can lead to resistance." Sarsour personally donated $1,000 to Tlaib’s campaign in 2018.
American Muslims for Palestine was founded in 2004 to evade a $156 million judgment levied against its predecessor organizations for financing the Hamas slaying of an American teenager in the West Bank in 1996, the Washington Examiner reported. In a Sunday statement, the group claimed it would be "inhumane and unjust" to expect Palestinians to not rise up and indiscriminately murder Israeli citizens.
The group’s ties to Hamas have not deterred Tlaib, who highlighted the group’s endorsement of her anti-Semitic resolution in May mourning Israel’s founding as a "catastrophe." Tlaib’s fellow members of the "Squad," Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.), Cori Bush (D., Mo.), and Jamaal Bowman (D., N.Y.) also endorsed the resolution.
Nor is Sarsour the only member of American Muslims for Palestine who has bankrolled Tlaib’s campaign. The group’s executive director, Osama Abuirshaid, contributed $500 to the Democratic lawmaker in May 2022, Federal Election Commission records show.
Abuirshaid is unabashed in his support of Hamas and other terrorist groups, according to statements compiled by the Canary Mission, a group that combats anti-Semitism. He once called the Muslim Brotherhood the "most pure and most clear people on this Earth" and in March 2014 he called on his followers to spit in the face of anyone who insults Hamas.
"The Arab apostates allied with the despicable Jews and the hating Crusaders," Abuirshaid said in a July 2014 Facebook post, according to the Canary Mission. "But Allah is more powerful than them. They want to defeat Hamas and disarm Gaza. However, they forgot that Gaza’s men only know victory. For them it is either jihad, victory or martyrdom."