Center for American Progress president Patrick Gaspard, known for praising an anti-Semitic black nationalist who called Hitler "the greatest white man," is leading the charge to urge President Joe Biden to secure a "robust ceasefire" in Israel.
Gaspard last week published a CAP article that accused Biden of handing Israel "a blank check for collective punishment that brutalizes innocent civilians" and called on the president to "urge an immediate humanitarian ceasefire." Days later, when Israel's government approved a deal with Hamas that will free 50 women and children hostages held in Gaza in exchange for a four-day fighting pause, Gaspard praised the deal as "vital" but lamented that it did not go far enough.
"President Biden and Secretary [of State Antony] Blinken can build on this progress to urge a more robust ceasefire to alleviate the humanitarian crisis," he said in a Tuesday statement.
Gaspard's push for an Israeli ceasefire that would allow Hamas to regroup and launch further terror attacks against the Jewish state comes after the left-wing think tank president sparked controversy over his praise for an anti-Semitic black nationalist.
Gaspard, who served as president of George Soros's Open Society Foundations before joining CAP, slammed former president Bill Clinton for condemning Stokely Carmichael at civil rights leader John Lewis's 2020 funeral. Carmichael in the 1960s expelled whites from his organization, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and went on to praise Hitler as the "greatest white man." Carmichael during a 1990 address at the University of Maryland also complained that "Zionist pigs have been harassing us everywhere. … And when this anger rises, [we] will snap our fingers and finish them off."
Gaspard responded to Clinton's denunciation of Carmichael by defending the anti-Semitic black nationalist as one who "gave all for us."
"I didn't want to tweet this during the funeral for John Lewis, but who is Bill Clinton to show up at a black funeral to attack Stokely Carmichael? Stokely was ours," Gaspard wrote in a now-deleted social media post. "He was targeted for destruction by the FBI and forced into exile. He gave all for us. Bill Clinton ain't no hero."
CAP did not return a request for comment. Gaspard joined the think tank as its president in June 2021 following stints at the Obama administration, the Democratic National Committee, and Soros's grant-making network. That network has showered CAP with funding.
While Gaspard is far from the only prominent liberal to call for an Israeli ceasefire—anti-Semitic members of Congress such as Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) have also made such calls—his think tank is known for its influence on the Biden administration.
Biden nominated CAP's former president, Neera Tanden, to lead his Office of Management and Budget, but Tanden withdrew her nomination after facing criticism in the Senate over past tweets that railed against Republicans. Tanden, who deleted more than 1,000 tweets during the confirmation process, went on to replace Susan Rice as head of Biden's Domestic Policy Office.
Biden last year tapped former CAP official Nina Hachigian to serve in the State Department as a special representative for subnational diplomacy, a newly created position aimed at countering China. But Hachigian while at CAP joined officials from a Chinese Communist Party-backed foundation on a 2013 trip to Beijing. CAP and the foundation after the trip issued a joint report that called for "exchanges of military personnel" between America's military and the People's Liberation Army.
CAP has sent so many of its staffers to the Biden administration that a senior vice president at the think tank complained in a 2021 email exchange that the administration "keep[s] taking our good people."
"You all keep taking our good people … so it's safe to say that I'm a little behind," the CAP official, Christy Goldfuss, told senior State Department adviser Jesse Young.