CAIR Director and Former Women's March Leader Calls Pro-Israel Group 'Enemies'

Zahra Billoo at Muslim-American conference: Pro-Israel organizations are 'working to harm you'

CAIR San Francisco executive director Zahra Billoo / Vimeo
December 8, 2021

The Council on American-Islamic Relations's Bay Area director called pro-Israel Jewish groups and synagogues "enemies" that "are working to harm you" in a speech to a Muslim-American conference in November.

Zahra Billoo, CAIR's San Francisco executive director, urged the audience to oppose "the polite Zionists, the ones that say, 'Let's just break bread together.'" She singled out "Zionist synagogues," campus Hillel groups, and even liberal-leaning Jewish groups such as the Anti-Defamation League as "enemies."

"We need to pay attention to the Anti-Defamation League. We need to pay attention to the Jewish Federation. We need to pay attention to the Zionist synagogues. We need to pay attention to the Hillel chapters on our campuses," said Billoo, according to video of the speech posted by the blog Israellycool. "Oppose the vehement fascists, but oppose the polite Zionist too. They are not your friends."

"They are your enemies. They are organizations and infrastructures out there that are working to harm you. Make no mistake about it. They would sell you down the line if they could. And they very often do behind your back," she added.

The annual American Muslims for Palestine convention in Chicago is the "largest gathering for Palestine in the U.S.," according to its website, and drew prominent activists including anti-Israel speaker and former Women's March organizer Linda Sarsour.

Billoo also told the audience to watch out for "the foreign policy organizations that say they're not Zionist but want a two-state solution" and praised the increasing opposition to Israel from progressive members of Congress such as Democratic representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (Mich.), and Ilhan Omar (Minn.).

"Eyes on the prize. Allah has promised us victory," said Billoo. "We've seen the incremental progress we have made even since the last in-person convention. If two Novembers ago we had said that dozens of members of Congress would support the cause of Palestine … we may have had some doubts. But we know that victory is in the cards for us."

Billoo was kicked off the Women's March board in 2019 after she claimed that she was more concerned about "racist Zionists who support apartheid Israel" than about ISIS—adding that she believes the FBI created ISIS by recruiting "mentally ill young people."

She blamed the board's decision on an "Islamophobic smear campaign led by the usual antagonists," according to the Times of Israel.

American Muslims for Palestine is at the center of an ongoing lawsuit involving allegations that it funded Hamas terrorists that killed an American teenager. The group has rejected the allegations as "Islamophobia." AMP has met with anti-Israel lawmakers on Capitol Hill, including Ocasio-Cortez, and hosted Tlaib at one of its virtual events in May.