LOS ANGELES — State Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), the Democratic nominee for Congress in the 33rd congressional district, will not say whether he will return an award he received from the Council on Islamic-American Relations (CAIR), a group with alleged ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.
The 33rd district is currently represented by Henry Waxman (D-CA), one of the most pro-Israel members of Congress, who is retiring after forty years in Washington.
Lieu has long-standing ties with both CAIR and the Muslim Political Affairs Council (MPAC), which he addressed in 2011 on the subject of “Islamophobia.”
“CAIR has a number of links to the terror organization Hamas,” wrote Daniel Pipes and Sharon Chadha in 2006, detailing the circumstances of the organization’s founding, and noting that it often “fools” the political establishment of both parties.
In 2007, CAIR was one of nearly 250 organizations to be named as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in a case involving the Holy Land Foundation, which was convicted of funding money to the terrorist group Hamas. Prosecutors alleged that CAIR, and some of CAIR’s founders, were members of the Muslim Brotherhood movement’s “Palestine Committee” in the United States.
Hamas has been designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S., Israel, Canada, Egypt, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Jordan, and Japan.
Breitbart News Network twice contacted Lieu’s campaign via email, asking whether he would consider returning the 2012 CAIR award to the organization. His aides did not respond to the question. Instead, they issued the following statement:
Senator Lieu has repeatedly called for Hamas to stop launching rockets into Israel. Senator Lieu believes Israel has the absolute right to self defense. He believes Israel has the absolute right to destroy Hamas’ rockets and to destroy all of Hamas’ tunnels into Israel. Senator Lieu stood with Israel in 2007 when he was a principal coauthor of California’s law to divest California’s pension funds from Iran’s nuclear and energy industries, and he stands with Israel today against Hamas.
On July 30 of this year, CAIR’s Connecticut branch issued a press release calling for “state government to sever ties with Israel.” The press release, which says that Israel “wages a war against innocent and unarmed civilians,” is proudly featured on CAIR’s main website.
The 33rd congressional district, which has a large Jewish community, has long been seen as one of the most pro-Israel districts in the United States. Lieu is facing Republican Elan Carr in the November election. Carr, a prosecutor, is also fluent in Hebrew.
This article has been updated.