Anti-Trump ‘Jewish Rally for Refugees’ Organizer Funded by Obama Government to Resettle Refugees

Demonstrators hold up signs during a rally in Battery Park organized by the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society to mark a National Day of Jewish Action for Refugees, Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

TEL AVIV – A Jewish group that organized a “Jewish Rally for Refugees” in New York on Sunday was massively funded by the federal government under the Obama administration to resettle refugees.

In attendance at the rally was Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), who used the platform to compare the Trump administration to the Third Reich.

“Those same people who sent Jews back to the Third Reich never left,” stated Ellison. “We will stand up, we will stand together and we will say, refugees are welcome here.”

Those statements are instrumental coming from Ellison, a politician who in the 1980s and ’90s was reportedly associated with the anti-Semitic Nation of Islam and defended the radical group’s controversial leader, Louis Farrakhan.

Other speakers at Sunday’s rally included New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, and New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer.

De Blasio also channeled the Holocaust at the event.

The mayor stated:

From the German pastor Martin Niemoller at the time of the Nazi regime and the Holocaust, he famously said: “First they came for the socialists and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak up because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak out, because I was not a Jew. And then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.”

I bring that to you today because this is why we need solidarity. An attack on refugees is an attack on all of us. An attack on our Constitution hurts all of us. Any attempt to divide people by religion hurts all of us. And it leads us to someplace dangerous. And that’s why we stand up against President Trump’s executive order.

The New York rally was organized by the nonprofit HIAS, which describes itself as standing “for a world in which refugees find welcome, safety, and freedom.”

Unmentioned in much of the news media coverage about the rally is that HIAS has taken in large sums of federal grants to help resettle refugees.

Haaretz, for example, described HIAS as “the global Jewish nonprofit that protects refugees.”

The Jerusalem Post described the organization as a “global Jewish nonprofit organization that works to protect refugees.”

Local Fox 5 simply labeled HIAS as “the global Jewish nonprofit.”

HIAS is more than that, as this reporter previously documented.

HIAS specializes in refugee resettlement and in 2015 received 65.3 percent of its annual $25 million budget from government grants.

Annual grants include funds from the State Department and the Office of Refugee Resettlement in the Department of Health and Human Services.  Another major donor is the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

In 2015, the State Department provided $17,663,704 and the Department of Health and Human Services gave another $2,765,195.

The fiscal year 2014 saw a $16,959,850 State Department grant and $2,546,469 in funds from the Department of Health and Human Services.

Guidestar documented that in 2013, HIAS received $16,261,661 from government and intergovernmental agencies and took in a total of $31,218,870 in revenue.

In 2012, $14,707,399 in government grants was donated to HIAS and the organization produced $27,677,240 in revenue.

In 2008, the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations, a division of the UN Economic and Social Council, officially accepted HIAS as an accredited NGO.

HIAS openly states on its website that it is the “only Jewish organization designated by the federal government to undertake” refugee resettlement, which “lies at the heart of HIAS’ work.”

The group is partners with local Refugee Assistance Organizations around the country to “ensure successful integration.”

“Although this can be a long process requiring the participation of many actors, refugees bring the resilience and resourcefulness that saved their lives at home,” HIAS relates.

HIAS was an acronym that previously stood for the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society and it originally worked to resettle Jewish emigrants from Russia.  It dropped the full title and only goes by the acronym now.  Mark Hetfield, HIAS president and CEO,told the Washington Jewish Week in December 2014 the word “Hebrew” was exclusionary and outdated, comparing it with the use of the word “colored” to refer to African Americans.

 Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.

With additional research by Brenda J. Elliott and Joshua Klein.


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