Democrat candidate Ammar Campa-Najjar is the grandson of Palestinian terrorist Muhammad Youssef al-Najjar, who was involved in the massacre of eleven Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany. He was also the deputy to Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) terrorist leader Yasser Arafat.
The issue has come up in Campa-Najjar’s run against incumbent Republican Duncan Hunter in California’s 50th congressional district.
Campa-Najjar condemned his grandfather’s actions earlier this year, but called him a “legend” in a 2015 Instagram post. Bits and pieces of that “legend” are littered around the web — including on the Facebook page of his father Yasser al-Najjar, a former Palestinian diplomat, who still calls his father a “martyr.”
In a 2009 interview, Yasser al-Najjar told a Norwegian newspaper that former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak had “personally” killed his father in 1973.
The details of that raid — one of Barak’s legendary exploits as Israel’s most decorated soldier — were recalled by the Israeli news website Ynet.com in 2014:
The raid began on the night of April 9 when Israeli Navy ships brought the combat soldiers to the coast just off of Beirut, where commando boats were waiting them and ferryed them to the shore. When they reached the shore, the soldiers, disguised as civilians, entered vehicles driven by Mossad agents who then took them to their different targets.
While off the coast of Beirut, Barak changed clothes, disguising himself as a brunette while his deputy Muki Betser dressed as a blonde woman. Once on land, Barak led his troops into the buildings where their targets were located.
A Lebanese army officer described the scene, saying: “Wherever there was an Israeli, you could see fire, probably from burning buildings and fire bombs.”
Abu Yusuf, who served as chairman of the Palestinians in Beirut, an umbrella organization consolidating of all the Palestinian terrorist movements in Lebanon, was killed near the Metropol hotel. Yusuf was also head of the political department of the PLO’s Executive Committee.
It is not clear whether that family history would affect Campa-Najjar’s policies in office. Barak is on the Israeli left; Campa-Najjar has said he wants to see peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Breitbart News reported earlier this month that he accepted a donation from a Palestinian ambassador.
The race in the 50th district became competitive after Hunter was indicted on federal charges of mis-using campaign funds. Hunter protests his innocence and says that the charges against him are “politically motivated.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.