Video emerged Thursday of Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), celebrating the October 7 terror attack by Hamas in which 1200 people were murdered in Israel and more than 240 were abducted as hostages.
Awad’s speech on November 24 to the American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) convention in Chicago was reported at the time, but was largely overlooked; it resurfaced Thursday when shared by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad at AMP Convention: I Was Happy to See the People of Gaza Break the Siege on October 7; They Were Victorious; the People of Gaza Have the Right to Self-Defense – Israel Does Not #Hamas #Gaza #Palestinians @CAIRNational @NihadAwad pic.twitter.com/WDbSRjFJo0
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) December 7, 2023
The people of Gaza only decided to break the siege, the walls of the concentration camp, on October 7. And yes, I was happy to see people breaking the siege and throwing down the shackles of their own land, and walk free into their land, which they were not allowed to walk in. And yes, the people of Gaza have the right to self-defense, have the right to defend themselves, and yes, Israel, as an occupying power, does not have that right to self-defense.
Gaza became the liberation source, the inspiration for people.
Israel did not scare them, because they knew their heaven is in Gaza, and if they would like to die, they will go to another heaven. That is the faith of the people of Gaza. That is why Gaza and the people of Gaza were able to transform everyone who is watching – they have learned from these people. Those who felt bad for Gaza – they don’t understand the equation. Those who thought that Gazans are less than those who can help them, they are mistaken. They are mistaken. The Gazans were victorious.
As Breitbart news has noted:
In 2007-8, CAIR was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the terror financing trial of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development. That case, in turn, led the FBI to discontinue its work with the organization. In 2009, a federal judge ruled that the government “produced ample evidence to establish” the ties of CAIR with Hamas, the Palestinian terror organization. The United Arab Emirates labeled CAIR a terrorist organization in 2014 (a decision that the Obama administration opposed).
The Biden administration also worked with CAIR, despite its radical and antisemitic history, in shaping the so-called “strategy” on antisemitism earlier this year. As Breitbart News reported, CAIR boasted that it helped protect extreme criticism of Israel within the White House’s strategy, which was a reversal of existing policy under previous administrations of both parties.
Awad’s enthusiasm for the terror attack was shared, as Breitbart News reported, by radical groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine, who saw images of unarmed Israelis running for their lives as evidence that Israelis would begin to flee their country.
Awad’s view that Israel does not have the right to self-defense is shared by pro-Palestinian intellectuals such as Rashid Khalidi.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.