Coalition Backing Holy Land Foundation Tainted By Radical Associations, Support For Terror
New York, NY, August 14, 2007 … A coalition organized to support the embattled Holy Land Foundation (HLF) against federal charges of funding terrorism is "tainted" by the involvement of three organizations with a history of sympathizing with terrorist groups, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
"Hungry for Justice," a coalition established to speak out in support of the HLF through a Web site and a series of planned public events, claims the federal charges and ongoing trial in Dallas are part of a "politically driven" anti-Muslim witch-hunt and an attempt to single out Muslim charitable organizations in this country. The coalition includes the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Muslim American Society (MAS) and the ANSWER Coalition.
"If you look at these three groups and their histories, it is ironic, but not surprising that they would come to the aid and defense of a charity accused of funneling funds to Hamas," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "These groups are tainted by their own murky associations with radical organizations and individuals and, in some cases, expressions of solidarity with terrorist groups targeting Israelis."
The federal government alleges that the HLF charity served as a front for raising funds in the United States for Hamas, a Palestinian terrorist group that has carried out hundreds of attacks against Israeli civilians.
The following are excerpts from ADL's backgrounders on three of the groups that are part of the "Hungry for Justice" coalition:
• The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization founded by leaders of the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), a Hamas affiliated anti-Semitic propaganda organization. CAIR has never been willing to unequivocally condemn Hezbollah and Palestinian terror organizations, which the United States and international community have condemned and isolated. CAIR has participated in and endorsed several rallies where support for terrorist groups was undeniable, including a rally in Washington, D.C. on April 20, 2002, in which CAIR's director spoke from the podium next to a Hezbollah flag.
• The Muslim American Society portrays itself as a mainstream organization that attempts to serve the social, educational and religious needs of American Muslims. However, the organization has a troubling history of associations with radical organizations and individuals that promote terrorism and anti-Semitism, and reject Israel's right to exist. One MAS leader said that the group was founded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamic extremist movement founded in Egypt that has spawned and inspired global terrorist groups, including the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas. MAS-affiliated Web sites have featured articles advocating Jihad and suicide martyrdom.
• The ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) Coalition has organized scores of antiwar demonstrations in the U.S. since its founding by the New York-based International Action Center (IAC) in 2001 and has played a key role in inserting anti-Israel sentiment into the antiwar movement. In addition to claims that Israel is guilty of "war crimes" against Palestinians and that Israel is a "racist state," ANSWER events, which often attract protestors by the tens of thousands, have openly supported terror groups targeting Israelis, as well as the "resistance" fighting American forces in Iraq. This environment has led to displays of anti-Semitic sentiments, such as signs comparing Israeli leaders to Nazis or equating the Jewish Star of David with the Nazi swastika.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.