White House cuts ties with CAIR on antisemitism strategy after director says Hamas attacks made him ‘happy’

The Biden Administration announced Thursday that it had stopped working with the Council on American-Islamic Relations on a national antisemitism policy after one of CAIR’s top executives said he was “happy” to see Hamas’ terror attacks against Israel on October 7.

According to Middle East Media Research Institute, video footage of Nihad Awad’s shocking remarks at the 16th Annual Convention for Palestine held in Chicago on November 24, the CAIR cofounder and national executive Director Nihad Awad delivered the statement during the convention.

Awad stated that “the people of Gaza decided to break the wall of the concentration camps — the siege – only on October 7.” “Yes, I was glad to see people break the siege. They threw down the chains of their land and walked free in their land they were not allowed into.”

Yes, the people of Gaza do have the right to defense themselves. Israel, as an occupier power, does not have the right to self defense,” he said.

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CAIR was asked by the White House to launch a tour on May 25, “to educate religious communities about how they can protect their places of worship from hate crimes, such as instituting security measures, building strong relationships with other religion communities, and maintaining an open line of communication with local police.”

A White House spokesperson confirmed to The Post that the affiliation ended when Awad’s remarks were made public.

The Post quoted White House deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates as saying: “We condemn these shocking antisemitic remarks in the strongest possible terms.”

He added that the “horrible, brutal terrorist acts committed by Hamas” on October 7th, were “abhorrent”, and represented “unadulterated evil”. It was “the deadliest day for Jews since the Holocaust”.

Bates said, “The atrocities that took place on that day shocked the conscience. We will never forget the pain Hamas caused to so many innocents.”

There are families in pain, grieving the loss of loved ones. And there are other families in pain, doing all they can to release loved ones who are being held hostage. Everybody has a duty to condemn antisemitism, and violence in any form.

According to an archived page, in its May fact sheet the White House included CAIR among many solidarity groups that it had “announced their commitments to combat antisemitism.”

The announcement was part of the first ever national strategy by the Biden administration to combat antisemitism.

A review of archived pages shows that, as of Thursday, the same fact sheet did not list CAIR as a member group. It was still there as recently as last Tuesday.

A CAIR spokesperson refused to comment on the decision to drop out of the initiative. The Post was directed to Awad’s statement made Thursday.

He said: “During my remarks two weeks ago at a conference in support of Palestinian rights, I denounced violence against all civillians, and all forms bigotry including Islamophobia, and antisemitism.”

“As I stated, ‘the hatred, prejudice, violence, and discrimination against Jews based on their faith, their life, or their religious practices, is a hateful mentality, behavior, and action. As human beings and as Muslims and Palestinians we see it for what it is. It is evil and should be condemned by everyone, regardless of their religion, ideology or lack thereof. All people should condemn this attack on humanity.

“Despite my clear remarks an anti-Muslim and anti-Palestinian hatred website selected remarks from the context of my speech and spliced together to create a false meaning.

“What I said when discussing international law was: Ukrainians (and other occupied people) have the right of self-defense and to escape occupation through just and legal means. But targeting civilians in this way is never acceptable. That is why I’ve condemned violence against Israelis civilians Oct. 7th, and previous Hamas attacks against Israelis civilians including suicide bombings dating back to the 1990s. Just as I’ve condemned decades of violence towards Palestinian civilians.

“The Palestinians of the average class who briefly left Gaza, set foot on the ethnically cleansed territory in a symbolic defiance of the blockade, and stopped without violence there were within their right under international law. The extremists that went on to target civilians in southern Israel weren’t.” It is wrong to target civilians, regardless of whether they are Israelis or Palestinians or any other nationality.

CAIR’s director praised the efforts of young Democrats who were dissatisfied by President Biden’s continued support for Israel over Hamas.

Awad addressed the audience, saying: “Brothers and Sisters, young people within the Democratic Party sent a message clear to this administration as well as to the Democratic Party.” You have betrayed not only our votes but also our support. And you have betrayed the young people who want the United States of America repositioned as a moral leader around the world. They have betrayed me.”

In cities like Washington, D.C., New York City, and Philadelphia, hundreds of people have attended protests against the Biden Administration.

CAIR didn’t respond to any of the questions. However, Edward Ahmed Mitchell, Deputy Executive Director at CAIR provided a statement that was attributed to Awad.

Fox News Digital obtained a statement that stated: “During my last-week speech in support of Palestinian rights, I condemned bigotry of all kinds, including Islamophobia, antisemitism and violence against civilians.” “Despite this, a hate website that is anti-Muslim and anti-Palestinian has taken out of context my remarks in support of Palestinian human rights, and then spliced the words together to give a false meaning.”

Awad continued, “I have repeatedly condemned the violence perpetrated against Israeli civilians in the Oct. 7th attack, as well as previous Hamas attacks against Israeli civilians including suicide bombings dating back to the 1990s. I also condemn the decades-long violence perpetrated against Palestinian civilians.”

Awad claimed that his claim that he felt “happy” in October 7th did not refer the terrorist attacks which killed thousands of Israelis.

CAIR’s director says he is happy that Gazan residents have briefly entered Israeli territory.