Back in November, The Geller Report published the appalling news that the American Jewish Committee (AJC) had begun a partnership with the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), as the “Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council.” We included this important information about ISNA, from “Jewish Leftists Choose Hamas Over Trump,” by Daniel Greenfield, FrontPage, November 16, 2016:
The Islamic Society of North America was named by the Justice Department as an unindicted co-conspirator in funding Hamas. It was linked to two Hamas funding fronts, the Holy Land Foundation and KindHearts. ISNA’s checks were made payable to the “Palestinian Mujahadeen” or “Holy Warriors” which was a name used by Hamas.
ISNA’s co-founder Sami Al-Arian was the local head of Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Mousa Abu Marzook, a top Hamas official listed by the Treasury Department as a Specially Designated Terrorist, received tens of thousands of dollars from ISNA.
This should have come as no surprise as both ISNA and Hamas are arms of the Muslim Brotherhood.
But the American Jewish Committee has decided to team up with the financiers of the murder of Jews to oppose Trump. The left wing Jewish group and an Islamist organization that wrote out checks to Islamic terrorists enabling them to kill Jews have formed the “Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council”.
Now a TGR reader has written to the AJC to complain about this bizarre alliance, and got this reply, full of denial and willful ignorance — typical of the leftist Jewish lay leadership in America today. “ISNA has publicly condemned terrorism and specifically condemned Hamas and Hizbullah terrorism” — meanwhile, it was writing checks to the “‘Palestinian Mujahadeen’ or ‘Holy Warriors’ which was a name used by Hamas.”
American Jewish lay leadership — another swamp that needs to be drained.
From: Ephraim Gabbai
Date: December 20, 2016 at 12:03:35 PM EST
Subject: Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council
Thank you for sharing your concerns with us. We would all agree that one of the most important tasks for Jewish leaders is to discern friend from foe.I thank you for your note and apologize for the delay in responding.
Your message: Partner[ing] with ISNA…I bet it makes your donors feel good. Aren’t you worried about giving cover to a pro-sharia jihad Hamas supporting group?…I think you look foolish however well intentioned.
In forming a national Muslim-Jewish Council, we have consulted broadly with our Muslim partners.
AJC supports Israel and that has not changed. We carefully vetted each of our Muslim partners and went into a relationship with the Islamic Society of North American (ISNA) understanding its background. ISNA is not classified as a terrorist organization.
ISNA is the largest organization of American Muslims, its annual convention in Chicago attracts around 30,000 members. It has since 9/11 a very good relationship with US law enforcement agencies, based on ISNA cooperation on counter-radicalization. Both the George W. Bush and the Obama Administrations have met ISNA delegations at a very senior level. At the 2016 ISNA convention, DHS Secretary Johnson gave the keynote address. This sustained engagement by two different Administrations over many years wouldn’t happen if there were illegal activity regarding ISNA. ISNA has evolved significantly from its origins in the 1970s and we are satisfied that it and its leadership are good partners of AJC in the Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council.
In addition, ISNA has publicly condemned terrorism and specifically condemned Hamas and Hizbullah terrorism. ISNA is not primarily focused on public advocacy; its main activity is supporting Islamic centers in the US.
We are aware of the allegations against ISNA. They are largely based on the 2004-2007 Holyland Foundation case. The federal prosecutor named ISNA as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in that case (this is a tactic that allows one to introduce hearsay evidence originating from ISNA). The federal prosecutor in that case publicly clarified that ISNA is not a subject or target of any investigation. The ACLU has called ISNA a “mainstream charitable organization that provides valuable services to the Muslim community and beyond.”
In short, we understand your concerns but respectfully disagree with your conclusions. AJC’s partnership with ISNA has formed the Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council (MJAC). We are able to work with ISNA’s current leadership on a domestic policy agenda. ISNA and AJC may not agree on everything but our mutual respect will spearhead and model a pathway for interfaith organizational cooperation.
AJC is determined to move forward an advance this relationship which is ever more important amidst the current political climate.
I thank you again for sharing your concern.
Interreligious and Intergroup Relations