By Morton A. Klein and Daniel Mandel
It was, unfortunately, no surprise when the Obama administration selected Salam Al-Marayati to join the U.S. delegation at a human rights conference being held in Warsaw by the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). No surprise, because Marayati, the director of the Islamist Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), had already been dispatched by the Obama Administration in 2010 to speak on human rights on behalf of the U.S. to UNESCO in Paris and at the U.S. mission to the United Nations in Geneva. Yet, the bill of particulars against Marayati’s appointment to the delegation is large and, indeed, had resulted in 1999 in Marayati’s appointment to a Congressional committee on terrorism being actually rescinded, once his record of extremism to that date had been publicized by the ZOA.
In 1993, Marayati called Israel’s creation a “crime” which he vowed to “work to overturn.” In 1996, following the killing of a Palestinian terrorist, Muhammad Hamida, as he chanted ‘Alahu Akbar (‘Allah is Great’) and carried out an attack in Jerusalem that killed one Israeli civilian and injured 23 others, Marayati didn’t deplore Hamida’s act of terror – he deplored the killing of Hamida as a “provocative act” and demanded the extradition to America of those who had killed him “to be tried in a U.S. court on terrorism charges.”
In 1997, providing anticipatory defense for Islamist terrorist assaults on Americans, Marayati claimed that the Clinton administration was in the pocket of Israel and pondered “whether the American people are aware of and ready for the consequences.” In 1998, following the slaughter of hundreds in the al-Qaeda bombings of U.S. embassies in east Africa, Marayati condemned military strikes launched upon al-Qaeda by the Clinton Administration as “illegal, immoral and illogical.” The same year, he defended the French Holocaust denier, Roger Garaudy, describing his prosecution and fining in France as “persecution of his right to express an opinion.” Marayati has also complained of “having the Holocaust shoved down [his] throat.”
In 2001, Marayati provided a crude apologia for Palestinian terrorism by claiming that Jews murdered by Palestinians were “the expected bitter result of [Israel’s] reckless policy.” Following the 9/11 attacks, he argued that Israel had carried out this slaughter of thousands of Americans: “I think we should put the state of Israel on the suspect list, because I think this [the 9/11 attacks] diverts attention from what’s happening in the Palestinian territories so that they can go on with their aggression and occupation and apartheid policies.”
If all this isn’t enough, Marayati has openly supported the Lebanese Shia terrorist group, Hizballah, and defended members of the Palestinian terrorist group, Hamas, which calls in its charter for the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews, who had been found guilty of funneling money to terrorists.
Worse still, the Obama administration has exhibited a pattern of appointing Muslim extremists and their apologists to sensitive posts: Rashad Hussein, now U.S. envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, who has denounced the prosecution of a Florida professor who was later found to have been illegally funding the terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad; Dalia Mogahed, adviser in the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, who has been a promoter-apologist of Islamist groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA); and Mohamed Elibiary, a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council, who has spoken in praise of Ayatollah Khomeini, founder of the Islamist Iranian republic, and is now believed to have leaked sensitive intelligence documents; to name only three.
That Marayati and his ilk influence policy is undeniable. One example: in October 2011, following a threatened cut-off in cooperation between American Muslims and the FBI – cooperation Marayati has publicly opposed in any case since at least 2005 – Deputy Attorney-General James Cole announced that the Obama administration was recalling all training materials used for law enforcement and national security agencies in order to eliminate all references to Islam. Marayati also demanded the creation of an inter-agency task force to prepare new manuals.
With this record, Marayati’s latest appointment to the U.S. delegation to the OSCE human rights conference is a further act of appeasement that can only call into question the Obama administration’s commitment to combating Islamist extremists.
Indeed, in the administration’s refusal to even refer to Islamist extremists and its tendency to refer to terrorist acts perpetrated by Islamists as ‘man-made disasters,’ we see a systemic blindness to a clear and present danger.
Morton A. Klein is National President of the Zionist Organization of American and Dr. Daniel Mandel is Director of the ZOA’s Center of Middle East Policy and author of H.V. Evatt & the Establishment of Israel (2004).