(JNS) The Zionist Organization of America is calling on HIAS to end its “partnership” and “collaboration” with the Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW), whose leadership has made antisemitic statements and is banned in Israel for its ties to Hamas. IRW director Heshmat Khalifa, who has since resigned, recently called Jews the grandchildren of monkeys and pigs”; called Egypt’s president a “Zionist pimp”; and praised Hamas as “the purest resistance movement in modern history.” In addition to the antisemitic statements, the group and its affiliates also have well-documented ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.
In 2014, Israel declared IRW to be illegal, based on its role of funneling money to Hamas, and it is banned from operating in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The United Arab Emirates has also blacklisted Islamic Relief-UK and Islamic Relief Worldwide for its ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
HIAS has worked with Islamic Relief USA and Islamic Relief Worldwide on different issues for several years. Its joint program with IR-USA, started in 2018, sought to provide legal assistance to mainly Muslim migrants into Greece. In 2020, HIAS and Islamic Relief Worldwide announced a manual on “faith-sensitive humanitarian action.” “IR-USA is the American branch of, and has extensive financial and leadership ties to and interchanges with, Islamic Relief Worldwide,” according to the ZOA, which “strongly urges that HIAS immediately end its collaborations and partnerships with the terrorist-affiliated Islamic Relief terrorist group.”