How and Why Hamas Founded CAIR

Controversy broke out last week concerning remarks Congresswoman Ilhan Omar made at a gathering of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Last week also marked the fifth anniversary since CAIR—widely regarded by American journalists and politicians as a legitimate representative of U.S. Muslims—successfully pressured Brandeis University into canceling its plans to grant an honorary degree to the apostate Muslim and women’s-rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali. At the time, Andrew McCarthy responded with an updated version of a chapter from his 2010 book, in which he explained how Hamas operatives created CAIR.

When 25 [Hamas] members and supporters gathered at a Marriott Hotel in Philadelphia on October 27, 1993, they were unaware that the FBI was monitoring their deliberations. The confab was a brainstorming exercise: how best to back Hamas and derail the Oslo Accords while concealing these activities from the American government? . . . In the U.S., Hamas was [by this time] perceived as the principal enemy of the popular “peace process.” . . .

That was where [a] new organization would come in. . . . The new entity’s Islamism and Hamas promotion would have to be less “conspicuous.” It would need to couch its rhetoric in sweet nothings like “social justice,” “due process,” and “resistance.” If it did those things, though, it might be more attractive . . . and effective. A Muslim organization posing as a civil-rights activist while soft-pedaling its jihadist sympathies might be able to snow the American political class, the courts, the media, and the academy. It might make real inroads with the . . . progressives who dominated the Clinton administration. . . .

Despite its Hamas roots and terror ties, the most disturbing aspect of CAIR is its accomplishment of the Muslim Brotherhood’s precise aspiration for it. Thanks to its media savvy and the credulousness of government officials and press outlets, which have treated it as the “civil-rights” group it purports to be rather than the Islamist spearhead that it is, CAIR has been a constant thorn in the side of American national defense.

Read more at National Review

More about: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Brandeis, CAIR, Hamas, Ilhan Omar, Politics & Current Affairs

Hamas Has Its Own Day-After Plan

While Hamas’s leaders continue to reject the U.S.-backed ceasefire proposal, they have hardly been neglecting diplomacy. Ehud Yaari explains:

Over the past few weeks, Hamas leaders have been engaged in talks with other Palestinian factions and select Arab states to find a formula for postwar governance in the Gaza Strip. Held mainly in Qatar and Egypt, the negotiations have not matured into a clear plan so far, but some forms of cooperation are emerging on the ground in parts of the embattled enclave.

Hamas officials have informed their interlocutors that they are willing to support the formation of either a “technocratic government” or one composed of factions that agree to Palestinian “reconciliation.” They have also insisted that security issues not be part of this government’s authority. In other words, Hamas is happy to let others shoulder civil responsibilities while it focuses on rebuilding its armed networks behind the scenes.

Among the possibilities Hamas is investigating is integration into the Palestinian Authority (PA), the very body that many experts in Israel and in the U.S. believe should take over Gaza after the war ends. The PA president Mahmoud Abbas has so far resisted any such proposals, but some of his comrades in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) are less certain:

On June 12, several ex-PLO and PA officials held an unprecedented meeting in Ramallah and signed an initiative calling for the inclusion of additional factions, meaning Hamas. The PA security services had blocked previous attempts to arrange such meetings in the West Bank. . . . Hamas has already convinced certain smaller PLO factions to get on board with its postwar model.

With generous help from Qatar, Hamas also started a campaign in March asking unaffiliated Palestinian activists from Arab countries and the diaspora to press for a collaborative Hamas role in postwar Gaza. Their main idea for promoting this plan is to convene a “Palestinian National Congress” with hundreds of delegates. Preparatory meetings have already been held in Britain, Lebanon, Kuwait, and Qatar, and more are planned for the United States, Spain, Belgium, Australia, and France.

If the U.S. and other Western countries are serious about wishing to see Hamas defeated, and all the more so if they have any hopes for peace, they will have to convey to all involved that any association with the terrorist group will trigger ostracization and sanctions. That Hamas doesn’t already appear toxic to these various interlocutors is itself a sign of a serious failure.

Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Palestinian Authority