IslamismJuly 18 2022, 14:02 pm

Missouri Democratic Congresswoman Has Close Ties to Palestinian Activist with Anti-Semitic History 

A con­tro­ver­sial watch­dog group mon­i­tor­ing what it con­sid­ers anti­se­mit­ic and/or anti-Israel activ­i­ty has report­ed on an Octo­ber 2020 cam­paign fund-rais­er held on behalf of Con­gress­woman Cori Bush (Dem Mis­souri), a vocal crit­ic of Israeli pol­i­cy towards Pales­tini­ans. Accord­ing to the report, the event was host­ed by Neveen Ayesh, a pro-Pales­tin­ian activist with a his­to­ry of antisemitism:

Con­gress­woman Cori Bush (Dem MO) has pro­fessed her com­mit­ment to “dis­man­tling anti­semitism,” yet her close asso­ci­a­tion and friend­ship with one of St. Louis’ well-known and vir­u­lent anti­semites, Neveen Ayesh, tells a dif­fer­ent sto­ry. Ayesh held a fundrais­er for Bush in Octo­ber 2020. Bush not only sanc­tioned the fundrais­er, she attend­ed it, along with her spe­cial guests Lin­da Sar­sour and Con­gress­woman Rashi­da Tlaib, both of whom are vir­u­lent­ly anti-Israel and have faced seri­ous charges of anti­semitism themselves.

Read the rest here.

Bush is a mem­ber of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic par­ty’s left wing and part of the “Squad” of pro­gres­sive fresh­man law­mak­ers known for their anti-Israel orga­niz­ing. The group includes Con­gress­women Ilhan Omar and Rashi­da Tlaib, both of whom have a his­to­ry of par­tic­i­pat­ing in events held by the Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood (GMB) and  Hamas sup­port infra­struc­ture in the US. Bush, who has pub­licly con­demned attacks on the Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty, is known to be a vocal crit­ic of Israeli pol­i­cy toward Pales­tini­ans. In Sep­tem­ber 2021, she was one of only eight Demo­c­ra­t­ic Mem­bers of Con­gress to vote against a bill to pro­vide fund­ing to Israel’s Iron Dome mis­sile defense sys­tem. After the vio­lence between Israel and mil­i­tant Pales­tini­ans in May 2021, Bush labeled Israel an “apartheid state” and described Israeli actions as “attack­ing a large­ly defense­less, cap­tive civil­ian pop­u­la­tion.” Cori Bush is also a sup­port­er of the Boy­cott, Divest­ment, and Sanc­tions or BDS move­ment, which seeks to eco­nom­i­cal­ly and social­ly pres­sure Israel over its treat­ment of Pales­tini­ans and whose Nation­al Com­mit­tee includes mem­bers of Hamas and Pales­tin­ian Islam­ic Jihad.

Bush has been asso­ci­at­ed with pro-Pales­tin­ian activist Neveen Ayesh since at least 2017, when they attend­ed a Pales­tin­ian advo­ca­cy event togeth­er. Ayesh has since repeat­ed­ly sup­port­ed Bush, in par­tic­u­lar prais­ing her poli­cies regard­ing Pales­tine. Archived tweets from Ayesh,  post­ed online by pro-Israel crit­ics, show she has used Twit­ter to spread anti­se­mit­ic con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries and to express sup­port for mem­bers of the ter­ror­ist group Pales­tin­ian Islam­ic Jihad. In 2014, she tweet­ed:

I want to set Israel on fire with my own hands & watch it burn to ash­es along with every Israeli in it. Call it what you want to call it idc.

In 2013, she tweet­ed:

“I tried befriend­ing a Jew once. Worst idea ever.“

Sev­er­al of her con­tro­ver­sial posts have since been deleted.

From 2017–2018, Neveen Ayesh, who grew up mov­ing between the West Bank and the US, cur­rent­ly serves in the Mis­souri Nation­al Guard. She has also worked as a Polit­i­cal Assis­tant for the Mis­souri chap­ter of the Coun­cil on Amer­i­can-Islam­ic Rela­tions (CAIR), among the most influ­en­tial US Mus­lim orga­ni­za­tions and close­ly tied to the GMB. Since 2018, Ayesh has served as Gov­ern­ment Rela­tions Coor­di­na­tor for the Mis­souri chap­ter of Amer­i­can Mus­lims for Pales­tine, a Pales­tin­ian advo­ca­cy group with strong ties to the GMB and Hamas.

Pri­or report­ing by the GIOR about mem­bers of the “Squad” and their rela­tion­ship to the US Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and wider Hamas sup­port net­work has included:

  • An Octo­ber 2020 report that the 2020 annu­al con­ven­tion of the Islam­ic Soci­ety of North Amer­i­ca (ISNA) had fea­tured Rashi­da Tlaib and mul­ti­ple GMB lead­ers as speakers.
  • A July 2021 report that Ilhan Omar had joined a vir­tu­al gath­er­ing in con­nec­tion with a Mus­lim con­gres­sion­al advo­ca­cy event host­ed by a promi­nent US Mus­lim Broth­er­hood group.
  • A Feb­ru­ary 2022 report that CAIR had award­ed Ilhan Omar its “Amer­i­can Mus­lim Pub­lic Ser­vant of 2021 Award” at its annu­al gala. Cori Bush also par­tic­i­pat­ed in this event.


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