FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Los Angeles – September 1, 2021) – StandWithUs condemns Rep. Rashida Tlaib for retweeting a fundraising appeal for Baitulmaal, a Texas-based foundation that donates money to Hamas-affiliated “charities,” according to a report by the Alma Research Center. The original tweet, posted on August 21, 2021 by Wayne State University associate law school professor Khaled Beydoun, no longer appears on Twitter.
“Why is a Member of Congress supporting a foundation that forwards funds to groups affiliated with Iranian-backed Hamas, an antisemitic terror group that has murdered hundreds of Israeli civilians, imprisons gay men for 10 years, represses women’s rights, crushes dissent, and rules Gaza with an iron fist?” said Roz Rothstein, StandWithUs Co-Founder and CEO. “It cannot be considered normal for a sitting member of Congress to be soliciting funds for an organization that has links to a radical Islamist terror organization. Imagine the justified outcry if a member of Congress were to solicit funds for the KKK.”
The Alma Research Center’s report documents that Baitulmaal operates in the Gaza Strip and supports Hamas' activities in the West Bank. Baitulmaal has raised funds for the Hamas-affiliated Yazour Medical Clinic and has donated funds to “an organization called UFA (Unlimited Friends Association for Social Development) based in Gaza. This association has close ties to senior Hamas figures and supports the families of so-called ‘martyrs.’” UFL has posted overtly antisemitic statements on its Facebook page.
One post translates as, “We ask Allah to free our prisoners imprisoned in the Nazi Zionist jails and to free the Al Aqsa Mosque polluted by the most dirty Jews.” (see below)
Baitulmaal's current director, Mazen M. Mukhtar is the former Executive Director of the Muslim American Society. He was quoted in 2015 as justifying suicide bombings as “an effective way to attack the enemy and continue Jihad… These are not people committing suicide because they are fed up with life; these are people who are sacrificing their lives for Allah.”
StandWithUs demands that Congresswoman Tlaib:
1) Retract the tweet without delay
2) Condemn Hamas for its terrorism and apologize to the thousands of bereaved Israelis whose loved ones have been murdered and maimed by Hamas terrorists,
3) Condemn Hamas for its systemic human rights violations in the form of imprisoning and torture of LGBTQ people, repression of women’s rights, and denying Palestinians “the rights to opinion, expression, association, assembly and freedom from arbitrary detention.”
StandWithUs further calls on the leadership of the Democratic Party, particularly Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, to censure Rep. Tlaib for her support of a charity that has links with Hamas, listed by the State Department as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.
StandWithUs (SWU) is an international, non-profit and non-partisan Israel education organization that works to inspire and educate people of all ages about Israel, as well as challenge misinformation and fight against antisemitism.
Through university fellowships, high school internships, middle school curricula, conferences, materials, social media, educational films and missions to Israel, StandWithUs supports people around the world who want to educate their schools and communities about Israel.
Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Los Angeles, the organization has programs on five continents with chapters and offices throughout the U.S., in Israel, the UK, Canada and Brazil.
For the last nine years, SWU has consistently received the highest possible ratings from Charity Navigator (4 stars) and Guidestar (Platinum).