After the head of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) gave a speech last month praising the Hamas terrorists who attacked Israel on Oct. 7, the Biden White House cut off all ties with the organization.
The fact that the Biden administration would be working closely with the group — founded by the terror-supporting Muslim Brotherhood and whose rhetoric has included antisemitic remarks — is surprising to some. But the White House isn’t alone. CAIR has another longtime ally:
U.S. Sen. Bob Casey.
The Pennsylvania Democrat has praised CAIR for “diversity and equality” and for its fight against “discrimination and prejudice.”
In the 2016 letter to the Philadelphia branch of CAIR in honor of its 10th anniversary, Casey said, “The work of CAIR to advance the well-being of Muslim-Americans and fight against rising discrimination and prejudice in our society stands as a testament to the bravery, work ethic and ideals of everyone involved.”
After Nihad Awad’s most recent controversial comments, Casey’s relationship with CAIR was highlighted by national media outlets.
Speaking at the 16th Annual Convention for Palestine in the U.S. on Nov. 24, Awad said of the Oct. 7 attack, “Yes, I was happy to see people breaking the siege and throwing down the shackles of their own land and walk free into their own land that they were not allowed to walk in. And yes, the people of Gaza have the right to self-defense, have the right to defend themselves, and yes, Israel as an occupying power does not have that right to self-defense.”
The White House issued a statement condemning “these shocking, antisemitic statements in the strongest terms.”
Israel pulled out of the Gaza Strip in 2005 and removed all its citizens, leaving the Arab residents of Gaza to govern themselves. Gaza’s residents elected Hamas as their leaders, and the Iran-backed terror group has been in charge ever since.
The Hamas Oct. 7 terror strike on communities in southern Israel resulted in 1,200 casualties, the most Jewish deaths since the Holocaust. The brutal attack killed civilians, including children and babies, along with women and the elderly. Others were kidnapped and are being held hostage.
Casey’s likely GOP opponent next year, businessman Dave McCormick, was quick to criticize the three-term Democrat for his coziness with CAIR.
“Once again, weak Bob Casey has failed to act. He needs to apologize for his past association with this radical group. He should never have met with them or praised them in the first place. Now it’s time for him to apologize to the people of PA,” McCormick said on X (formerly Twitter).
“October 7th was a brutal and vicious attack on innocent Israeli civilians,” Casey told Fox News Digital. “I unequivocally condemn the antisemitic and hateful comments made by CAIR’s leadership and any comments that celebrate the despicable acts of Hamas terrorists.”
After the blowback, Awad claimed he was quoted “out of context.”
“What I actually said while discussing international law: Ukrainians, Palestinians, and other occupied people have the right to defend themselves and escape occupation by just and legal means. But targeting civilians is never an acceptable means of doing so, which is why I have again and again condemned the violence against Israeli civilians on Oct. 7 and past Hamas attacks on Israeli civilians, including suicide bombings, all the way back to the 1990s-just as I have condemned the decades of violence against Palestinian civilians,” Awad said in his explanation.