December 13, 2018
News Press Release

ZOA to U.S. NGOs: Cease Ties With Pal. Arab PFLP Terror Group

credit: REUTERS/TOBY MELVILLE

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has called upon two American Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) –– Interfaith Peace-Builders and Dream Defenders –– to sunder ties with, and end their support for, the mission of the Palestinian Arab terrorist group, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a U.S.-designated terrorist organization since 1997. (The PFLP is also a designated terrorist organization in Canada, the European Union and Israel). 

The PFLP has a long record of terrorism dating back to the 1960s, including hijackings, bombings, shootings and other acts of terrorism directed against Israel civilians. It is the second largest of the PLO terrorist factions, second in size only to Abbas’ Fatah. Since 2000, the PFLP has carried out at least 13 suicide bombings, stabbings, shootings and ax attacks, including the murder in 2001 of the Israeli Minister for Tourism, Rehavam Ze’evi, making it responsible for the murder of at least 90 Israeli civilians and the wounding and maiming of hundreds more. 

It is clearly high time for the U.S. government to exercise better oversight over the activities of American NGOs that operate in the field of international conflict zones. 

The PFLP controls a number of so-called Palestinian NGOs, including Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, Samidoun, Al-Haq, Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) and the Palestinian branch of Defense for Children International (DCI-P).

The Washington, D.C.-based Interfaith Peace-Builders (IFPB), also known as “Eyewitness Palestine” has:

  • A self-proclaimed mission to educate the public about the “political, military, and economic role” that the U.S. plays, to provide “activist training” and to encourage participants to advocate for what it terms “a more just U.S. foreign policy.”
  • Claimed to have led more than 60 delegations to Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (PA).
  • Housed its participants in the homes of PFLP terrorist operatives and encourages them to participate in violent demonstrations against Israel.
  • Board members and supporters who include Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) supporters, including: Ilise Benshushan Cohen, founder of the Jewish Voice for Peace chapter in Atlanta, Katie Huerter, current member of Students for Justice in Palestine National Organizing Committee, and Linda Sarsour, who has attacked genuine women’s rights activities who do not support her radical Islamic agenda and who has contributed funds to IFDB.
  • In 2015 alone, a total revenue of $539,532 and assets totaling $276,706.50. Most of the funding covers costs associated with the delegations to the PA.
  • Brought numerous delegations to the Dheisheh refugee camp (near the city of Bethlehem in the West Bank), a PFLP stronghold, and accommodated participants there overnight with local Palestinian families. The PFLP is one of the most active political parties in the camp, second only to Fatah, making membership to the PFLP among the locals extremely high.
  • Had its 2017 delegation to the PA “co-sponsored” by two prominent BDS organizations, the American Muslims for Palestine and Jewish Voice for Palestine.
  • Calls BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti, who has candidly admitted that BDS is devised to lead to Israel’s eventual elimination, as a “long-time partner.”
  • Posted support for various Palestinian Arab terrorists on its social media outlets, and supported the demand of the Palestinians to the legally and morally baseless so-called ‘right of return’ of Palestinian refugees and their millions of descendants to the 1948-49 borders, a demand which, if fulfilled, would end Israel as an independent Jewish state and turn it into a unitary, Arab-dominated state.

Dream Defenders (DD) has:

  • As its aims an immediate end to all wars domestic and abroad, the end of capitalism, imperialism, and patriarchy, free education, the immediate release of all U.S. prisoners, and the end to federal, state, and private prisons.
  • Taken up various minority causes within the U.S. under an “intersectional” philosophy, that all struggles of marginalized people and minorities are inherently related.
  • Been a participant in the Black Solidarity Movement and the Black Lives Matter Movement.
  • Members who have endorsed the PFLP and espoused its tactics by backing PFLP terrorists on social media and at various public events.
  • Brought people to the Middle East to meet with PFLP members and PFLP-affiliated organizations. 
  • In March 2016 put together an alternative school curriculum that includes the PFLP as one of nine “heroes” that should be used to teach “rebellion” strategies and tactics to schoolchildren within the PA.
  • Identified with the PFLP’s struggle, stating: “They [the PFLP] want to be free from global imperialism. They want liberation. They want equal rights. Just like the Dream Defenders.”
  • Among its supporters and benefactors Remi Kanazi and Linda Sarsour, both prominent BDS activists. Kanazi previously referred to Israel as an apartheid state and does not think Hamas or the PFLP, two U.S.-designated terror organizations, are problematic. Sarsour has made extreme anti-Israel statements, associated with and promoted terrorists and promotes a radical Islamic agenda, details of which can be found here.
  • Claimed to believe that non-violent resistance is “the only morally and practically sound method open to oppressed people in their struggle for freedom,” yet in reality supports the terrorist PFLP, an organization that has used extremely violent methods, including bombings, shootings, and plane hijackings to achieve its political goals.
  • Sent a delegation to the PA in 2015, which included Marc Lamont Hill, a former CNN commentator who was recently sacked after delivering a speech calling for Israel’s destruction and supporting terrorism against Israel.
  • Had its 2016 delegation led by Afro-Palestinian activist and former member of the PFLP, Mahmoud Jedda, who served 17 years in an Israeli prison before he was released in 1985 as part of a release of terrorists in exchange for active Israelis.
  • Had its 2017 delegation visit Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, a PFLP affiliate organization, governed by several members of the PFLP. Addameer’s vice-chairperson Khalida Jarrar is a senior PFLP official, and Sumoud Sa’adat, an Addameer staffer, is the daughter of PFLP general secretary, Ahmad Sa’adat, who is in an Israeli prison for his role in the assassination in 2001 of an Israeli minister Rechavam Ze’evi.
  • Ahmad Abuznaid, DD co-founder, has lauded Leila Khaled, former PFLP terrorist who attempted to hijack two Israeli (El Al) airplanes in 1969 and 1970. He has also advocated for convicted former PFLP terrorist, Rasmea Odeh, who was deported to Jordan in 2017 because she failed to disclose in her US citizenship application her conviction in Israel on terrorism charges, which involved the murder of two Israelis. Abuznaid also served as the keynote speaker at a fundraising event held for Odeh by the Americans for Justice in Palestine (AJP) Educational Foundation, Inc., the fiscal sponsor for American Muslims for Palestine, which is one of the largest BDS organizations in the United States.
  • Its 2015 and 2016 delegations meet with Omar Barghouti, the co-founder of the BDS Movement.
  • Through its so-called Rebellion curriculum, social media posts, “report back” events, and activities with other BDS organizations, allowed PFLP ideology to infiltrate into the United States, spreading the agenda of a designated terror organization (Omri Weisman, ‘American Non-Government Organizations Are Intertwined with PFLP Terror Group,’ Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, December 6, 2018).

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “It is simply scandalous that American NGOs have anything at all to do with a U.S.-designated terrorist organization. Where is the responsibility and accountability of such NGOs and their leaders? How is it possible that they have backed a blood-soaked terrorist group seeking the destruction of the Jewish state of Israel without being called to account all these years?

“It is clearly high time for the U.S. government to exercise better oversight over the activities of American NGOs that operate in the field of international conflict zones. 

“The U.S. government must ensure that American NGOs are not supporting outlawed terrorist groups, working to undermine U.S. allies and subverting American foreign policy and U.S. interests. The activities of Interfaith Peace-Builders and Dream Defenders would be a good place to start.”