Why is AJC Defending and Endorsing Syed?
Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein and Chair Mark Levenson released the following statement:
The ZOA strongly opposes the confirmation of Dliawar Syed to become the Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Since 2017, Syed has been an active Board member of EMgage – an antisemitic, BDS Israel-hating group, which has many of the same beliefs as the murderous terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah. EMgage promotes propaganda lies such as calling all of Israel an apartheid state and occupier; calls for a so-called “right of return” for Arabs to overrun Israel; openly promotes anti-Israel Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS); opposes locating the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem; promotes sending U.S. tax dollars to the Hamas-infiltrated UNRWA; promotes “BDS Betty” McCollum’s antisemitic legislation which falsely accuses Israel of wrongly detaining Palestinian children and calls for cutting off aid to Israel; and defends and praises this country’s most despicable Jew-haters.
In addition, Syed’s EMgagePAC donates funds to the election campaigns of extreme antisemites Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib; praised and held a fundraiser for Omar; and paid for at least $23,000.00 of campaign advertising for Tlaib. Emgage also falsely claimed that conservatives hate Omar because she is “Black, immigrant, Muslim and a woman . . . but still she rises.” Of course, it is Ilhan Omar’s non-stop anti-American, anti-Israel, antisemitic and pro-terror statements and policies that all decent people object to.
Syed’s EMgage also defends and advocates for despicable Israel-hater Linda Sarsour – whose many hateful statements have included calling throwing rocks at Jewish Israelis “the definition of courage”; saying she was “honored and privileged” to stand with PFLP murderer-of-Jewish-students Rasmea Odeh; tweeting “nothing is creepier than Zionism”; praising the Intifada terror wars (in which Palestinian-Arab terrorists murdered and maimed thousands of innocent Israelis) as “invaluable on many fronts”; and more.
In August 2020, in order to try to ameliorate the damage caused by Sarsour speaking at the Democratic convention, Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said that Biden condemns Linda Sarsour’s antisemitic views and that Biden opposes BDS. Syed’s EMgage then defended Linda Sarsour, falsely tweeted that Sarsour “has dedicated her career to fighting for justice” and demanded that the Democratic party apologize to Sarsour. Biden campaign officials (including Tony Blinken and Symone Sanders) then appeased Syed’s EMgage by profusely apologizing.
Syed’s EMgage also co-sponsored the “Million Muslim Votes Summit” in July 2020 with the Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPAC) – which opposes Israel’s existence; the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) – an unindicted coconspirator involved in funneling millions of dollars to Hamas; and Linda Sarsour’s “MPowerChange.” The Summit featured Jew-haters Linda Sarsour; Ilhan Omar; MPAC founder Salam al-Marayati (who praises Hezbollah and works to “overturn” Israel’s re-establishment); and CAIR co-founder and open Hamas supporter Nihad Awad.
Syed’s activist support and leadership on the board of a virulent Israel-bashing group should never be given credibility and power. Confirming Syed to a top position at the SBA would further mainstream and legitimize antisemitism, which has recently increased dramatically and frighteningly throughout the United States including numerous violent attacks on Jews by Arab Muslims and Blacks. This confirmation would be a danger to American Jews everywhere and to all those who do business with or benefit from Israeli and Jewish businesses.
ZOA Praises Republican Senators’ Letters Describing Dangers of Syed Appointment: On June 30, 2021, eight Republican Senators (James Risch; Marco Rubio; Josh Hawley; Tim Scott; John Kennedy; James Inhofe; Roger Marshall, M.D.; and Joni Ernst) sent a letter describing Syed’s EMgage’s inflammatory, alarming anti-Israel statements and positions, even after Syed’s nomination in April, including calling the entire State of Israel an occupier, amplifying false accusations that Israel is an apartheid state, and defending and supporting Ilhan Omar after Omar horrifically
equated Israel and the United States to the Hamas and Taliban murderous terror organizations.
The eight Senators’ letter also correctly described the dangers of giving Syed the Deputy Administrator Post at SBA. The letter explained that Emgage’s “comments are not only inflammatory, they demonstrate a deep-seated prejudice that is of serious concern to the small business community. Emgage’s history of supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, combined with its overtly anti-Israel positions and rhetoric necessitates an additional hearing to ensure Mr. Syed’s confirmation to be the second-most-powerful individual at the SBA would not jeopardize small businesses with close ties to Israeli companies or small businesses owned by Jewish Americans. If an individual who supports those accusations was to be confirmed, it would hinder the close cooperation businesses in America and Israel have such as cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, medicine, bio-medicine and more.”
ZOA also praises Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO)’s additional statement demanding that Dilawar Syed renounce EMgages antisemitic rhetoric.
AJC & Rabbi Jack Moline’s Foolish, Disappointing, Misleading, Error-fooled Statements:
ZOA is deeply disappointed that the American Jewish Committee and Interfaith Alliance President Rabbi Jack Moline issued misleading statements falsely claiming that Syed is being discriminated against for his Muslim faith, and totally ignoring eMgage’s extreme antisemitic anti-Israel positions and promotion of anti-Israel BDS.
AJC wrote that Syed stated that he opposes BDS. That statement is contradicted by the fact that Syed has been spending over four years serving on the board of an organization that focuses on promoting anti-Israel BDS, pressuring political figures to support BDS. AJC also wrote that Syed is a partner. However, EMgage’s website insists that EMgage has no programming or formal relationship with AJC!
Rabbi Moline falsely claimed that Republican Senators were unconstitutionally “focus[ing] on [Syed’s] Muslim faith.” False! In fact, the Senators never mentioned or considered Syed’s Muslim faith. The Senators’ (and ZOA’s) real, appropriate concern is that Syed’s board membership on an extreme antisemitic anti-Israel organization demonstrates his own anti-Israel antisemitic prejudice that will harm small businesses and give additional legitimization to antisemitism. The Senators and ZOA would have the same concerns about anyone – no matter what his or her faith was – who served on the board of an antisemitic, anti-Israel organization.
ZOA urges AJC and Rabbi Moline to retract their statements, and to instead join ZOA in opposing Syed’s confirmation, so Syed cannot use a powerful position at the SBA to harm and discriminate against Jews and Israel, and to harm all consumers and businesses that benefit from American-Israeli business ties and to promote mainstreaming of antisemitism in an era of rising, dangerous antisemitism.