It would be inconceivable for Barack Obama to appoint a man who had praised the Ku Klux Klan to a commission discussing race relations; what he has actually done, however, is all too predictable. Obama has appointed a man who has praised Hamas and Hizballah, and blamed Israel for 9/11, to be the United States’ representative at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s (OSCE) annual 10-day human rights conference, the Human Dimension Implementation Meetings (HDIM).
The Obama State Department is sending Salam al-Marayati, founder and executive director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), to the OSCE conference. The foremost problem with this appointment is that al-Marayati was one of the first 9/11 truthers out of the box, ready with an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory on the very day of the attacks. On September 11, 2001, al-Marayati appeared on a radio show in Los Angeles to discuss the jihad attacks in New York and Washington, and said: “If we’re going to look at suspects, we should look to the groups that benefit the most from these kinds of incidents, and I think we should put the state of Israel on the suspect list because I think this diverts attention from what’s happening in the Palestinian territories so that they can go on with their aggression and occupation and apartheid policies.”
These remarks are not anomalous for al-Marayati, who has claimed that the jihad terrorist group Hizballah is working for “liberation and resistance,” and has refused to call it a terrorist group. Likewise, al-Marayati has said optimistically that Hizballah’s Sunni counterpart Hamas will eventually gain acceptance:
Yesterday’s terrorists in the Middle East are today’s leaders. The PLO is the number one example of this. … The PLO 35 years ago was considered a terrorist organization, nobody should deal with them. … But they became the people in authority, in Palestine, today. So Hamas today, the way it’s being viewed, is exactly how the PLO was viewed 30 years ago. And in fact, even Hamas in terms of its social and educational operations is doing exactly what the PLO was doing 35 years ago, as well as its quote unquote military operations.
Understandably, Jewish groups are unhappy with the appointment. Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, declared:
One would assume that individuals selected to represent the United States at an international human rights conclave would share our government’s longstanding policy that Hamas and Hezbollah are dangerous terrorist organizations. But Mr. Salam al-Marayati and his organization are long-time advocates that these deadly terror groups be removed from the U.S. terrorist list.