Deception & Misdirection

DC “March for Gaza” Doubles as March for Hamas and Houthis

Social media has been flooded with posts since last weekend’s “March for Gaza” in Washington, DC, where protestors shouted their demands for ceasefires between Israel and Hamas and between the U.S. and the Yemen-based Houthis. Some protestors damaged a temporary fence that was set up in front of the White House’s main entry gate in order to contain the event, forcing some White House staff members and reporters to evacuate.

The stated message of the protests and the appeal to nonviolence, though, is a sanitization to mask the organizers’ bigger, more inflammatory objectives and beliefs of the protest’s organizers—objectives and beliefs apparently shared by almost all the participants.

The organizers aren’t arguing for ceasefires based on a principled (if misguided) pacifist position that is consistently anti-war and opposed to violence. Their positions against Israeli targeting of Hamas and U.S. targeting of the Houthis aren’t based on their own objective merits. These causes are adopted because achieving them advances their larger ideological goal: Helping Hamas and the Houthis in their violent struggle against supposed U.S. and Israeli colonialism as part of a global militant revolution against the West.

A critical look at the inconsistencies in the protestors’ stances and the histories of the event organizers lead to this conclusion.

Notice that the protestors only fault one side: Their calls for a “ceasefire” sound like an evenhanded plea for both sides to embrace peace, but they direct their demands only at the U.S. and Israel while ignoring the other anti-Western participants. They condemn Israel for its supposed “genocide” but never mention the goals and actions of Hamas that are undeniably genocidal. In fact, the event’s key organizers, endorsers and speakers have expressed support for Hamas’s genocidal massacre of 1,200 Israelis on October 7.

Organizers of the March for Gaza

The rally’s two main organizers were the far-left ANSWER (which laughably claims that 400,000 people attended the rally while media reports estimate the number to be “thousands”) and the American Muslim Task Force for Palestine, a coalition of at least eight Muslim American organizations that have thus far failed to condemn Hamas and have extremist track records, including justifying the October 7 massacre.

ANSWER’s worldview is that the U.S. and its allies’ foreign policies are maliciously motivated and are the imperialistic aggressors in every conflict they are involved in. ANSWER’s description of itself is a one-sided laundry list of complaints about U.S. actions against communists, dictators, and sponsors of terrorism who have waged war, committed aggression, and engaged in imperialism and colonialism.

ANSWER has amplified posts calling for the destruction of the state of Israel and has expressed its support for the attacks on shipping in the Red Sea by the Iran-backed Houthis. The group doesn’t actually oppose war in general as it purports. It is only against Western participation in war and supports the wars committed by the West’s enemies.

The American Muslim Task Force for Palestine includes at least eight extremist organizations with documented histories of using deceptive semantics.

One member, American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), has justified the October 7 attack, going so far as to object to even calling it an “attack.” AMP has well-documented ties to Hamas-linked entities and a history of extremist rhetoric that includes supporting the terrorist organization.

The leader of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) spoke at the event and was recently caught on video celebrating the October 7 attack and saying that the perpetrators have earned their ticket to heaven. The Biden White House then condemned CAIR, which then tried to exonerate itself with a nonsensical denial of what he said.

CAIR originated from a pro-Hamas apparatus in the U.S. that was established by the Muslim Brotherhood, the parent organization of Hamas. CAIR’s founders were recorded discussing their plans to use deception to advance Hamas’s agenda without making their motivations obvious.

CAIR most recently condemned the retaliatory and preventative airstrikes on Houthi targets by the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, and the Muslim-majority country of Bahrain. It has not condemned the Houthi attacks on shipping in support of Hamas.

The Islamic Circle of North America, which originated from Jamaat-e-Islami, is an Islamist extremist movement in Southeast Asia that is essentially that region’s version of the Muslim Brotherhood. It has also failed to condemn Hamas and has a history of extremism. It published a handbook for members that articulated their revolutionary Islamist goals and advocated the use of deception towards that end.

The Muslim American Society, which federal prosecutors say was founded as the “overt arm” of the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S., also hasn’t condemned Hamas or its actions. Its use of misleading semantics, deception, and secrecy are also documented.

Two other members are the Muslim Legal Fund of America and the Muslim Ummah of North America. Both have been accused of being tied to the Islamist extremist movement and its Hamas lobby. The remaining two are the national Muslim Students Association and Young Muslims.

The March for Gaza’s Endorsing Organizations

The long list of endorsing organizations follows a similar pattern. It is chock full of communists, radical socialists, terrorism supporters, Islamic organizations with anti-Semitic and extremist records, and organizations that may deny being anti-American but reflexively take the side of America’s enemies and always describe Western countries as having the worst of intentions.

The endorsers include far-left groups that have unequivocally declared their solidarity with Hamas and support for the October 7 massacres. The list includes Democratic Socialists of America, the Party for Socialism and Liberation (which is also cheering the Houthi attacks on shipping), Al-Awda, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Code Pink, National Students for Justice in Palestine, and Samidoun (Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network), which is literally a front for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorist group.

A few of the endorsers lack the self-awareness to realize they are embarrassing themselves with their hypocrisy. Three of the endorsing organizations are the Queer Muslim Solidarity Network, Queer Shia Network, and Purple Up for Palestine. One protestor even held a sign that said, “Trans People for Palestine.” Anyone with the slightest understanding of the sentiment of Hamas and the Palestinian population toward people who aren’t straight would know how ridiculous that is, especially when it is contrasted with the accepting environment toward those groups in Israel.

The Pro-Hamas Lobby’s Disproportionate Political Power

The March for Gaza should not be simply dismissed as a gathering of the fringe.

One of the listed endorsers is #AbandonBiden, which is a movement of those who prioritize opposing U.S. support for Israel so much that they believe it is worth it to refuse to vote for President Joe Biden in the general election, even if his all-but-certain opponent is former President Donald Trump. Doing so sounds ridiculous since Trump would undoubtedly be even more supportive of Israel and less friendly to the Palestinian cause, but for these activists and voters, sustaining a general election loss that would set back their agenda is acceptable if it proves to the Democratic Party that they can hold its fate hostage.

The #AbandonBiden movement believes it can threaten Biden by warning that it can potentially decide the outcome in extremely close races. A little less than 3 percent of the population in the swing state of Michigan is Muslim. That percentage alone could theoretically determine the outcome in Michigan if the race is close, without even adding in far-left non-Muslim voters who could join the initiative.

But the #AbandonBiden movement’s threats don’t account for the fact that appeasing it would cost Biden and the Democratic Party an unknown amount of votes from the Jewish American community, non-Jewish Democrats who are not fond of siding with Israel’s enemies, and undecided voters.

Presidential candidates Cornel West and Jill Stein, the latter no stranger to undermining the Democrats as a spoiler in a presidential race, attended the March for Gaza. Neither support Hamas per se, but whether they know it or not, they are soliciting the Hamas lobby and those influenced by its messaging for support.

The harsh reality is that the Hamas lobby can punch above its weight in terms of influence. The success is largely due to its ability to push the terrorist group’s agenda by focusing its political activism on less off-putting incremental achievements for Hamas and its allies instead of taking the more honest and direct approach of trying to rally protestors and performative activists on social media for the explicit goal of helping Hamas and the Houthis in destroying Israel and waging war on the Western world.

Weaponizing Ignorance

The Hamas lobby understands that it doesn’t necessarily need substantive arguments to get its way. All it needs to build mainstream support for its objectives and to intimidate policymakers is to popularize simplistic rhetoric about supporting “peace” and opposing “genocide.” Such rhetoric offers an irresistible opportunity for self-righteous virtual signaling by pseudo-intellectuals on social media.

It’s about weaponizing the strong correlation between ignorance and arrogance that is especially pervasive in today’s culture where far too many people believe their consumptions of memes, short video rants, and screenshots of news articles on social media adequately equip them to have a credible, informed position on complex issues that researchers and analysts typically spend decades struggling to fully grasp.

The pro-terrorist and anti-Western revolutionaries’ successful organizing of the March for Gaza is a case study in how the worst extremists can build and exercise political influence just by using some triggering keywords and a tiny bit of camouflage.

Ryan Mauro

Ryan Mauro is an investigative researcher for Capital Research Center. He is also an adjunct professor at Regent University and the former Director of Intelligence…
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