An Open Challenge to CAIR regarding the Anti-BDS Bill

This is the third blog I have written regarding the Missouri Anti-BDS bill and it is a direct extension of the problem I raised in the first. This year a bill is being proposed for the second time in the state of Missouri, which will prohibit the state from granting contracts to entities involved in a boycott, divestment and sanction (BDS) movement against Israel. In 2018, the bill failed to pass. During the first hearing session for the bill, the question was raised about whether the BDS movement calls for the destruction of Israel, which is still the subject of this third blog.

I quoted Representative Peter Merideth (Dem) who did not support the bill, because he believed the BDS movement did not have any hidden agenda. Rep. Merideth wrote, “We heard testimony from the Speaker and others arguing that the international movement to boycott Israel is a concerted effort to destroy the economy and existence of the state of Israel… but the reality of this boycott is that most participants do not share that goal, and nowhere is there any sort of ‘official’ goal of the boycott movement toward that end. We heard from countless folks that participate for sincere humanitarian reasons and objections to Israeli government’s policies.” In response, I wrote my first blog, which explained that there are two sources for the idea that the BDS movement is designed to destroy Israel. Frist, I explained that the idea came from endless quotes from BDS leaders calling for the elimination of Israel. Second, the BDS movement calls for the Palestinian Right of Return, which is the idea that Palestinian self-determination should replace Jewish self-determination in the land of Israel, meaning a Palestinian State would erase and replace the Jewish State.

In 2019, the bill was proposed for a second time, and I wrote a second blog on the issue. In the blog, I explained that every BDS group in Missouri is led by people who have public statements calling for the eradication of Israel. I listed the Missouri groups working against the Anti-BDS bill: Mid-Missourians for Justice in Palestine, Mid-Missouri Fellowship of Reconciliation, St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee, and American Muslims for Palestine (AMP). Every single group has a primary leader who has called for Israel to be removed from the earth. For example, one of the people listed was named, Neveen Ayesh, who is the Executive Director of the Missouri chapter of AMP. In 2014, Ayesh tweeted, “I want to set Israel on fire with my own hands & watch it burn to ashes along with every Israeli in it.”

On March 26th, I went to the Capital of Missouri to try and meet representatives to ask them to support the bill. On the same day, the Missouri chapter of the, “Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MO),” was there with a large group. They were hosting the, “Missouri Muslim Capitol Day.” The CAIR website explained, “Participants in Capitol day will hold meetings with their elected officials, build relationships and discuss issues of concern.” There were only two goals listed for the trip: To advocate for a bill to recognize, “Muslim Heritage Day,” and to fight against the Anti-BDS bill.

According to CAIR-MO, what are the main concerns of the Muslim community in Missouri? Executive Director of CAIR-MO, Faizan Syed stated, “We hope to rally lawmakers to recognize the contributions of our community to the state and pass this ‘Heritage Day’ resolution as well as protect our constitutional right to engage in peaceful boycott of Israel.” The only bill listed by number, “One of the bills the group will advocate against is S.B. 308 and H.B. 1011, which would restrict the first amendment right to boycott in order to protect Palestinian rights in the State of Missouri. The group believes these bills are unconstitutional, if passed it will invite lawsuits similar to those in Kansas, and target core protected First Amendment rights. In 2018 CAIR-Missouri was a part of the coalition that organized to defeat the passage of a similar bill.”

I was at the capital on the same day. I posted a picture of myself on facebook standing under the sign for the CAIR group. I mentioned seeing Neveen Ayesh and posted her quote about her desire to set Israel on fire and reminded people to support the bill. Ayesh is the Executive Director of AMP-MO and a Communication Intern with CAIR-MO. She has been very active to advocate against the BDS bill. She spoke against the bill at the hearing sessions. She was even interviewed on the local TV news to speak against the bill. Clearly, she is publicly representing both groups.

Recently, Ayesh saw my post and made some comments. Ayesh tried to claim that I misrepresented her position on the issues. Ayesh scoffed, “Not once have I singled an individual out nor attacked the Jewish faith, I criticize the Israeli government.” Well, is that true? The answer is no. Ayesh has called for Jews to be quarantined, hung and set on fire.

Here is a tiny selection of her tweets to demonstrate:

  1. “I don’t like Israeli Jews. – They’re some B word niggas.”

2. “I hate Jews – I hate Israelis – just become extinct no one even likes you nawar [gypsies] #Animals.”

3. “I just want to spit in their faces. All of them any Jew Israeli I come across I hate them all.”

4. “I should put a sign on that door that says if your yahoodi [Jewish] please kill yourself cause you aren’t welcome anywhere.”

5. “#crimesworthyoftherope: being a Jew.”

Ayesh has also openly stated her support for Hamas, “I honestly don’t blame Hamas fati7 [Fatah] or any other organization for plotting anything against Israel. I hope they burn.” Ayesh is ambitious, she expressed her desire to be the first woman to join the military terrorist wing of Hamas, called the, “Izz ad-Din al-Qassam,” brigade, often shortened to Al-Qassam. In 2014, Ayesh tweeted a photo of a group of Hamas terrorists marching in procession and wrote, “I should join al-Qassam. Be the first female to join their group – lololol – #IdLoveToThough.” Yet, according to Ayesh’s comment on my facebook page, she has never incited violence against Jews. However, back in real life, her single denial on my facebook page is a complete lie. There is a giant stack of quotes by her calling for violence against Jews.

Again, this year, Rep. Merideth has been struggling with the question of whether the Missouri BDS leaders want to remove Israel from the planet, or merely want to change an Israeli policy in regards to their treatment of the Palestinians. During the hearing session, he asked a person who opposed the bill the same exact question he asked last year, is there any official stated goal of the BDS movement to destroy Israel. Eventually, he asked if these quotes calling for the extermination of Israel come from just a few bad apples, because there are extremists in every group.

Here is where we arrive at my challenge to CAIR-MO. Rep. Merideth has been struggling with the question of the real goal of the BDS movement for two years. CAIR allowed Ayesh to come to speak against the bill as a representative. Well, why not answer this question once and for all? Surely, CAIR does not represent the few bad apples who want to destroy Israel. Of course, the problem for CAIR is that Ayesh wants to destroy Israel, and she has been speaking on their behalf. Does CAIR endorse or reject her call to hang every Jewish person? Does CAIR reject her goal to, “to set Israel on fire?” Actually, this is not an abstract question, because Ayesh expressed her desire to join the military wing of Hamas, who has been attaching flaming rags to kites and flying them into Israel causing thousands of fires. For all intents and purposes it appears that Ayesh is perfectly aligned with Hamas’ mission to set Israel on fire, and she is not ashamed to admit it. But, if not, then why does CAIR allow her to speak for them?

So, here is my challenge to CAIR-MO: Will CAIR-MO issue a statement, which simply says that they support the right of the Jewish people to self-determination expressed as the Nation of State of the Jewish people and that Israel has the right to exist? If CAIR-MO would issue a statement that they do want to destroy Israel, but rather just want to change some Israeli policies, then the mysterious question of the true intention of the Missouri BDS leaders could finally be laid to rest.

About the Author
Daniel Swindell is a Zionist. He has a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Missouri, and has studied in Yeshiva.