As Joe Biden’s crazy picks for top government jobs pile up (John Kerry, Pete Buttigieg, Javier Becerra, Rachel Levine, etc.) one that could be easily overlooked is Maher Bitar for senior director of intelligence in the National Security Council. Like virtually all of Old Joe’s picks, this is a head-scratcher.
Daniel Greenfield at Sultan Knish has an excellent background on Bitar, which you can read here. If you could sum up Bitar in three words, it’s, “he hates Israel”.
As pointed out by Greenfield, Bitar is a former leader of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). While I was not previously familiar with Bitar, I am very familiar with SJP. During my years teaching at UC Irvine, I saw their act first-hand many times. In my mind, they are a bunch of anti-Semitic Brown Shirts. Don’t let the fact that they have a few Jewish misfits among their ranks fool you. Anti-Semitism is a core value of this organization.
SJP was co-founded by UC Berkeley professor Hatem Bazian, a Palestinian radical who washed up on our shores as a student at San Francisco State University, where they trained him well. Batem’s other schtick, besides, the Palestinian cause, is fighting “Islamophobia”, a term coined by US-based Islamists to try and stifle any discussion of Islamic violence and terrorism. In fact, Bazian is co-founder of the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Center at UC Berkeley. It may sound impressive, but last I checked (I was there once), it was occupying a small office barely big enough to hold a computer and a desk.
I have seen Bazian speak on three occasions, and trust me, it’s an ordeal. This is a guy who once called for an intifada in America. That’s on videotape, so the point cannot be argued. In addition, Bazian has many other quotes attributed to him that his critics consider to be pure anti-Semitic-as do I.
But enough about Bazian. I have written about him many times, and I bring him up again only to highlight the stupidity of choosing a former SJP leader to a high intelligence job. It only underlines how radical this new administration is. SJP is a despicable organization that should not be allowed to operate on any university campus. They use bullying, intimidation and disruption to make their points, something I have observed first hand at UC Irvine. That they are now finding their way into the US Government is downright scary.
Bitar is entitled to his views regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. What I find disturbing, however, is that a man with these views and these past associations is now becoming a top official in the National Security Council. The previous administration (under President Trump) was a solid ally of Israel. The selection of this man to be on the NSC, coupled with Biden’s renewed overtures to the Palestinians, suggests to me that the new administration is going in a different direction.