The headline speaker for the German-American Bund...errr...damblit I did it again....I mean C.A.I.R.
Freshman Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) has ignited a controversy after agreeing to be the keynote speaker at an April 7 banquet and fundraiser hosted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations Philadelphia chapter.Shame. Show you know how to handle a rookie mistake and withdrawal from the "banquet." If not, sobeit. The election is in under 20 months.
CAIR is the largest Muslim civil rights group in the country, with 30 chapters nationwide. Jewish organizations and conservative groups have criticized CAIR for not labeling Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist organizations, and for not speaking out specifically against suicide bombings against Israelis.
Sestak’s acceptance of the invitation has particularly enraged members of the Philadelphia Jewish community, who bombarded him with critical questions at a forum last week. Most of the questions during the two-hour meeting dealt with the CAIR fundraiser.
According to Rabbi Lisa Malik, whose synagogue co-sponsored the forum, the event nearly was canceled after word of Sestak’s appearance at CAIR’s function leaked out. When the congressman did speak, he had to field a barrage of tough questions from the audience at the Jewish Community Center in Havertown, PA. Protesters gathered outside.
“I don’t think he came across looking that good. A lot of his answers came across as very wishy-washy,” said Malik. “He had the opportunity to become a hero. I was hoping after hearing everyone’s complaints, he would cancel his appearance at the CAIR function or at least reconsider it.”
He is, as is his nature though, letting his ego dig his hole deeper.
One of the featured speakers at the event is Muslim activist Rafael Narbaez, who has made a number of controversial comments about Israel in the past. During a July 2006 speech at a Detroit mosque, Narbaez said the Zionists have “the same racist ideology that the Nazis of Germany had.”"Truth to power?" Huh? "...has not seen...?" Huh? I don't know, maybe check here, here, here, here and here for starters.
The brouhaha began two weeks ago when Sestak’s outreach coordinator, Adeeba Al-Zaman, booked the congressman for an event his aides presented as a banquet. But CAIR’s Philadelphia chapter put out fliers billing the congressman as the featured speaker at a fundraiser. Al-Zaman is the former director of communications for CAIR’s Philadelphia chapter.
Upon receiving complaints, Sestak insisted that he wouldn’t speak unless he was the only speaker and was disassociated from the fundraising portion of the event. CAIR responded by advertising Sestak’s speech as part of a “banquet” while other featured speakers and entertainment would be listed under the fundraiser. Despite the changes, attendees still need to pay $50 to attend the banquet and hear Sestak speak.
Sestak said he would not cancel because more than 200 of his constituents would be in the audience. He also said he would criticize CAIR in his speech, and tell them they need to more explicitly condemn terrorism.
“The easiest thing to do was to cancel, but I don’t think it’s the right thing to do,” Sestak said. “The best way forward is to take advantage of this to speak, and to speak truth to power. And to speak directly and candidly of what I believe.”
Sestak said he will reiterate his “strong support for Israel” and criticize the terrorist groups in his speech. He added that he hasn’t seen any instance where CAIR has specifically singled out Hamas and Hezbollah for criticism.
At this point, anything but walking away is CYA. Period.
Hat tip LGF.