WASHINGTON, April 14, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) today released a new video that examines an outspoken radical Islamist adviser to the campaign of presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
Titled "Bernie Sanders' Bad Adviser," the video examines the past statements and actions of Linda Sarsour, executive director of the Arab American Association of New York.
She describes supporters of Israel as inherently racist and creepy, defends the Islamist terror hegemon Hamas as a legitimate political force and accuses advocates for the Jewish people as being white supremacists.
Sanders featured Sarsour her in a recent speech for a political rally in Wisconsin and in a new campaign advertisement.
The following is a transcript of the IPT video:
Title: Bernie Sanders' Bad Adviser
In an April 1st New York Daily News interview, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders grossly exaggerated the number of Palestinian casualties during the 2014 Gaza war.
Sanders: Anybody have – help me out here because I don't remember the figures, but my recollection is over 10,000 innocent people were killed in Gaza. That sound right?
NYDN: I think it's probably high, but...
Sanders: I don't have it in my head, but I think it's over 10,000.
Sanders' estimate of 10,000 innocent casualties is seven times higher than the Hamas estimate adopted by the United Nations.
And it makes no reference to Hamas fighters killed by the Israel Defense Forces after firing rockets from schools, hospitals and other densely populated areas, who were tallied as civilians.
It isn't clear where Sanders may have heard such an erroneous estimate.
But among his key surrogates is a stridently anti-Israel activist.
Someone who sees Zionists – people who support the existence of a Jewish state – as inherently racist and creepy.
Despite her hateful rhetoric, Linda Sarsour, executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, is taking on an increasingly higher profile within the Sanders campaign
When Sanders needed someone to introduce him at an April 3 rally just before Wisconsin's hotly-contested primary, he chose Linda Sarsour.
Linda Sarsour: See, I'm a person of faith. And not everybody believes in God and that's cool. I do. And what that means is, when I go to the polls, I'm making a moral choice. And the only moral choice you have if you are a person that believes in a higher being, is to walk into that polls and proudly vote for Sen. Bernie Sanders. 2:36 (cheers follow)
Sanders: Let me thank Linda, except that she gave about three-quarters of my speech.
In 2014, between labeling Zionism as creepy and her Sanders advocacy, Sarsour pushed a false story. She said that the terrorist group Hamas no longer called for Israel's annihilation. While she said she wasn't defending Hamas, she made it seem like a responsible party which should have a seat at future peace talks:
Sarsour: So I'm obviously no expert on Hamas and on their charter, but what I do understand is that their point of contention is that Hamas has in their charter that it will not recognize the state of Israel. And people will say, how do we then acknowledge a Palestinian state or Hamas if they don't recognize the existence of the state of Israel? My understanding is that in 2006 they moved away from that position as they were getting ready for elections that they obviously won.
Sanders would be well advised not to listen to Sarsour on this one.
In 2012, Khaled Meshaal, the top Hamas political leader, gave a speech saying the exact opposite of what Sarsour claims.
Meshaal: "First of all, Palestine – from the (Jordan) River to the (Mediterranean) Sea, from its north to its south – is our right and our homeland. There will be no relinquishing or forsaking even an inch or small part of it," Meshaal said in a December 2012 speech carried on Al-Aqsa TV.
In a speech during the "Million Man March" in Washington last October, Sarsour called supporters of Israel white supremacists.
Sarsour: We are one, sisters and brothers, and our liberation is bound up together. The same people who justify the massacres of Palestinian people and call it collateral damage are the same people who justify the murder of black young men and women. //That common enemy, sisters and brothers, is white supremacy. Let's call it what it is. 1:13
Inflammatory rhetoric isn't new for Sarsour.
After Islamist terrorists massacred the editorial staff at the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo, Sarsour was a featured speaker at a banquet at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
CAIR is a radical Islamist group that was designated as an unindicted coconspirator in the largest Hamas money laundering case in US history.
At this banquet, Sarsour adamantly refused to stand with the slaughtered cartoonists because she accused them of "vilifying" Islam.
Sarsour: "I am absolutely not Charlie. I am absolutely not going to say Je suis Charlie. [Applause.] Because Charlie Hebdo chose to use his publication to vilify my faith, dehumanize my community, demoralize my prophet, and I absolutely will say you can have freedom of speech and I have the freedom to call you a bigot and a racist. This [applause over several words]. No I am not Je suis Charlie.
Charlie Hebdo mocked all major religions. It was considered to be harsher on Christianity than any other, but for mocking Islam, Sarsour condemned terrorist victims as bigots and racists.
Sarsour leapt to similar, baseless conclusions in 2012, after a Muslim woman was found beaten and dying in her San Diego area home.
A note found near her made it seem like she was targeted because she wore a hijab.
Likening the case to the killing of Florida teen Trayvon Martin, Sarsour took to CNN.com to proclaim Shaima Alawadi the victim of a hate crime.
"In America, terrorism has become synonymous with Arabs and Muslims. We see that clearly stated in the note left next to Alawadi."
But the note that Sarsour mentioned turned out to be a forgery by Alawadi's husband who was convicted of her murder.
Sarsour hasn't had much to say about that.
Despite a record of angry rhetoric and hate toward Israel and its supporters, Sarsour's profile in the Sanders campaign continues to grow.
She is featured prominently in his latest campaign ad:
Sarsour: Bernie Sanders sees all of me, he sees all of you, he sees us as a whole people, a whole country. That's why I'm voting for Bernie Sanders.
Sanders: I'm Bernie Sanders, and I approved this message.
SOURCE Investigative Project on Terrorism