The Jerusalem Fund and Palestine Center, a pro-Palestinian organization headquartered in D.C. chaired by Tennessee-based Dr. Subhi Ali (pictured, right), fundraised this month with two galas featuring a keynote by Israeli-Arab Knesset (Israel’s legislature) member, Haneen Zoabi (pictured, left) who compared Israel to Germany in the 1930s, claimed Israel has no right to exist as a Jewish state and suggested that Israeli-Arab members of the Knesset should work to undermine the State of Israel from within.
Ali who lives in Waverly, Tennessee, joined the Jerusalem Fund in 2000 and became Vice-President of the Board in 2004, serving alongside the Fund’s founder Hisham Sharabi. Ali has led the Board since 2005.
The galas’ featured speaker, Zoabi, also speaks at Students for Justice in Palestine anti-Israel events on U.S. college campuses, characterizing Israel as a racist apartheid state, getting what it deserves for forcing people to “live under occupation.” In 2014, when HAMAS militants abducted and murdered three Israeli teenagers, Zoabi said the HAMAS militants were “not terrorists” but people forced to live under occupation:
They’re people who don’t see any way to change their reality and they are forced to use these means until Israel will wake up a little, until Israeli citizens and society will wake up and feel the suffering of the other,
HAMAS is a U.S. designated terrorist organization whose charter, posted on the Jerusalem Fund website until February 2016, calls for the destruction of Israel.
The Jerusalem Fund’s founder and Chairman, Hisham Sharabi, was a long-standing advocate of an “armed Palestinian struggle” against what he characterized as “Israeli occupation” of the West Bank and Gaza. He described HAMAS as “the true fida’i (self-sacrifice) resistance in Palestine since the outbreak of the Palestinian intifada.”
The Jerusalem Fund hosts speakers who make a deliberate effort to deconstruct the narrative of HAMAS as a terrorist organization:
When we think about Hamas—me as a European, you as Americans—we think, as Yousef said, to a monolith. It’s the suicide attacks, it’s the military wing, it’s the rockets from Gaza to the Negev and to the Israeli cities. Hamas is also a political movement. It started from the Muslim Brotherhood, the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood. It means it’s a social-religious movement also. We don’t see this part of the picture. We don’t see the political part of the picture regarding the movement. And, although it’s a bit technical, but I want to let you understand how Hamas is complex.
Sharabi was also a supporter of Sami al-Arian, a leader in the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), another U.S. designated terrorist organization. Sharabi was also a board member of Al-Arian’s other organization, the World and Islam Studies Enterprise (WISE). During Sharabi’s tenure as a board member, WISE funneled payments to the PIJ martyrs through the Islamic International Arab Bank (Arab Bank). Al-Arian was deported from the U.S. in 2015.
Not surprisingly, the Jerusalem Fund’s former director Yousef Munayyer openly advocated for the BDS (Boycott, Divestment & Sanction) campaign against Israel which the Fund’s current director, Mohamed Mohamed continues to support:
To put it bluntly, Israel is a country built on land theft, ethnic cleansing, and oppression. It is unreasonable – if not completely absurd – to assume that such an aggressive state would voluntarily give Palestinians their human rights…
The bottom line is that Israel must be pressured in some way or another for it to even consider improving its treatment of Palestinians. This is the key logic behind the grassroots boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement, which has succeeded in imposing economic, academic, and cultural costs on Israel for its continued occupation and oppression of Palestinians. As this pressure increases, so will the likelihood that Israel will change its repressive ways.
The BDS campaign attacks Zionism and seeks to demonize, delegitimize and eliminate the State of Israel, to wit, the slogan “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” used by BDS promoters to signal that if successful, there would be no Israel or Jews between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean.
Subhi Ali donates predominantly to Democrat candidates.