Just before the Memorial Day weekend, Senate Democrats quietly confirmed a longtime anti-Israel activist to serve on the United States Postal Service’s Board of Governors, raising further questions about the Biden administration’s embrace of those who serve on the front lines in the fight to delegitimize the Jewish state.
Democrats confirmed by voice vote Friday evening Anton Hajjar, a longtime member of and legal adviser to the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), a notoriously anti-Israel organization that promotes anti-Semitic canards. The group routinely and inaccurately refers to Israel as an “apartheid state,” a term meant to stoke anger at Israel, and has accused U.S. lawmakers of promoting Israel’s interests over America’s. Senate Democrats expedited Hajjar’s confirmation by waiving a parliamentary rule that allows the minority to delay a vote.
Hajjar is just the latest Biden nominee closely tied to anti-Israel causes such as the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement. Dilawar Syed, Biden’s pick for deputy administrator of the Small Business Administration, has served on the board of the Muslim-American advocacy group Emgage Action, which supports BDS, since 2017. Biden also tapped BDS activist Maher Bitar to serve in a top intelligence posting on the White House National Security Council.
While Hajjar will have little power to promote anti-Israel causes from his perch on the Postal Service’s Board of Governors, critics see the Biden administration rewarding fringe activists with plum gigs. Hajjar is a prolific Democratic Party donor and recently gave funds to Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.), the anti-Israel lawmaker who has promoted anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and pushed to cut U.S. aid to the Jewish state as it was fighting Hamas terrorists this last month. The Postal Service board directs the agency’s expenditures and sets policies of most postal matters.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) told the Washington Free Beacon that Hajjar’s longstanding ties to one of the most vocal anti-Israel organizations operating in the United States are troubling, particularly at a time when anti-Semitism is skyrocketing across the country.
“We are seeing a disgusting rise in anti-Semitism across the globe, including in our own communities,” Rubio said. “Any nominee associated with an anti-Israel group raises serious concerns and deserves increased scrutiny. Anti-Israel policies and activities give cover to anti-Semitism, and we have to call it for what it is.”
The anti-Israel ADC supported Hajjar’s confirmation to the Postal Service, calling for his “swift nomination” in April.
Hajjar has been namechecked as a “longtime” ADC member, according to recordings of the group’s past events. He also serves as a legal adviser to Safa Rifka, the chair of the organization’s board, according to LinkedIn. Rifka is closely aligned with embattled Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, as well as his former ambassador in Washington, D.C., Imad Moustapha.
During Israel’s most recent conflict with Hamas, the ADC pressured Congress to cut critical U.S. security assistance to the Jewish state.
“This is paid for by U.S. taxpayer dollars,” the group tweeted on May 19, referring to Israeli war planes. “Tell Congress enough is enough—no more funding to the apartheid state of Israel.”
The ADC also urged its members to tell Congress that it must “put pressure on the Israeli government to end the forced exile and brutal attacks on Palestinians,” according to a copy of the form letter obtained by the Free Beacon.
The ADC also was one of over 60 organizations that cosponsored a pro-BDS rally over Memorial Day weekend in Washington, D.C.
Hajjar is a lawyer who served as general counsel for the American Postal Workers Union. He also represented Arab and Muslim Americans in pro-bono employment discrimination cases that were filed in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks.
Hajjar represented the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF) and its CEO, Rateb Rabie, in a 2004 civil labor suit, according to court documents reviewed by the Free Beacon. HCEF is closely associated with the ADC.
HCEF also promotes anti-Israel causes and during its 2014 international conference, the organization featured a speech by Palestine Liberation Organization spokesman Hanan Ashrawi. During her speech, Ashrawi “sliced and diced Israeli propaganda and detailed the methodology of Israel’s genocide and ethnic cleansing of not only Christian Palestinians but all non-Jews,” according to coverage of the event posted on HCEF’s website.
The Postal Service and White House did not respond by press time to requests for comments on Hajjar’s confirmation.
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