Anti-Israel Congressman Poses for Photo with Anti-Semitic CAIR Official Rep. Jamaal Bowman meets with those…
CNN Provides Forum for Representative of Hamas-Linked Groups
No challenge from host, who allowed CAIR’s Wilfredo Ruiz to distort reality about Israel.
By Joe Kaufman
On May 15th, the United Nations (UN) held an event to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Nakba or Catastrophe, the Palestinian term condemning the creation of Israel. In holding this event, the UN, which played a large role in recognizing Israel as a nation, over seven decades ago, has now denounced Israel’s existence. To showcase and distort the true nature of this obscene occasion, CNN en Español, CNN’s Spanish language channel, interviewed Wilfredo Amr Ruiz, a representative of groups tied to Hamas and someone who has previously vilified the Jewish religion. Ruiz’s propaganda and lies went unchallenged by the host.
Wilfredo Ruiz, a ‘prized’ convert, is a pillar of the radical Muslim community, as he speaks fluent Spanish, while proficiently communicating Palestinian and general Islamist talking points. When members of the Hispanic media look for a Muslim figure to discuss subjects about the religion of Islam or Islamic affairs, many times, Ruiz (misguidedly) becomes their ‘go to’ guy by default.
CNN en Español has frequently invited Ruiz to appear on its shows to comment on a number of subjects. The channel’s latest issue featuring Ruiz was the recent commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Nakba, held at UN Headquarters in New York City, which included an address made by Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas and music performed by a 25-piece orchestra. This was an especially egregious issue to involve Ruiz in, as he is an active participant in a variety of organizations that have documented ties to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.
Ruiz is the Communications Director for the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). The CAIR logo hovered behind him, throughout the CNN interview. CAIR was founded, in 1994, as part of the American Palestine Committee, headed by then-global leader of Hamas, Mousa Abu Marzook. In 2007 and 2008, CAIR was named by the US government, a party to the financing of Hamas, during federal trials concerning fellow Palestine Committee member, the Holy Land Foundation (HLF). In July 2014, Ruiz’s own CAIR-Florida co-sponsored a pro-Hamas rally in downtown Miami, where rally goers repeatedly chanted, “We are Hamas.”
Via CAIR, Ruiz has volunteered for Islamic Relief (IR), an organization that has been banned by several countries. In May 2006, Israel labeled IR a front for Hamas and deported its Gaza leader for funneling money to terrorists.
Ruiz is involved with the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), an entity with links to South Asian terror. Ruiz assists with projects for ICNA’s social services division, ICNA Relief, and he has been a representative for ICNA’s Hispanic Islamic outreach (dawah) group, Por qué Islam? For decades till today, ICNA has been a partner to the Al-Khidmat Foundation (AKF), a Pakistani charity that has been a proud financier to Hamas. In August 2006, at the same time AKF listed ICNA as its top donor, AKF took a delegation to the Damascus, Syria home of then-global Hamas leader Khaled Mashal to hand him $100,000 for terrorist acts against Israel.
Ruiz is a legal advisor for the American Muslim Association of North America (AMANA). Ruiz founded AMANA’s Puerto Rico and Connecticut chapters. In July 2010, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) condemned AMANA for promoting what the ADL labeled a “venomous” anti-Semitic video. The video was produced by and featured white supremacist icon David Duke. AMANA’s President, Sofian Zakkout, who has praised Duke, was thrown off the boards of two prominent anti-crime organizations, due to his support for Hamas and Holocaust denial. Ruiz calls Zakkout, who also organized the 2014 CAIR-Florida pro-Hamas rally, a “dear brother.”
Ruiz, too, has targeted Jews themselves with ugly bigotry. In April 2010, just three months prior to the ADL’s condemnation of his AMANA, Ruiz wrote an article vilifying the Jewish religion, titled ‘Las fobias de mi vecino’ (translated ‘My neighbor’s phobias’). In it, Ruiz cites Justinas Pranaitis, a Lithuanian Catholic priest who was infamous for advancing a blood libel claim against Jews and who was stripped of his priesthood. In his article, Ruiz provides a link to the website talmudunmasked.com, which contains Pranaitis’ anti-Semitic conspiracies and is produced by those alleging Jews are Satanic and perpetrated the 9/11 attacks.
In choosing to interview Ruiz, CNN en Español completely ignored Ruiz’s terror-related and anti-Semitic background. CNN host Ana María Luengo-Romero deceptively presented to her audience Ruiz as a “political analyst” and “Muslim chaplain” for AMANA. Furthermore, during the interview, the host gave Ruiz the forum to say whatever he wished – no matter how misleading or outright false – without challenge.
Ruiz stated that it is “Israel’s occupation that is the core of the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians.” He mentioned nothing about the security concerns Israel has, as a result of constant deadly attacks from terrorist organizations, including the one his groups are linked to, controlling the disputed territories that Palestinians themselves occupy.
He made the wild claim that East Jerusalem was “appropriated unilaterally” by the Jews, comparing it to Jewish settlement activity in Judea and Samaria. Yet, it was in the midst of a war that East and West Jerusalem became united under Israel – the 1967 Six-Day War – when a coalition of Arab countries, much like they did 20 years before, threatened to destroy the Jewish state.
He said, “It is the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to have self-determination and independence.” He insisted that “millions and millions” of Palestinian refugees – five million, according to him – are entitled to a state. He left out the fact that Palestinians were offered their own state, in 1948 and numerous times thereafter, but continually rejected statehood in favor of violence.
In truth, the only state Ruiz cares about is one called “Palestine” that occupies not just Gaza and Judea and Samaria, but all of Israel. He admitted this, while demanding the “right of return” for “the millions and millions” of Palestinian refugees. He said this same return, which he deceitfully described as “the return of the Palestinians to their lands from which they were expelled,” would “lead to a demographic change, which would be almost untenable for the State of Israel.”
This is the real meaning of Nakba. It is a de-legitimization of Israel and a term based on the lie that Jews stole Palestinian land to create an illegal state.
It is shameful that the UN would commemorate such an occasion as this, and it is equally shameful that CNN has continually embraced one of its bigoted advocates.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.