Old habits die hard.
Hillary Clinton's associations are more than alarming. Just last month the Democrat presidential contender hosted a panel that included a controversial Muslim figure who openly supported Hezbollah in its 1983 bombing of a Marine barracks in Beirut and who blamed the 9/11 attacks on Israel.
Salam al-Marayati, president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), has long circulated Democrats' orbit. In fact, four years ago I included Marayati in a list of dubious figures tied to the Obama administration:
Marayati is an Iraqi immigrant who drew national attention over a decade ago when then-House Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt nominated him to serve on the National Commission on Terrorism. Backlash over al-Marayati’s defense of Hezbollah and other Islamic groups prompted a withdrawal of the nomination. The Center for Security Policy reports that MPAC was formed in 1986 as the Political Action Committee for the Islamic Center for Southern California, one of the largest Wahhabi mosques in the country. While MPAC later fractioned-off, one of the founders of the Islamic Center, Hassan Hathout, was a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood who also spent time in Egyptian prison.
The same Marayati is now appearing with Hillary Clinton on panel discussions.
PJ Media's Patrick Poole writes about the terrorist-apologist and his ties to the Clintons in a detailed report here. An excerpt follows:
Under his continued leadership, MPAC continues to promote extremist conspiracy theories, including accusations published on the group's website in 2010 that Israel was harvesting the organs of Palestinians -- a claim that was denounced by the Anti-Defamation League as a blood libel.
But Marayati's appearance with Hillary Clinton is hardly unusual, as the relationship with the Clinton family goes back to 1996 -- when he served as a delegate for Bill Clinton during the Democratic National Convention that year.
Waves of controversy have not stopped Hillary Clinton from continuing to promote Marayati, including appointing him to positions during her tenure as Obama's secretary of State. So his appearance at the March 24th campaign panel held at the University of Southern California is no surprise.
Marayati first came to public attention in 1999, when his appointment by then-House Democratic Minority Leader Dick Gephardt to a congressional terrorism commission was opposed by Jewish groups outraged by MPAC's open defense of terrorist organizations, including Hezbollah. A summary of MPAC's extremist views was later published in a press release by the Journal of Counterterrorism and Security International.
Amidst this controversy over his appointment, MPAC published a policy paper that defended the Hezbollah terror attack on U.S. peacekeepers in Beirut that killed 241 as legitimate resistance and not really a terror attack:
After his appointment was withdrawn by Rep. Gephardt, just a few months later he appeared on PBS NewsHour (as noted by my PJ Media colleague Andrew McCarthy) saying that Hezbollah's terrorism was "legitimate resistance."
Associations like this are nothing new to the Obama administration, nor to the Clintons. In fact, it is one of the primary reasons why voters concerned about terrorism and national security, or who care for the preservation of Israel, are best advised to refrain from voting for Clinton come November.
For more details on Marayati and his involvement with U.S. lawmakers follow the link here to Poole's in-depth report.