White House distances itself from CAIR after executive director stated he was 'happy' to see the October 7 massacre in Israel
In a video circulating on social media, Awad is heard expressing satisfaction over Palestinians in Gaza 'breaking the siege' during the violent incident on October 7, which Hamas executed against Israel.
The White House is actively distancing itself from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) following controversial remarks made by its executive director, Nihad Awad.
In a video circulating on social media, Awad is heard expressing satisfaction over Palestinians in Gaza "breaking the siege" during the violent incident on October 7, which Hamas executed against Israel.
"The people of Gaza only decided to break the siege, the walls of the concentration camp on Oct. 7," Awad said in a video posted on social media. "And yes, I was happy to see people breaking the siege and throwing down the shackles of their own land and walk free into their land that they were not allowed to walk in."
"And yes, the people of Gaza have the right to self-defense, have the right to defend themselves," he added. "And yes, Israel, as an occupying power, does not have that right to self-defense."
Following inquiries about the remarks, a spokesperson from the White House informed Fox Newsthat they are excluding the organization from its public commitment to combat antisemitism.
The White House spokesperson said CAIR was "one of several independent organizations" listed in a supplemental document regarding the efforts and that the White House is "removing their commitment" from the record.
White House representative Andrew Bates told Fox News that "We vehemently denounce these appalling, Antisemitic remarks."
"The horrific, brutal terrorist attacks committed by Hamas on October 7th were, as President Biden said, ‘abhorrent’ and represent ‘unadulterated evil,’" Bates said.
"October 7th was the deadliest day for Jewish people since the Holocaust," he added. "The atrocities of that day shock the conscience, which is why we can never forget the pain Hamas has caused for so many innocent people."
"There are families who are in agony mourning loves ones, and there are also families in agony as they do everything in their power to free loved ones being held hostage," Bates said. "Every leader has a responsibility to call out Antisemitism wherever it rears its ugly head."
Over six months following the announcement, Awad spoke at an event hosted by American Muslims for Palestine on November 24, where he made contentious statements. These comments resulted in the White House's decision to exclude the group from its additional document dedicated to fighting antisemitism.
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