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CAIR’s Los Angeles leader: ‘Israel does not have right to defend itself’

Hussam Ayloush delivered a virulent diatribe against the Jewish state during a sermon in Oklahoma.

Hussam Ayloush, executive director of CAIR, Los Angeles. Source: Screenshot.
Hussam Ayloush, executive director of CAIR, Los Angeles. Source: Screenshot.

The longtime leader of the Los Angeles chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) compared Israel to Nazi Germany, among other wild claims in a recent speech.

Hussam Ayloush, the executive director of CAIR-Los Angeles, gave a sermon on Dec. 1 at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, where he stated that “for 75 years, every single day for the Palestinian people had been October 7.”

Ayloush also praised the Qatar-based Al Jazeera as “the most credible, most comprehensive of the outlets providing material on what is happening there.”

He also argued that Israel “does not have the right to defend itself, as an occupier to defend itself from the occupied. No, it doesn’t, this is not a rhetorical thing. … It doesn’t, legally, under international law. No occupier has the right to defend itself from the occupied.”

Ayloush expanded on his point, saying: “Imagine we tell Nazi Germany: ‘You have the right to defend yourself against French resistance, or Polish resistance, or Jewish resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto.’ People would laugh at you if you said that.”

The sermon also compared Israel’s actions against Hamas to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “Imagine if you said that Russia has the right to defend itself against Ukrainian resistance—you don’t,” he said. “As long as you are an occupier, you do not have the right to resist or to defend yourself. Guess who has the right to defend themselves? The Palestinians.”

Nihad Awad. Credit: VOA Photo/M. Elshinnawi via Wikimedia Commons.

Nihad Awad, co-founder and executive director of CAIR, spoke at the American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) convention in Chicago on Nov. 24, arguing similar points as Ayloush. Awad said that “the people of Gaza have the right to self-defense. … Israel, as an occupying power, does not have that right to self-defense.”

Awad described his interpretation of the Hamas attack, that “the people of Gaza only decided to break the siege, the walls of the concentration camp, on October 7.” He said that he was “happy to see people breaking the siege and throwing down the shackles of their own land.”
CAIR has previously blamed Israel for Hamas’s attack. The Investigative Project on Terrorism released a report in July about the group’s history of antisemitism, including its origins in a Hamas support network.

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