NEWS: Mazi Pilip demands Democrat Tom Suozzi denounce fundraiser over anti-Israel post
Republican congressional hopeful Mazi Pilip called on her Democratic opponent Tom Suozzi to denounce a fundraiser and boycott an upcoming event Friday after the man shared an anti-Israel video on social media days after the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attack against the Jewish state.
The footage posted to Facebook Oct. 16 by Ahnaf Alam, who is raising money for Suozzi, features a spokesperson for a fringe Orthodox Jewish group, Neturei Karta, that rejects the existence of Israel and advocates its “peaceful dismantling.”
The video was originally shared Oct. 13 by the Canadian Muslim news broadcast “Let the Quran Speak” and shows Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss saying “establishment of the state of Israel prior to the coming of the Messiah is sinful and an act of rebellion against God.”
Pilip, a veteran of the Israel Defense Forces, slammed Alam for boosting the video and called on Suozzi to disavow him.
“There is no place in Congress for people who associate with unapologetic antisemites,” she said.
Alam, listed as the executive director of the New American Democratic Club on his Facebook page, is one of 12 hosts listed for a Feb. 3 Suozzi fundraiser in Jamaica, Queens, with donations starting at $250 and topping out at $1,500.
“Join us in supporting Tom Suazzi [sic] for NY congressional district-3,” Alam wrote on his page Tuesday in promoting the event.
“It’s time for Tom Suozzi to boycott his fundraiser and join me in rebuking this hate-filled member of his campaign team and donate any proceeds from the event to a non-profit organization that supports Israel,” Pilip said Friday.
“I have vivid memories of living in fear of antisemitism as a child,” she went on, “and the type of hate-filled themes that were shared across social media by an official member of his fundraising team is hurtful to all Jews and anyone who cares about Israel.”
Suozzi’s camp was quick to fire back, saying Alam is not a campaign staffer and charging that Pilip’s accusation was merely an attempt to distract from her campaign “in which she has refused to present herself to the press or the public.”
The former lawmaker’s team also said Pilip’s attack was “cheap and denigrates our common cause to combat anti-Semitism [sic] and support Israel.”
“I condemn all anti-Semitism [sic]. I am unequivocally pro-Israel. My voting record reflects both,” Suozzi said, though he did not say whether he would skip the fundraiser, which coincides with the beginning of early voting in the Feb. 13 special election to replace the expelled Rep. George Santos.
“I am not aware of the comments referenced by my opponent, but if I find them to be anti-Semitic [sic], I will condemn them as I have throughout my public life,” the Democrat added.
Alam did not immediately respond to a request for comment.