by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona hosted a meeting this month with an anti-Israel activist who has praised Hamas and Hezbollah and called for violence against Israel.
Cardona on Nov. 15 met with 13 activists—including Palestine Legal advocacy manager Lina Assi—to address the “extremely disturbing pattern of hate and threats of violence in schools and college campuses” following Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack on Israel. Assi has called Iran and its terrorist proxy, Hezbollah, “crucial and important” in “resisting imperialism” in the Middle East. As a student activist, she led a crowd in a chant of “Viva, viva Intifada,” a call for violent uprising against the Jewish state.
Assi’s organization represents Students for Justice in Palestine, an anti-Israel student group that projected the pro-Hamas statement “Glory to our martyrs” on buildings at George Washington University. Palestine Legal is representing the Students for Justice in Palestine chapter at the University of Florida, which was kicked off campus for expressing solidarity with Hamas in its “Day of Resistance Toolkit.”
Cardona’s meeting is the latest example of the Biden administration recruiting terrorist sympathizers for anti-terrorism initiatives. The White House earlier this year tapped the Council on American-Islamic Relations as part of its “national strategy to counter antisemitism.” CAIR allegedly funded Hamas front groups in the 2000s, and blamed Israel for the “root causes” of last month’s attack. The Department of Homeland Security has awarded millions of dollars in grants to mosques that have pushed anti-Semitic views and condoned Hamas’s attack on Israel, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
Cardona hosted Assi weeks after she urged the Department of Education to address what she claimed is a “surge in anti-Palestinian and Islamophobic racism” on campuses across the country. Assi asserted in a letter to the department last month that “Israel blatantly conducts a genocide in Palestine.”