Adam Hasner, chairman of the “Jewish Americans For Romney” coalition, poses with anti-Muslim blogger Pamela Geller (Photo: Atlas Shrugs)
On the heels of Mitt Romney’s jaunt to Israel, the Romney presidential campaign announced a “Jewish Americans For Romney Coalition,” the latest attempt to hammer away at President Obama’s record on Israel.
Included in this coalition are some mainstays of the Republican Jewish world, like Eric Cantor, Dan Senor and Mel Sembler. But one of the “honorary chairmen” of the coalition is a relative newcomer to the national stage who has attracted attention from the right over the past few years: Adam Hasner. Hasner is running for Congress in Florida this year.
Earlier this week, Salon’s Alex Seitz-Wald spotlighted Hasner’s record of Islamophobia. And fittingly enough, Hasner is also an ardent right-wing Zionist–another example of how anti-Muslim sentiment finds a home in expansionist Zionism.
First, the Islamophobia. Seitz-Wald highlights Hasner’s close relationship with a figure who should be toxic to any politician who is near her: Pamela Geller. Sadly, that’s not the case in this context, Hasner is proud of his friendship with Geller. Geller, too, is proud: she wrote yesterday on her blog that she “enthusiastically supports” Hasner.
Here’s more on Hasner’s Islamophobia from Salon:
As the Florida Independent noted in September of last year, Hasner has been involved in a “long-time crusade against the supposed threat of Sharia in the U.S.” In 2009, he appeared on a panel in D.C. with Geller and Frank Gaffney, the man behind Bachmann’s with hunt, according to a press release unearthed by the liberal research group American Bridge. Robert Spencer, another key figure in the Islamophobia cottage industry, called Hasner a “fearless truth teller” (here’s a photo them posing together via Spencer’s blog, Jihad Watch).
Before that, Hasner invited notorious Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders to Florida. “When I invited Geert Wilders to join me for a Free Speech conference in Palm Beach County, not only did the hotel cancel its plans to have him come in, but I was the one who was asked by the Hamas front group, the Council on Arab-Islamic Relations, to resign from the Florida House of Representatives, because I was an Islamophobe and a hater,” he said in the Fort Lauderdale speech. Wilders has made crusading against Islam his top priority. He was under house arrest for hate speech in Holland and is barred from visiting several countries.
Now, the right-wing Zionism. There are endless examples, but one particularly egregious comment Hasner made came in an article he wrote for Town Hall, a conservative website. “Israel is neither an aggressor nor an occupier. The Jews’ legal, religious, historical, and moral rights to the Land are superior to those of the Palestinian-Arabs. Nevertheless, they have always shown a willingness to share with the Arabs,” the politician wrote.
In other words, Hasner has no qualms about the notion that Jews should have more rights than Palestinians. In fact, he’s proud of that. At least he’s honest.
Hasner’s prominent position in the Romney campaign’s attempt to curry favor with Jewish donors and voters is the latest whistle to the anti-Muslim crowd in the Republican Party. There’s J. Philip Rosen; Walid Phares; and now Hasner. As Deepa Kumar wrote on Mondoweiss last week, the latest version of the GOP’s “Southern Strategy”–stoking anti-Muslim sentiment for votes–is in full swing.