In October 2016, we documented how Dream Defenders glorified the terrorist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Democrat Mayor of Tallahassee Andrew Gillum has about an even shot of becoming Governor of Florida, if the polls are accurate. He might even be a slight favorite to defeat Republican Ron DeSantis.
There’s a lot politically not to like about Gillum — he’s on the far left of the Democratic Party, and that’s saying a lot. His proposals could do serious damage to Florida. Yet in this age of Democrat anti-Trump rage, and a soft-spot for socialism in the party, Gillum just might pull it off.
But there’s one connection Gillum has that should be disqualifying.
DeSantis has been hitting Gillum on his connection to Dream Defenders. The Miami Herald reported in late September, Republicans label Gillum a ‘radical’ over his alliance with Dream Defenders:
Andrew Gillum and the Dream Defenders don’t agree on everything. But they appear comfortable with their alliance even as Republican gubernatorial nominee Ron DeSantis continues to cast his Democratic opponent as a “radical” due to his association with the Miami-based social justice organization.
One day after DeSantis name-dropped the activist group while arguing that Gillum has “anti-Semites around him,” the Republican Governors Association on Tuesday released a TV commercial highlighting some of the organization’s more controversial beliefs. The ad notes that Dream Defenders — which made its name over the last six years through acts of civil unrest — espouses open borders and states on its website that police are racist and have no place in society.
“Andrew Gillum: He’s just too radical,” a narrator says in the ad….
Gilum’s support for Dream Defenders goes back years, to his time as a Tallahassee commissioner following the group’s formation after the controversial shooting death of Trayvon Martin. The group was one of eight progressive organizations last month, including NextGen America and New Florida Majority, that contributed $3.5 million and/or campaign volunteers to help Gillum’s underdog primary campaign pull off a stunning victory.
“These radicals not only support the abolishment of borders, prisons, and police, but also call the United States ‘the biggest bully in the history of the planet,’ “ RGA spokesman Jon Thompson said in a statement.
Dream Defenders joined the coalition but did not contribute any money, said spokeswoman Nailah Summers. Instead, about 60 of the group’s members helped canvass and raise money across the state in the days leading to the primaries. Summers said she doesn’t see Dream Defenders as a radical organization because they advocate for basic needs such as food, safety and healthcare for all. However, she’s not surprised to see Republicans call them radicals.
CBS News also reported on the controversial:
Former U.S. Rep. DeSantis is focusing on a Dream Defenders pledge that Gillum signed promising not to take campaign donations from private prisons or the National Rifle Association. The pledge also expresses the intent to shift resources away from “prisons, detention centers, guns and police” and toward programs that support the safety and basic needs of the people.
“Andrew Gillum signed a pledge with a radical group, the Dream Defenders, to sign up for a radical manifesto that attacked our police officers, that said they have no place in justice,” DeSantis said less than five minutes into a debate last week. “He signed a manifesto that said the U.S. was the biggest bully in the history of the planet.”
Dream Defenders was formed to bring attention to what it sees as inequality in the justice system — protesting George Zimmerman’s shooting of Trayvon Martin and staging a 31-day sit-in at the state Capitol after Zimmerman was acquitted of a murder charge. The group has a clear left-wing agenda but is not so extreme that Democrats have distanced themselves. Dream Deferred co-hosted a debate with four Democratic candidates for governor in June, and Gillum and the other three candidates signed its pledge.
While the anti-Israel nature of Dream Defenders has been mentioned, only recently has there been extensive exposure of the issue. Fox News reported on Dream Defenders support for the boycott of Israel:
Andrew Gillum may be ahead in the polls as he bids to become Florida’s next governor, but the Tallahassee mayor’s association with a radical far-left group associated with Palestinian terrorism has left his campaign mired in allegations of anti-Semitism and could yet prove costly with the state’s 600,000 Jewish voters.
Republican opponent Ron DeSantis has repeatedly brought up Gillum’s relationship with Dream Defenders, a Florida-based group that claims to build “powerful, deep, local” organization for “freedom and liberation” in the state, pointing to the anti-Israel activism, including the promotion of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against the Jewish state….
Dream Defenders’ co-founder Phillip Agnew said in an August interview in August that Gillum is considered to be “part of the movement.”
“In 2012 when we started this organization, it is really with a model of what Andrew [Gillum] has led for many, many years in the state. We like to say Andrew Gillum isn’t a friend of the movement, he is a part of the movement,” Agnew said….
But Dream Defenders has extensive ties to convicted Palestinian terrorists and once cheered the destruction of Israel during one of their events in 2016
Another co-founder of the group is Ahmad Abuznaid, an anti-Israel activist who is the son of Nabil Abuznaid, Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) ambassador and former Yasser Arafat advisor.
He praised Palestinian airline hijacker Leila Khaled on social media, saying she “taught us how to fight.” He also celebrated Rasmea Odeh, a Palestinian terrorist who spent a decade in an Israeli prison for two terror attacks, including the 1969 bombing of an Israeli supermarket that killed two students. He posted a picture with her, calling her “revolutionary, bad a–.”
Odeh, who led the Woman’s March movement after President Trump’s 2016 victory, was deported from the U.S. last year after lying about her terror conviction on her citizenship application.
Our readers know all about Rasmea Odeh, someone whose murder, terror and immigration fraud history were explored here more extensively than anywhere else.
The Free Beacon also reported on the anti-Israel connection:
Democratic Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum’s ties to radical anti-Israel groups are more extensive than previously reported, according to information obtained by the Washington Free Beacon….
Dream Defenders, a Florida-based advocacy group that has emerged as a leader in the Black Lives Matter movement, supports efforts to abolish U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, and is intertwined with backers of the BDS movement, which has made common cause with the Black Lives Matter movement.
Dream Defenders often criticizes Israel for perpetuating what it claims is a “genocide” of the Palestinians. It also has led at least “two delegations to Palestine” in recent years, according to the organization’s website.
“Palestine is the site of a continued settler colonial project, the state of Israel,” Dream Defenders writes on its website, employing language used by many anti-Israel groups to delegitimize Israel. “The colonial project was born out of a political ideology called Zionism, established in the late 19th century.” ….
On one of its 2016 trips to the region, Dream Defenders employed convicted terrorist Mahmoud Jeddah as a tour guide. Jeddah, a onetime member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine—a U.S.-designated terror organization—spent 17 years in an Israeli prison for planting four hand grenades on a Jerusalem street, wounding nine civilians. He was later released in a prisoner swap.
Additionally, Gillum worked for over a decade at People for the American Way, or PFAW, an organization backed by liberal billionaire George Soros.
Since Gillum’s departure in January 2017, PFAW has gone on to sponsor at least one anti-Israel event alongside Samidouan, a pro-Palestinian organization that advocates for imprisoned terrorists and is tied to notorious terrorist group the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, or PFLP, according to new information obtained by the Free Beacon.
In late 2017, PFAW signed on to a “Global Day of Action” campaign organized by Samidoun, which describes Israel as an apartheid state, advocates in favor of BDS, and represents Palestinian terrorists who are currently imprisoned for their crimes.
All of this information about Dream Defenders is important, but only scratches the surface.
On October 1, 2016, Legal Insurrection ran a comprehensive report on Dream Defenders, its role in seeking to harm Israel, and its glorification of anti-Israel terrorists, Dream Defenders: Defending the Dream of Anti-Israel Activism.
Dream Defenders was initially formed to protest ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws in Florida, in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting.
Yet, following the pattern of many organizations who organize under the ideology of ‘intersectionality‘, Dream Defenders has transformed itself from an organization fighting for a change in the criminal laws of the state of Florida, into one which is identified with the bizarre attempt to link Black Lives Matter to the Palestinian cause. The struggle to protect young black men in Florida and elsewhere in the U.S. from allegedly unlawful police violence apparently also involves ‘liberating’ Palestine, i.e. the destruction of the state of Israel, and bizarre crushes on terrorist organizations like the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine….
This post will look deeper into the evolution of Dream Defenders from a local organizing committee in Florida into a national movement inciting against Israel.
In the course of just 3 years, the movement evolved from a group of college students and activists into a national organization celebrated by traditional ‘radical chic’ celebrities such as Angela Davis, and newer ones, like Marc Lamont Hill; was invited to the White House to meet President Obama; has organized propaganda ‘delegations to Palestine’ with high visibility on social media; has endorsed the BDS movement, advocating boycotts of Israel; celebrates terrorist movements, such as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine; and culminating in members of Dream Defenders authoring the highly controversial statement endorsing boycott as the official position of the Movement for Black lives, and smearing Israel as an ‘apartheid’ state that practices ‘genocide’.
Our report was so detailed, there’s no way to summarize it, but here is the Table of Contents to the post:
1. Dream Defenders in the Beginning
2. The Founding Trio: Phillip Agnew (aka Umi Selah), Ahmed Abuznaid, and Gabriel Pendas
3. The Turn to BDS and the ‘Delegation to Palestine’
4. 2015 Organizational Expansion and Collaboration with JVP
5. 2016 Mock Campaign for Presidency
6. Second Delegation to Palestine (May 2016)
7. Dream Defenders and the PFLP
8. Dream Defenders and the M4BL Statement
9. Post M4BL Statement and the Future
The connection to the PFLP is particularly important.
7. Dream Defenders and PFLP
The admiration for the PFLP is a curious one.
In 2014, Dream Defenders created an ‘educational’ campaign called “Blacked Out History” which was a tribute to “overlooked heroes” in history. One of the heroes is the PFLP. The heroes are celebrated by creating artwork in their commemoration and teaching about them in schools.
Here is a toolkit that is meant to indoctrinate school children, i.e. it is suggested for adopting this for ‘social justice’ curricula. The coverage of PFLP doesn’t shy away from citing PFLP’s violence, in fact it admits that the United States considers them a terrorist organization, but “other countries” don’t. The coverage is extensive and fawning. Here is the final bullet point on PFLP:
They want to be free from global imperialism. They want liberation. They want equal rights. Just like the Dream Defenders. We believe that this should inform the Free Campaign in the way that we educate our communities on issues relating to oppression in all areas of the world
In any rational world, Gillum’s close connection with an anti_-Israel, terror-glorifying group would be a disqualifier.
But in the Democrat Party in 2018, it’s not. And it may not even be a disqualifier in the State of Florida.DONATE
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