Newsletter #39 – Dr. Subhi Ali and the Jerusalem Fund

Deputy Governor Claude Ramsey recently took the opportunity to remind Tennessee leadership that among the reasons the administration was justified in hiring Samar Ali, were the impressive Tennessee credentials of her father, Dr. Subhi Ali.

However, just as with the administration’s repeated omissions with regard to Ms. Ali’s Shariah Compliant Finance credentials, the administration has also neglected to inform Tennesseans about Dr. Ali’s long-standing involvement with the Jerusalem Fund (the Fund).

Research at this time documents that Dr. Ali joined the Fund’s Board in 2000 and in 2004 served as Vice Chair alongside the Fund’s principal founder and Chairman, Hisham Sharabi (discussed below).  From 2005 until the present, Dr. Ali has served as the Chairman of the Fund’s Board.

While couched in the context of “cultural programming”, a review of the genesis of the Jerusalem Fund, its founders and their connections, and the continued political platforms, activities and current day governing board members highlights that nothing has changed – they remain as committed today as they were when the Fund was established, working toward the same objective of turning the U.S. away from its support and alliance with Israel.

I. What is the Jerusalem Fund?

As stated on its website:

The Jerusalem Fund for Education & Community Development is an independent, non-profit, non-political, non-sectarian organization based in Washington, D.C.  Funding for operational expenses is derived from investment income. This, together with donations from private individuals throughout the U.S., supports our humanitarian grants.”

The Jerusalem Fund (the Fund) in its current configuration, is comprised of 3 programs – “The Palestine Center”, “The Humanitarian Link” and “The Gallery”.

Despite the Fund’s self-description as “non-political”, a review of its leadership, programming, and issues of focus, reflect overtly pro-Palestinian/pro-Hamas/anti-Israel positions.

“The Palestine Center”, noted as the educational arm of the Fund, offers (with disclaimers displayed), Information Briefs such as the one written by its 2010 intern titled  “Rising support for Hamas and the Roots of its Success in Palestine “ (“One of Hamas’ more distinctive qualities is its emphasis on Islam. In addition to its self-proclaimed role as a legitimate and honest replacement to Fateh, Hamas also acts as a religious alternative to the secular Fateh.”)

In addition to making grants for social services in the “Occupied Palestinian Territories” as it is referred to on the website, “The Humanitarian Link” supports the Palestine Diabetes Institute.  As reported in her White House bio, Samar Ali served as the transatlantic liaison during the development of this project.

(Originally named the “Occupied Land Fund”, recall that the Holy Land Foundation was the largest Islamic charity in the U.S., which also claimed it was needed to bring humanitarian relief to needy Palestinians in the occupied territories.  The Holy Land Foundation was successfully prosecuted in 2007 for funding Hamas and other Islamic terrorist organizations).

“The Gallery” is solely focused on promoting “..the rich culture and national heritage of the Palestinian people, as well as that of surrounding Arab societies.”

II. The Genesis of the Jerusalem Fund –(Sharabi – WISE – PIJ – IIIT – Muslim Brotherhood)

In 1977 Dr. Hisham Sharabi, PhD. founded the American Palestine Education Foundation (APEF) which in 1981 was renamed The Jerusalem Fund for Education and Community Development (the Fund).   Sharabi served as Chairman of the Board until he died in 2005.

In 1991 Sharabi founded the Centre for Policy Analysis on Palestine (CPAP), which was added to the Fund, to “represent a Palestinian perspective in Washington, D.C.”  One example of CPAP’s activities was its 2003 annual conference entitled “Israel’s Policy of Apartheid and Ethnic Cleansing”.  As reported by the NGO Monitor, “Hisham Sharabi, chairman of CPAP, set the hostile tone for the daylong seminar with his opening remarks…”  In 2002 CPAP was renamed The Palestine Center.

Sharabi  advocated a Palestinian “armed struggle” if necessary, to end “Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza”.  His 1998 paper “The Palestinians: Fifty Years Later”, called for Americans of Palestinian, Arab and Muslim backgrounds to organize using their “constitutional rights as Americans” to “influence a dangerously biased [toward Israel] American policy in the Middle East.”

III. Sharabi and WISE

Equally revealing about Sharabi is his membership on the Board of Trustees of the World and Islam Studies Enterprise (WISE).  WISE was incorporated by Sami Al-Arian as an Islamic think tank designed to organize seminars and share libraries.

Al-Arian was sentenced on May 1, 2006, to 57 months in prison to be followed by deportation.  At his sentencing hearing, U.S. District Court Judge James Moody called Al-Arian a “master manipulator”, adding, “[y]ou looked your neighbors in the eyes and said you had nothing to do with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.  This trial exposed that as a lie.”

WISE was named in a federal indictment as part of a “criminal organization whose members and associates engaged in acts of violence including murder, extortion, money laundering, fraud and issue of visas, and operated worldwide including the Middle District of Florida.”

WISE is related to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).  PIJ and Hamas are related in that they share the same outcomes but often have not been successful working together in that direction.   

Tarik Hamdi, identified as an officer/staff member of WISE is listed in a federal affidavit as providing material support to Al-Qaeda, Bin Laden and the PIJ.  He left WISE to work for IIIT.  He subsequently left the U.S. and relocated to the Middle East.

The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) was identified as one of the funders of WISE.  The IIIT was named in the 1991 Muslim Brotherhood document, “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America” as one of the Muslim Brotherhood’s likeminded “organizations of our friends.”

Other WISE Board members include:

Taha Jabir al Alwani -President, IIIT; cited as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Justice Department’s terrorism prosecution against al-Arian.

Basheer Nafi – was charged with “conspiracy to murder, maim or injure persons outside the United States.” and a significant leader of the PIJ. In 1996 he was deported from the U.S. back to England for visa violations. In 2003 the FBI indicted Bashir Nafi in abstentia, in connection with the U.S. PIJ  cell.

Mazin an Najjar a founding member of WISE, was arrested on secret FBI evidence that he was supporting terrorism and was deported from the U.S. in 2002. In a one-sentence summary, Judge McHugh stated that al Najjar was “associated with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and a threat to national security.”

Ramadan Abdullah aka Ramadan Shallah – Currently on the FBI Most Wanted List, co-founder of WISE, and listed as a “Specially Designated Terrorist”.  He was named the leader of PIJ in 1995.  Shallah was indicted in a 53 count indictment in the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida. The Rewards For Justice Program, U.S. State Dept., is offering a reward of up to $5 million for information leading directly to the apprehension or conviction of Shallah.

The Jerusalem Fund:  

Subhi Ali – Sharabi – WISE – PIJ – IIIT – Muslim Brotherhood