A large protest was held outside the Hilton hotel in Los Angeles where Ilhan Omar will be speaking Saturday night at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) of Greater Los Angeles’s fourth annual Valley Banquet.
The protesters lined the sidewalks waving Israeli and American flags and held up signs saying “Omar equals hate” and various other slogans, supporting Israel and denouncing Omar.
Protesters staying at the Hilton hotel waved large banners saying “CAIR hates Jews” and “Ilhan hates Israel” from their balconies.
A smaller counter-protest rose up in support of Omar. Minor confrontations and verbal exchanges were reported by NBC 4 Los Angeles.
Los Angeles Police were notified ahead of time of the protest and were in the area to maintain order. The streets around the hotel were closed until later Saturday night.
The CAIR event, titled “Advancing Justice: Empowering Valley Muslims,” is awarding Jewish Voice for Peace the “2019 Champion of Justice” accolade.
CAIR has a long history of affiliation with the terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah. CAIR members have often defended the actions of Hamas in Gaza.
FBI investigators previously uncovered evidence establishing CAIR's place in the "Palestine Committee," which was a Muslim Brotherhood-created network aimed at helping Hamas in the United States, according to a report by the Investigative Project on Terrorism. In 2009, US District Court Judge Jorge Solis ruled that there is "at least a prima facie case as to CAIR's involvement in a conspiracy to support Hamas."
Moreover, the organization was officially designated a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates in 2014, placing it in the company of al-Qaeda, Islamic State and others.
Omar will be a keynote speaker at the CAIR event alongside Hassan Shibly, the executive director of CAIR-Florida, who is vehemently anti-Israel, who has said he believes that Hezbollah and Hamas are not terrorist organizations, and is known for openly discriminating against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
In 2014, Shibly claimed that the Hamas terror tunnels uncovered in Operation Protective Edge in the northern Gaza Strip were “being used in the defense of Palestine.”
The Conservative Review reported that director of CAIR-Los Angeles Hussam Ayloush has suggested that the US is “partly responsible” for the San Bernardino terrorist attacks.
“Let’s not forget that some of our own foreign policy – as Americans, as the West – has fueled that extremism,” he said.
The revelation of Omar’s upcoming address comes after a major Twitter storm in which she accused the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) of paying American politicians to be pro-Israel.
Omar received heavy backlash for the comments and was accused of antisemitism, with leaders on both the Right and Left condemning her remarks.
Just a few days later, she was also caught up in a controversy over whether or not she would be speaking alongside an official known for his antisemitic comments at an emergency gala dinner for Yemen on February 23 in Tampa, Florida.
It was revealed that she would give the keynote address at an Islamic Relief USA dinner alongside Yousef Abdallah, who has advocated for violence against Jews and expressed antisemitic sentiments on his social media pages. Omar's public relations team pushed back and the event’s marketing materials and online invitations were changed.
The public relations team claimed that it was a clerical error and that she was never set to speak alongside Abdallah in the first place.