On October 23, 2023, less than three weeks following the greatest devastation to the Jewish people since the Holocaust, Jim Himes pandered to the Connecticut Chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) at an online meeting held with constituents, led by the Connecticut chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
According to a recording of the event obtained by Responsible Statecraft, when asked about his tendency to reflexively begin his statements with support for Israel, Himes responded with several answers, one of which addressed the near-constant presence of pro-Israel lobbyists:
"[I]n this office, I get 6-8 visits a year by AIPAC, which is a fairly right-wing pro-Israeli group, and J Street, which is a left-leaning pro-Israeli group. I have never had a visit — never once, I’ve been doing this for 15 years — by a pro-Palestinian group. And again, I’m not criticizing anybody, I’m just sort of explaining the facts as they appear. And I think, therefore, the path of least resistance for an awful lot of members of Congress is to be reflexive the way you were concerned about. And the reason I would love to talk more about that is because, you know, the Palestinians have very legitimate claims, and in times and places have been subject to brutal injustice, and yet there is nobody telling their story."
Himes pointed to the influence of AIPAC to help explain the lopsided support for Israel in congress:
"AIPAC has been doing this for 60 years… honestly it breaks my heart that there isn’t a Palestinian group that comes in and says, 'Look, let us tell you what our aspirations are, let us tell you some stories, let us tell you what the settlers are doing outside of, you know, Ramallah.'"
“I'd be curious to know what he means by ‘path of least resistance,’” Foundation for Middle East Peace President Lara Friedman told Responsible Statecraft. “Does he mean, ‘this is the path that gets me rewarded in terms of campaign support,’ or, on the other hand, ‘how I avoid other possible negative consequences like someone giving massive support to my primary opponent?’"
Amid this wave of money, the largest contributor to Himes’ campaign committee in 2022 was AIPAC.
On November 24, 2023 the national leader of CAIR the parent organization that Himes spoke to on October 23, 2023, said essentially that it was alright for Hamas to kill Jews and that the Jews had no right to defend themselves.
“The Biden administration said Thursday it had ended its work with the Council on American-Islamic Relations on crafting a national antisemitism strategy after one of CAIR’s top executives declared he was “happy” to witness Hamas’ terror attack against Israel on Oct 7.
CAIR co-founder and national executive director, Nihad Awad, made the shocking statement at the 16th Annual Convention for Palestine in Chicago on November 24th, according to video footage circulated by the Middle East Media Research Institute.
“The people of Gaza only decided to break the siege — the walls of the concentration camp — on October 7,” Awad said. “And yes, I was happy to see people breaking the siege and throwing down the shackles of their own land and walk free into their land that they were not allowed to walk in.”
And yes, the people of Gaza have the right to self-defense — have the right to defend themselves. And yes, Israel as an occupying power does not have that right to self-defense,”.
The voters of Connecticut need to know that Jim Himes pandered to the Connecticut Chapter of CAIR and its national leader that supported the killing of Jews by Hamas on October 7, 2023, and further went on to say that the Jews have no right to defend themselves. Pandering to CAIR is support for HAMAS, and AIPAC should take notice to this more carefully.
Jim Himes, you cannot have it both ways: either you are in support of the right of Israel to defend itself against genocide or you are in support of the perpetrators of genocide. According to the Washington Free Beacon, Jim Himes is one of more than 120 members of Congress that have issued support to CAIR which demonstrates a support Hamas over Israel.
It is also shocking that AIPAC would support a Congressman who panders to the supporters of genocide and a supporter of HAMAS despite his words to the contrary. He needs to make a clear decision as these are mutually exclusive decisions.