Since N.J. District 7 congressional candidate Tom Malinowski only recently moved to New Jersey, I was unaware of his past positions and actions regarding U.S. national security and foreign policy matters. What I found in researching his background alarmed me.
Malinowski served as the Washington director of Human Rights Watch from 2001 to 2012, and in President Barack Obama’s State Department from 2013 to 2017. In these roles, he clearly demonstrated where he stands on U.S. national security and foreign policy issues, including the American-Israeli alliance regarding the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement (BDS), the Iran nuclear deal, and U.S. relations with the Muslim Brotherhood.
His stances on each are illuminating.
BDS is an extremist crusade that calls for withdrawing investments from all Israeli companies, urging governments to sanction Israel, and imploring governments to bar Israel from participating in international forums; and Human Rights Watch is at the forefront of supporting this movement. During Malinowski’s tenure, BDS-supported actions by Human Rights Watch included:
- participating in the 2001 Durban conference that formulated a strategy to delegitimize Israel as an “apartheid regime,” and ensure her international isolation;
- issuing a press statement accusing Israel of “war crimes,” and calling for countries to “impose targeted sanctions” against senior Israeli officials;
- endorsing the UN’s 2009 Goldstone Report that falsely accused the Israeli military of targeting civilians — charges that the report’s namesake ultimately admitted were inaccurate;
- and publishing a 2010 report, “Separate and Unequal,” that attacked Israeli domestic policies while advancing a pro-BDS agenda.
Even Human Rights Watch’s founder, Robert Bernstein, was compelled to publicly concede that the organization has become a hotbed of anti-Semitism and anti-Israeli bigotry.
Yet Malinowski has embraced these actions, and enthusiastically spoken out in defense of this organization that he helped lead for more than a decade.
Malinowski also wholeheartedly supports the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. From its inception, the deal was opposed by 78 percent of Israelis surveyed, who rightly saw it would aid Iran in its quest to pose an existential threat to Israel, according to a poll commissioned by The Jerusalem Post and its sister Hebrew publication, Maariv Hashavua.
The Iran deal provided $1.7 billion in cash and tens of billions of dollars in unfrozen assets to Iran, which it has used to accelerate the development of nuclear weaponry, advance its ballistic missile program, and fund terrorists who have attacked U.S. troops stationed in the Middle East. As recently as last month, Iran sent Hezbollah terrorists GPS components necessary to turn their unguided rockets into precision-guided missiles, significantly increasing the threat they pose to Israelis.
The “paper tiger” provisions of the deal would be laughable if not so unconscionable: affording Iran the ability to continue its uranium enrichment program; delaying and limiting International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections; obligating America to protect Iranian nuclear sites; lifting ballistic missile restrictions; removing sanctions on Iranian terrorists; and precluding “snapback” sanctions for Iranian agreement violations.
Yet even now that President Donald Trump walked away from the deal in May, Malinowski still defends it, merely conceding in his October debate with his opponent, Rep. Leonard Lance, that it’s “not perfect” — a significant understatement, as it had bolstered Iran’s effort to become the region’s military hegemon, able to eradicate the Jewish state.
Finally, there is Malinowski’s stance regarding the Muslim Brotherhood, a Sunni Muslim movement founded in Egypt in the 1920s that seeks to impose Sharia law across the globe. Since its founding, the Muslim Brotherhood has called for the eradication of Jews in the Middle East.
Its membership has included the leadership of al Qaeda — including Osama bin Laden, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, Mohamed Atta, and Omar Abdel-Rahman.
A decade ago, during the Holy Land Foundation trial, the FBI confirmed the Brotherhood established a fund-raising network throughout the United States to provide material support to Hamas — which serves as the Palestinian branch of the Brotherhood in Gaza. Most recently, the Muslim Brotherhood called for an “uprising” against the United States in response to the relocation of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Many have consequently called for designating the Brotherhood a terrorist organization to prevent further financial aid from being given to those who wish to undermine U.S. interests. Yet Malinowski has strenuously opposed these efforts, telling the Washington Post just last year that naming the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization “would signal [the White House is] more interested in provoking conflict with an imaginary fifth column of Muslims in the U.S. than in preserving our relationships with counterterrorism partners …” [emphasis added]
Do we believe prohibiting U.S. aid from going to groups that foment violence against the U.S. and our allies is “provoking conflict”? Do we believe the Brotherhood’s opposition to U.S. interests at home and abroad is “imaginary”? Do we believe members of the Brotherhood are “counterterrorism partners”?
Simply put, Malinowski’s stances, affiliations, and actions are indicative of a man who sees little value in our relationship with the State of Israel, but great value in supporting its adversaries — who are our adversaries, as well.
These realities should give pause to anyone of good faith who would consider supporting Malinowski to represent us in Congress.
Joel Weingarten, managing director of Quest Associates, Inc., represented Essex and Union counties in the NJ General Assembly for six years.