Feb 25, 2021
JERUSALEM WEATHER

President Biden’s two newest appointees to top intelligence positions are reasons for concern; though one is Jewish, the other is a “Palestinian”-American and both are decidedly anti-Israel. 

Maher Bitar: Anti-Trump

President Joe Biden just appointed Maher Bitar, a lawyer who has served as the general counsel for House Intelligence Committee Democrats since 2017, as his senior intelligence adviser for the National Security Council. 

The office of the senior director for intelligence receives sensitive information that comes in from the intelligence agencies and coordinates covert action activities between the White House and the intelligence community. It’s also where the National Security Council houses the server that stores the most sensitive classified information.

Bitar was Congressman Adam Schiff’s top legal adviser during the impeachment of former President Donald Trump. Bitar served as the director for Israeli-Palestinian affairs on the National Security Council under former President Barack Obama. Prior to that, he was the deputy to Samantha Power when she served as the National Security Council director for multilateral affairs and human rights. He also worked with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Malaysia as well as the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

Bitar: Israeli “Occupation”, “Catastrophe” of 1948

In a scholarly paper he wrote in September 2009 while a doctoral candidate at the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford, Bitar lamented “the dissolution and disappearance of an internationally recognized political entity to which Palestinians belong.” He also claimed that one of the obstacles facing Palestinians was “Israeli military occupation and expansionism, and entrenched discrimination.”

In 2008, he wrote another scholarly paper for an Oxford publication titled, “Unprotected among brothers: Palestinians in the Arab world.” In the paper, he discussed the “political and legal ripple effects of the Nakbah.” Nakba is the Palestinian term for the events of 1948 that established the state of Israel. It means “the catastrophe” in Arabic.

Avril Haines: Anti-Israel, Connections to Qatar and BDS

On Wednesday, the Senate confirmed Avril Haines as Biden’s director of national intelligence. In May, Haines was one of 30 former intelligence national security officials who signed a letter to the Democratic Party saying their platform should include language critical of Israel, express sympathy with the Palestinians, and object to Jews living in Judea and Samaria as preparation for a two-state solution. The letter was organized by J Street, an anti-Israel left-wing organization that claims to be Jewish. Haines headed Columbia World Project which included scholar-members who supported the anti-Semitic Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement and who advocated trying Israeli soldiers for war crimes. Haines was also a Nonresident Senior Fellow at Brookings, which is heavily funded by Qatar which has been censured for its support of Muslim Brotherhood groups, including Hamas. Haines self-identifies as a Jew.