A Democratic Congressional candidate for California’s 50th District if fighting a close race for the 2020 election. He is young and good looking and endorsed by many politicians including former President Barack Obama. This is all quite shocking considering that Ammar Campa-Najjar is unashamed of his links to infamous terrorists.
His website states that Campa-Najjar was born in California and raised in San Diego by his mother who is described as both “Christian” and “Catholic.” His bio does not mention his father but an investigative article by the Clarion Project identified him as Yasser Mohammad Yousef al-Najjar, the Palestinian Authority’s ambassador to Norway appointed in 2005 who was accused by his own people of corruption. More significantly, Yasser Al-Najjar’s father, the potential congressman’s grandfather, was Muhammad Yusuf al-Najjar also known as Abu Youssef, a member of the Palestinian terrorist organization Black September headed by Yasser Arafat. Abu Youssef was one of the masterminds who took part in the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes and a German police officer at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
Though the congressional candidate claims to have rejected his grandfather’s legacy and has been endorsed by the Jewish community in his district, he has also referred to his terrorist grandfather as a “legend” and a “public servant” on social media.
“It’s back breaking work being my dad, and being his son requires broad shoulders,” he posted in 2015 on Instagram (since removed). “For me, it’s dealing with the pressure of being his son. In the eyes of many, Yasser Mohammad Alnajjar is the son of a legend, and a hero in his own right…I have two generations of public servants running through my veins.”
Campa-Najjar also claimed to have a personal connection with Yasser Arafat. In another Mothers’ Day Instagram post that has also been removed, he wrote to his Mexican-American mother, “You’ve always been there for me: as a baby throwing cookies at your head from a car seat, as a toddler who never believed in diapers, cursed and spat at Yasser Arafat’s wife for trying to feed me soup.”
Despite proudly proclaiming his Catholic/Christian family ties, his own religion remains ambiguous. In an op-ed published in The Hill in 2017, Campa-Najjar criticized President Trump’s travel ban. In the article, he openly admits that as a child he attended an Islamic school in San Diego that was part of a mosque in which three of the terrorists who perpetrated the 9-11 attacks prayed.
In 2012, Campa-Najjar served as Deputy Regional Field Director for Barack Obama’s successful reelection campaign and was repaid with an endorsement in his own unsuccessful campaign for the Congressional seat in 2018. Campa-Najjar lost even though his opponent, the incumbent Rep. Duncan Hunter, was indicted on charges of improperly using $250,000 of campaign funds for private use.
That campaign may have set a precedent in which Campa-Najjar’s connections with terrorists and terrorism are off-limits. An ad by Hunter drawing attention to Campa-Najjar’s grandfather, and suggesting that he would be a security risk if elected to Congress, was heavily criticized by mainstream media. An article in Huffington Post criticized Hunter’s remarks about Campa-Najjar’s grandfather as “racist,” noting that “Campa-Najjar has won support from pro-Israel groups for his positions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
Though the elections set for November 2020 are still far off, it already appears that Campa-Najjar will win. A poll taken last month by SurveyUSA for 10News and the San Diego Union-Tribune showed that 31 percent of the respondents favored Campa-Najjar, as compared to 20 percent who favored former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio (R), 16 percent who favored former Rep. Darrell Issa (R), 11 percent who favored incumbent Rep. Duncan Hunter (R), and 4 percent who favored state Sen. Brian Jones.
Perhaps more significantly, his campaign raised more than $580,000 in the third quarter of 2019 from 21,146 donors.Campa-Najjar’s campaign has raised over $1,300,000 in this current election cycle and ended the third quarter with $850,000 cash on hand.