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Guest Post: CASA's Bigotry Should Not Be Funded By Maryland Taxpayers
by Senator Bobby Zirkin
On October 7, in the midst of a beautiful Jewish holiday, murderers and terrorists attacked teenagers and children at a musical festival and in their homes. They killed 1200 Israelis who were doing nothing but living their lives. They beheaded babies. Let that sink in. They beheaded babies. They raped and tortured hundreds of young women and burned their naked bodies. Some of those tortured women had their breasts cut off while they were being repeatedly raped. They took 240 hostages including children and the elderly and have torn families apart for no reason other than a thirst for Jewish blood. Don’t take my word for the goals of these murderers. All you need to do is read the Charter of Hamas to understand their desire for genocide. And they have proudly stated that they can’t wait to do October 7 over and over again. So what does this have to do with Maryland? An organization that is funded with millions of dollars from the State budget – Maryland taxpayer money - has essentially endorsed their call for the murder of Jews. That organization is called CASA of Maryland.
CASA employees attended rallies for Palestine and thought it would be a good idea to wade into Middle East politics despite their complete ignorance of the issues. It is bad enough that CASA naively called for a ‘ceasefire’ so that terrorists can re-group and prepare to attack Israel again. Of course, CASA never offered the slightest condemnation of the terrorist atrocities or a call for the return of hostages. But CASA’s statements did not end with moronic calls for a ceasefire. No, CASA went above and beyond when they proudly posted the proclamation, “From the River to the Sea.” That phrase means one thing and one thing only – the destruction of the State of Israel and the annihilation of the Jewish people. Hamas, Islamic Jihad, ISIS, Al Qaeda, and other like-minded murderers use that phrase as their motto. CASA proudly put it out on their social media. And CASA is funded by Maryland’s taxpayers!
Now let me be clear that CASA does some positive things for the immigrant community in advocacy and the law, although there is a legal question as to how they use their tax-exempt status in conducting political campaigns. But lots of other attorneys and organizations do good work and the don’t receive tax dollars. CASA didn’t just cross a line with their bigoted action – they absolutely obliterated it. They have a First Amendment right to spew their hatred and antisemitism, but that type of bigotry has no place being funded by Maryland taxpayers. I am certain that Maryland citizens would not be pleased to learn that their hard-earned money was being given to a group spewing hatred toward the Jewish people and publishing phrases calling for the annihilation of America’s closest ally and its people.
And a quick word about free speech. The ACLU, a group who has proudly defended sex offenders, Nazis, and even recently called the first African-American Chairman of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee a white supremacist, has decided to jump into the fray on behalf of CASA. They have stated that CASA has a constitutional right to spew their hatred and that there is nothing the Legislature can do about it. Half of that statement is true and the other half is idiotic nonsense. Of course, CASA has every right to spew hatred, just like the KKK, the Proud Boys, and others. But I defy the ACLU to point to a single case that says that groups spewing hate have a constitutional right to taxpayer money. They obviously do not. The Legislature can choose to fund them or not, and in this case that decision seems obvious.
The Jewish people in Maryland and across the country are facing anti-Semitism the likes of which many of us have not seen in our lifetimes. Ignorance and bigotry on places like college campuses has reared their ugly head in a way many of us thought was not possible in modern America. Unfortunately, an organization funded with Maryland tax dollars is one of those groups pushing these ignorant anti-Semitic messages. Maryland needs to take a stand against this kind of anti-Semitic bigotry and certainly should never let our tax money be used to fund hate. As you may have seen a Jewish friend post on social media recently, “Never Again is Now.” The Legislature should take a firm and unequivocal stand against CASA and its antisemitic bigotry and cut their funding now.
Marylanders should not be paying for hate.
Bobby Zirkin is a former member of the Maryland State Senate from District 11