Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) executive director and co-founder Nihad Awad stated that the Hamas massacre of over 1,200 people on October 7 made him "happy."
During a speech at the 16th Annual Convention for Palestine on October 7, Awad said: “The people of Gaza only decided to break the siege — the walls of the concentration camp — on Oct. 7. 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 free 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,” he added.
He went on to engage in antisemitic tropes about Jews controlling America. “AIPAC and its affiliates have been controlling the United States government and the United States Congress. And if someone says, ‘Oh, Nihad Awad said this about the Congress,’ I tell you, ‘Yes, I say it today, and I will say it tomorrow — unless we free Congress, we will not be able to free Palestine.’”
The White House has cut ties with Awad following in light of Awad's speech, White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates told the New York Post.
“We condemn these shocking, antisemitic statements in the strongest terms,” Bates said.