Minnesota AG Keith Ellison’s chief of staff promotes pro-Hamas rally

Donna Cassutt amplifies ‘March for Palestine’ rally, where demonstrators called to eradicate Israel

By Meghan Blonder, Washington Free Beacon 

Democratic Minnesota attorney general Keith Ellison’s chief of staff on Sunday promoted a pro-Hamas rally in Minneapolis, where demonstrators called for Israel’s eradication and told Israeli “settlers” to “fuck off.”

Donna Cassutt, who has served as Ellison’s chief of staff since 2019, advertised the rally in a Sunday tweet, which alerted Minnesotans that the “March for Palestine” was happening “today.” More than 1,000 pro-Hamas demonstrators went on to attend the rally in Minneapolis. Attendees brandished signs and repeated chants with the slogan “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” which advocates for the destruction of Israel. One attendee, meanwhile, held a sign saying, “Settlers fuck off,” while others called to “end U.S. aid to Israel.”

Cassutt’s promotion of the event comes as other prominent left-wing politicians face criticism over their own ties to pro-Hamas rallies in the wake of the terror group’s unprovoked assault on Israel.

The Democratic Socialists of America, for example, sponsored an October 8 “All Out for Palestine” rally in Times Square, where attendees chanted that the terrorist assault was “justified.” The rally prompted the party’s prominent members, such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) to distance themselves from the demonstration. Ocasio-Cortez last week said the “bigotry and callousness expressed in Times Square … were unacceptable and harmful.”

But Ellison’s office is yet to distance itself from the Minneapolis rally and did not return a request for comment. Ellison has also remained silent on Hamas’s attack, with the Democrat failing to issue a statement on the terror group’s mass killing of innocent Israelis.

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A pair of anti-Israel groups—American Muslims for Palestine and Students for Justice in Palestine—sponsored the Sunday rally in Minneapolis. Those groups have defended and even praised Hamas and its terrorists following its attack on Israel. American Muslims for Palestine one day after the attack issued a statement blaming Hamas’s terrorism on “increased Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people,” while Students for Justice in Palestine’s University of Minnesota chapter organized a Monday vigil “in loving memory of Palestine’s martyrs.”

“First of all, this was not an attack, it was a response,” American Muslims for Palestine said on its website one day after Hamas terrorists slaughtered at least 1,300 people, including women and children. “Expecting a besieged, occupied, brutalized, and colonized people to remain docile in the face of nearly a century of brutal oppression and colonial subjugation is inhumane and unjust.”

The group’s support for Hamas is unsurprising—its board member, Salah Sarsour, played a direct role in fundraising for the terror group in the late 1990s, according to an FBI memorandum. Sarsour in July 2018 co-hosted a fundraising event for Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.), who also blamed Israel for Hamas’s terror attack, saying the Jewish state’s “apartheid system … creates the suffocating, dehumanizing conditions that can lead to resistance.”

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“The failure to recognize the violent reality of living under siege, occupation, and apartheid makes no one safer,” Tlaib said in a statement on the “ongoing violence in Israel and Palestine.”

Ellison himself is known for his association with anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, having repeatedly met with Farrakhan while serving in the U.S. House of Representatives. Ellison in 1997 defended Farrakhan from accusations of anti-Semitism, saying the notorious leader—who has compared Jews to “termites”—is “not an anti-Semite.”

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