GOP Senators Alarmed by Biden’s Nominee’s Ties to Anti-Israel Group

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Republican senators are raising concerns about Biden’s nominee for a top position in Small Business Administration, due to the nominee’s ties to an anti-Israel group. 

Together with seven of his Republican colleagues, Senator Jim Risch wrote a letter to Senate Small Business Committee Chairman Ben Cardin; in this letter, Risch called for a hearing on Biden’s deputy administrator nominee for SBA, Dilawar Syed. 


The GOP lawmakers cited the board membership of Syed with Emgage Action, a political action committee related to a Muslim advocacy group that is “vocally anti-Israel.”

While Syed was sitting as a board member of Emgage Action, they actively supported movements that sabotaged peace negotiations between Palestine and Israel. The group was also vocal about their support for the right to boycott, divest and sanction Israel. 

Republican lawmakers are concerned about Syed’s history with Emgage Action

The letter reads that although Syed’s Emgage Action membership was disclosed to the committee (before his nomination hearing last April 12), the political group since made troubling remarks that the members of the committee and the small business community are concerned about. 

The senators also mentioned that Emgage Acton released provocative messages during the unrest in Palestine and Israel, citing a quote where the group referred to Israel as an “occupier.”

Moreover, the senators noted that Emgage Action, which Syed’s connected with, also increased their allegations that Israel is apartheid. The group similarly issued a statement to support Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar after she equated the U.S. and Israel to the Taliban. 

The letter concludes by saying that if a person supporting these types of allegations is confirmed, it will hinder the cooperation between the United States and Israel. This is true, particularly in areas of artificial intelligence, bio-medicine, cybersecurity, and more. 

Emgage Action claims that Israel is engaging in apartheid rule

On top of these allegations, the website of Emgage Action also used to contain statements claiming that Israel is engaging in “apartheid rule,” stealing lands of Palestinians and destroying their homes to give way to illegal Jewish settlements. The group also accused Israel of preventing education and medical care. 

On their website, Emgage Action showed their support for the right to boycott and sanction Israel. 


Meanwhile, U.S. Senator Ben Cardin has been outspoken about his opposition to the nomination of anyone who can circumvent direct negotiations by the U.S. to other countries.

In 2019, Cardin introduced a resolution to oppose efforts meant to delegitimize Israel, specifically the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign targeting Israel.

The Democrat senator from Maryland was joined by 69 of his colleagues on the resolution. The resolution blasted the BDS movement as a means that seeks to exclude the State of Israel and Israelis from the academic, cultural, and economic life of the rest of the world.