photo: Assemblyman Hikind protesting Sarsour’s invitation to speak at CUNY.
HIKIND TO SARSOUR: WHAT HAPPENED TO THE MONEY?
JEWISH CEMETERY SAYS $100K FROM FUNDRAISER NEVER REACHED THEM… AND THEIR CALLS ARE IGNORED
Linda Sarsour gained headlines and sympathy after boasting about raising big bucks for Jewish cemeteries, but one of those cemeteries says they’ve never seen a dime. NY State Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn), who brought attention to Sarsour’s ties with terrorists, called the news a shocking non-surprise.
“Sarsour is a fraud,” said the Assemblyman. “She talks out of both sides of her mouth. One minute she’s claiming to be a disciple of the great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the next she’s standing with a terrorist on stage at an event, and singing praises of that terrorist to an audience. I won’t be the least bit surprised to hear that her little Jewish cemetery publicity stunt wasn’t quite what she made it out to be.”
Following up on Hikind’s suggestion that Sarsour’s fundraiser for Jewish cemeteries wasn’t motivated by any sense of altruism, The Algemeiner investigated Sarsour’s story. The publication reported today that Golden Hill Cemetery in Lakewood, CO, never received a penny, despite having been promised $100,000 from the crowdfunding campaign raised by the group associated with Sarsour. Neil Price, the primary caretaker of the Golden Hill Cemetery, said he has left three unreturned voicemails for Tarek El-Messidi, the founder of non-profit Islamic education organization Celebrate Mercy, who led the high-profile effort in February to raise money for vandalized U.S. Jewish cemeteries. El-Messidi’s partner in the effort was Sarsour.
The campaign “Muslims Unite to Repair Jewish Cemetery” raised $162,468 through the Muslim crowdfunding site LaunchGood. A total of $50,000 was reportedly distributed to three Jewish sites that had been vandalized: Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in St. Louis, MO ($40,000), the Waad Hakolel Cemetery in Rochester, NY ($5,000) and the Chicago Loop Synagogue ($5,000). The director of the Missouri cemetery confirmed to The Algemeiner the receipt of a check, while other news sources reported that the New York and Illinois locations received the money as well.
In May, Sarsour accused Assemblyman Dov Hikind of “put[ting] out lies…without any backup, to cast doubt and to defame me,” after Hikind expressed his skepticism about the crowdfunding effort.
“I understood that Sarsour’s fundraiser was just a publicity stunt meant to mask her efforts to hurt the State of Israel while glorifying her terrorist pals in various Tweets and speeches,” said Hikind. “But I also hoped that the money she raised would at least help these cemeteries. After all, Sarsour has no loss of affection for dead Jews. But this new report raises questions about where the money went. Perhaps if this story gets out, the shame will cause Sarsour to direct the funds to the people it was promised to. Then again, shame implies an elevated sense of self-awareness, and someone who glorifies terrorists is rarely sullied by a scruple.”