Close this search box.

Upcoming Lee Remarks at CAIR Fundraiser Draws Fire From Patel, McCormick

Rep. Summer Lee

Again showing that the Israel-Hamas conflict will be a major player in her race, Rep. Summer Lee (D-12) is drawing fire from opponents to her scheduled appearance for a leading Muslim advocacy group this weekend.

Lee is slated to provide “special remarks” at the annual fundraising banquet for the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) at the Springfield Country Club on Saturday, March 2.

The freshman Congresswoman is on the program along with three others, including Ibrahim Jaaber, an author and former University of Pennsylvania basketball star, who has called Israelis “demons” who lie to “cover their horns.”

Facebook post from Ibrahim Jaaber

Jaaber, who serves as youth director for the Islamic Education Center of Pennsylvania (IECPA) in Allentown, is an author and spoken word poet.

Also on the program is Shaykh Yasir Fahmy, a clergyman and academic who preaches at the al-Falah mosque in Bridgewater, New Jersey, who has denied all video and photo evidence of the horrors of Hamas’ attack on October 7 and said that Palestinians were guilty of no brutality, and that the Zionists are the only ones who have committed atrocities.

One of Lee’s Democratic challengers for the nomination is Edgewood Borough councilwoman Bhavini Patel, who called for Lee to step away from the fundraiser.

“Summer Lee needs to cancel this appearance and apologize for agreeing to share a stage with these extremists in the first place,” she said in a statement. “This is appalling.”

Patel had earlier criticized Lee for accepting campaign donations from pro-Palestinian activists who have made antisemitic remarks about Israel, most notably including CAIR’s executive director, Nihad Awad, who has celebrated Hamas’ attacks.

“Summer Lee must immediately follow President Biden’s lead and distance herself from these hateful, dangerous individuals by returning their tainted contributions,” she said. “Taking money from anti-Semites who celebrate terrorist attacks and encourage their followers to monitor synagogues is abhorrent behavior from the elected official who purports to represent the Tree of Life community in Congress.”

Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Dave McCormick went even further with his condemnation of Lee’s appearance, calling for the congresswoman’s resignation.

The candidate called upon his opponent, Sen. Bob Casey Jr., to join him in his position.

Lee, who was recently endorsed by the Allegheny County Democratic Committee over Patel and Laurie MacDonald, has stated that “We have to be clear that no government, no country is above critique. The way that [Israeli Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu has conducted this war, it’s indefensible.

“We cannot, as the people elected to lead with moral clarity, think merely criticizing Netanyahu is enough,” she tweeted. “How he’s conducting his war, largely on civilians, is indefensible. As long as we send weapons & a blank check, we’re more than complicit in the nearly 30,000 lives lost.”

“David McCormick owes Pennsylvanians answers after he stood with self-described Nazis at CPAC and invested millions in a social media site that platforms people like Nick Fuentes – who said he will ally himself with any person who ‘says they love Hitler,’ said TaNisha Cameron, Pennsylvania Democratic Party spokesperson. “McCormick’s association with extremists who push antisemitic conspiracy theories is disqualifying.”

Republican congressional hopeful James Hayes said “Summer Lee has made her home with extremists her entire career, trading on anger and resentment as her political currency. It is no surprise that Lee would agree to share a dais filled with antisemites who endorsed the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks on innocent Jews. The moment she opens her mouth at this event, she will have devalued the lives of innocent victims and betrayed the values of the people she was elected to represent.”

The Chairs of the Pennsylvania Jewish Legislative Caucus issued a statement that read, “We have grave concerns about an elected official joining individuals who have made openly antisemitic comments and praised the actions of Hamas following the attacks of October 7. We urge Rep. Lee to reconsider her participation in this event.” 

The Pennsylvania Jewish Legislative Caucus is co-chaired by state Rep. Dan Frankel (D-Allegheny) and state Sen. Judy Schwank (D-Berks).


updated to include a statement from Cameron, Hayes and the caucus


  • Do you agree that ByteDance should be forced to divest TikTok?

    • Yes. It's a national security risk. (60%)
    • No. It's an app used by millions and poses no threat. (40%)
    • What's ByteDance? (0%)

    Total Voters: 30

    Loading ... Loading ...
Continue to Browser


To install tap and choose
Add to Home Screen