The Israeli ambassador to the United States is expected to accept an award in December from a Washington, D.C.-based anti-Islam think tank whose founder is a proponent of the conspiracy theory that members of the Muslim Brotherhood have infiltrated the U.S. government.
The Southern Poverty Law Center noted Tuesday that Israeli ambassador Ron Dermer is expected to accept the Center for Security Policy’s “Freedom Flame Award” on Dec. 13 in New York City.
The Center for Security Policy has made a few appearances on the national stage this election cycle, perhaps most prominently in December 2015, when Donald Trump announced his proposal to ban all Muslim immigrants from entering the United States.
He cited a fishy poll from the think tank, which claimed that “25 percent of those polled agreed that violence against Americans here in the United States is justified as a part of the global jihad” and “51 percent of those polled agreed that Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to Shariah.” Trump was immediately criticized by many pollsters for citing the survey, which was an “opt-in” poll rather than a randomly sampled one, meaning pollsters could not know who had responded to it, nor how often they responded.
During the Republican presidential primary, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) included the group’s founder, Frank Gaffney, on his foreign policy team during the Republican presidential primaries. Cruz was criticized for that choice, as Gaffney is the leading proponent of the conspiracy theory that the Muslim Brotherhood has secret agents operating at all levels of American government, including Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
The Israeli embassy in D.C. told the SPLC in a statement that “Ambassador Dermer is not aware of any anti-Muslim views held by the Center for Security Policy and certainly would not endorse any such view.”