The Arab Center confirmed to the Washington Free Beacon that Bishara is in fact attending the event, which is raising serious questions on how Bishara was allowed to enter the United States when he was linked to the well-known terrorist group Hezbollah (spelled ‘Hizballah’ on the State Department’s website).
In 2007, Israel’s Shin Bet secret service investigated Azmi Bishara, a former Israeli parliament member, for his ties to Hezbollah and his role in the operation and planning of terrorist attacks on the state of Israel during the Second Lebanon War in 2006. As a result of this investigation, Bishara was forced to flee Israel. Bishara, a former chairman of Israel’s Balad political party, is accused by Israel of aiding Hezbollah agents during the 2006 war. Israel’s Haaretz news reported the following:
“Bishara allegedly provided ‘information, suggestions and recommendations,’ including censored material, to his contacts in Lebanon during the war”
Bishara fled Israel in 2007 and has been living in Qatar ever since while Israel maintains that if he were to return to Israel, he will be brought up on charges of terrorism, treason, and espionage, which could land him the death penalty for his role as a top operative and planner inside the Hezbollah terror group network.
The Arab Center also slated former U.S. Ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, to speak alongside Bishara but has since canceled his appearance and his image was removed from the center’s website shortly after the Free Beacon made the inquiry; Bishara is still listed as a speaker for the event.
The Free Beacon additionally reported that the State Department remained quiet when the question of granting Bishara a visa was asked, which leads to how he was able to enter the United States with official permission because Qatar is currently not part of the U.S. Visa Waiver Program.
A State Department official said,
“We are unable to provide information on individual cases because visa records are confidential under U.S. law. Visa applications are adjudicated on a case-by-case basis in accordance with U.S. law. Section 222 (f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) prohibits us from disclosing details from individual visa cases.”
A source familiar with the Bishara situation questioned how he gained legal entry into the United States and said,
“The Obama administration’s tilt toward Iran is so extreme that now a visa has been given to a Hezbollah terrorist so that he can visit Washington D.C. The administration’s love affair with Iran is a disgrace to our country and a danger to our security.”