American Muslims for Palestine (AMP)—one of the most radical and controversial anti-Israel groups in the United States —spent this past week training anti-Israel activists to send them into lobbying meetings with members of Congress. Among AMP’s partners in this effort were the anti-Zionist Jewish Voice for Peace, UNRWA-USA, and even the NAACP.

Introduction: What is AMP?

An organization with a far reach into campuses and radical leftist organizations, AMP has been the subject of numerous LI posts dating back several years. We documented AMP’s involvement in organizing protests and disruption of the Christians United for Israel Annual Summit in July 2019 in Investigation: Anti-Israel groups plan disruption of Christians United for Israel Annual Summit.That post has a section devoted to AMP’s origins and leadership, including its role in Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). You can also read about AMP influence on SJP in Investigation: ‘Students for Justice in Palestine’ Locked Down Its Annual Conference, What Was It Hiding?

Virtual Palestine Advocacy Days

This past week has brought a new round of AMP antics in the form of Virtual Palestine Advocacy Days: a full week of anti-Israel congressional lobbying over Zoom, including a virtual “training session” for the assembled anti-Israel activists, and a live-streamed congressional plenary featuring remarks by Reps Betty McCollum, Debbie Dingell, Judy Chu, Rashida Tlaib, André Carson, and Donald Payne, Jr.

Normally, AMP conducts their annual lobbying week in person (usually in the spring, perhaps as a foil to AIPAC’s long-standing early March congressional visits). I wrote about the 2019 version of the event with my former Middle East Forum colleague Dr. Oren Litwin. In our piece, Dr. Litwin and I summarized AMP’s close links with the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), a now-defunct Hamas front in the United States. We also pointed out several notable participants in the 2019 proceedings, including Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) acolyte and Electronic Intifada blogger Joe Catron, and Reps Athena Salman and (to nobody’s surprise) Rashida Tlaib. (Incidentally, when AMP exiled me from their November 2019 conference, AMP staffer Munjed Ahmad justified the decision by referencing that very article, claiming it was full of “lies”, and arguing that its contents indicated I wouldn’t be writing “anything positive” about AMP’s 2019 convention, so I would not be permitted to participate. He neglected to mention anything specific the piece had mistaken.)

This year, the coronavirus forced AMP to postpone its annual springtime lobbying effort and eventually take it completely virtual; this enabled me to sign up and listen in to each piece. Signing up was easy; I paid the $11 fee, used my real name and LIF email address, and wondered how long it would take AMP to notice my quiet presence.