A Republican who is running for a House seat in southeast Queens, attacked Democrat incumbent Gregory Meeks as a “scandal-ridden, terrorist-loving congressman” in a Jewish newspaper ad this week, complete with a photo of Osama Bin-Laden.
Asher Taub’s ad in the Five Towns Jewish Times says Meeks was “so concerned about Muslim preachers who head terrorist charities that were being put through extra security at our airports that he personally interceded for them with the Bush White House.”
In a phone interview on Tuesday, Taub told The Jewish Week he was referring to a Sept. 19 report in the New York Post that Meeks had written a letter to then-homeland security secretary Michael Chertoff in September, 2006, complaining that Anwar Hajjaj, director of the Virginia-based World Assembly of Muslim Youth International, faced "unwarranted scrutiny" at JFK Airport when he returned from foreign trips. Hajjaj leads Friday Muslim prayers at the Capitol.
According to the Post, “Hajjaj also headed the Taibah International Aid Association, a charity that has been accused of funding Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda. The group was co-founded by Abdullah A. bin Laden, Osama bin Laden’s nephew, who has been investigated for his ties to groups that have funded al Qaeda and Hamas.”
“He was helping a guy who basically funnels money to al Qaeda because the guy was getting frisked,” Taub, a rabbi and personal injury lawyer who lives in Kew Gardens, Queens, told The Jewish Week. “He personally called Chertoff and said ‘take it easy on this guy.’ ”
A spokeswoman for Meeks did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A previous ads for Taub in the same paper showed a mushroom cloud and evoked Iran’s nuclear aspirations and questions whether Meeks and the Congressional Black Caucus will stop it. Another features the Western Wall and warns that “President Obama wants to force Israel to give the Har Habayis [Temple Mount] to the Palestinians … We have to stop them now. Will Gregory Meeks and his friends do that?” The ad implores the Orthodox paper’s readers to “Vote for a Frum Congressman.”
The 6th district, which includes Cambria Heights, Edgemere, Far Rockaway, Hollis, Jamaica, Laurelton, Queens Village, Rosedale, Saint Albans, Springfield Gardens, and South Ozone Park, is about 58 percent black and 18 percent white. Meeks has represented the district since 1998.
Taub denied using fear tactics. "People have a right to know about these things. The only reason he hasn’t been indicted yet is because the Democrats [are in control]."
Meeks has been investigated by the House Ethics Committee for personal loans he obtained for his Queens home, including $40,000 from a Queens businessman that he failed to report on his 2007 and 2008 financial disclosure forms. The U.S. attorney general has also probed the use of funds by a charity founded by Meeks and fellow Democrat Sen. Malcolm Smith to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina.