UPDATE: Omeish has stepped down. LGF has the story.
RICHMOND, Va. “” Gov. Timothy M. Kaine examined online videos Thursday that show a man he appointed to the state Commission on Immigration condemning Israel and advocating “the jihad way.”
In a video that appears on YouTube, Muslim American Society president Dr. Esam S. Omesh is shown at an August 2006 rally in Washington denouncing the invasion of Lebanon during that time by the “Israeli war machine.”
Omesh, chief of the division of general surgery at INOVA Alexandria Hospital, also accused Israel of genocide and massacres against Palestinians and said the “Israeli agenda” controls Congress.
In a separate, undated video, Omesh tells a crowd of Washington-area Muslims, “…you have learned the way, that you have known that the jihad way is the way to liberate your land.”
That video was credited to Investigative Project, a Washington-based organization that investigates radical Islamic organizations.
A caller to Kaine’s program on WRVA radio in Richmond asked the governor about the Omesh appointment and the video.
“That is news to me, what you say, and it’s something we will check out,” Kaine told the caller, identified on the air only by the name Kent.
“That is news to me.” Obviously, that doesn’t speak well of the screening process prospective appointees underwent.
Neither Kaine nor The Associated Press was immediately able to contact Omesh. Mahdi Bray, a spokesman for the MAS, said Omesh was performing surgery and not immediately available for comment.
Omesh was among 10 appointments Kaine made on Aug. 2 to a 20-member panel created this year by the General Assembly to assess the benefits and costs of immigration and the effects on federal immigration policies on the state. The commission met in Richmond for the first time Tuesday.