- Director of the Palestine Children’s Welfare Fund
- “In our opinion, the Jews arrived illegally and will be deported to their nation of origin…sooner or later.”
- Found drowned in April 2008
Riad Hamad was the director of The Palestine Children’s Welfare Fund (PCWF). Hamad said, “Britain allowed several hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants to land in Palestine, despite the opposition of the original inhabitants. In our opinion, [the Jews] arrived illegally and will be deported to their nation of origin…sooner or later.” He also suggested that it is a misconception to assume “that most of us Arabs recognize the right of Israel to exist.”
The FBI investigated Hamad on a number of occasions. His resume included being fired from Austin Community College for allegedly “making racist slurs and sexist jokes in the classroom.” In Hamad’s version of the event, however, he explained that he was in fact fired for “making statements against the U.S. government.” Hamad thereafter went on to teach at a different school, in his words, “till I get fired again.”
In April 2006, Hamad filed a defamation suit against NGO Monitor, Frontpage Jerusalem, the Center for Study of Popular Culture and others, charging that those organizations had defamed him by suggesting that he and his charity were tied to Islamic terrorism. On January 17, 2007, a Texas Federal Court judge dismissed the lawsuit as “wholly frivolous,” “baseless,” and “groundless.” Calling Hamad‘s complaint “an unintelligible morass of vitriolic accusations” that had “no basis in law,” the judge ordered the plaintiff to pay the defendants’ attorney’s fees (totaling almost $60,000) plus a $1,000 fine to each defendant.
On April 17, 2008, PHamad was found dead, with duct tape binding his hands and covering his mouth, in an East Austin, Texas lake. Police called the death suspicious, but family and other sources told investigators that it was likely a suicide.