Munichian Candidate Sets Sail with the Navy

Laphonza Butler, Gavin Newsom’s pick to replace Dianne Feinstein, has “decided not to run for Senate in the upcoming election.” Possible candidates include a Democrat calling himself Ammar Campa-Najjar, who lost congressional races to Duncan Hunter in 2018 and Darrell Issa in 2020.

Last year, the Democrat ran for mayor of Chula Vista, losing to Republican John McCann. In August, the three-time loser joined the U.S. Navy, and if that seems strange, consider the candidate’s back story.

Ammar is the grandson of Muhammad Abu Yousef al-Najjar, mastermind of the Palestinian terrorists who abducted, tortured and murdered 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972. Ammar is also the son of Palestinian Authority official Yasser Najjar, a fugitive after the Munich attack. Ammar claims his father “migrated from the Middle East to America on a student visa,” met a Mexican-American lady named Abigail and raised a family in San Diego county, but there’s a problem.

Back in 2003, Linda Gradstein of National Public Radio interviewed Yasser Najjar at his office in Gaza, where he served with the Palestinian Authority. Yasser was married, with four children but his wife and children were not named. After the Israelis killed Muhammad Abu Yousef al-Najjar, Yasser was a fugitive. Son Ammar has not documented Yasser’s move to the United States, or claims that he earned an MBA from San Diego State and started several clothing boutiques.

Yasser’s son Ammar claims his family moved from San Diego to Gaza, where he lived from ages 8 to 12, a “very Obamaesque, Dreams of Your Father situation,” as he told Rolling Stone. Sure enough, the former Barry Soetoro took a shine to him. In 2012, Ammar served as deputy regional field director for Obama’s reelection campaign, followed by a position in the Obama White House. If any American journalist, politician, or intelligence official knew about the terrorist connection they did not go public.

In 2017, after Ammar announced his first run for national office, the Israeli publication Haaretz ran a report headlined, “Grandson of Munich Massacre Terrorist Is Running for Congress.” As La Prensa San Diego revealed, the candidate once went by the name Ammar Yasser Najjar and only changed it to Ammar “Campa-Najjar” when he ran for Congress as a Palestinian Arab-American, a Mexican-Palestinian American and other variations.

Billed as a “rockstar Democratic candidate” by Rolling Stone, Najjar ran as a progressive in 2018 and moderate conservative in 2020. Despite more than 700 mail-in ballots with either non-matching or missing signatures, the Obama Democrat lost the Chula Vista mayor’s race to Republican John McAnn. Then somebody pulled strings to get the loser into the Navy, probably the same people who got Najjar into the Obama White House.

“Today, in front of my family, friends, my grandmother in heaven and God, I stood aboard the USS Midway and swore an oath to preserve, protect and defend our nation as a commissioned United States Navy Officer,” Ammar told People Magazine, quoting Winston Churchill that as a reservist he was now “twice the citizen.”

The former Ammar Yasser Najjar claimed he first tried to join up at age 17, but as People’s Virginia Chamlee explained, “his mother refused to sign off on the decision, due to his father being away at the time.” In similar style, Ammar told Robin Abcarian of the Los Angeles Times that “he’d always wanted to serve in the military, and even tried to enlist at 17 before his mother put a stop to it.”

Neither journalist specified whether that was the “mom or stepmom” Ammar previously mentioned. And no comment from his father Yasser Najjar, the Palestinian Authority official in Gaza who somehow migrated to the USA on a student visa.

“The military doesn’t have the luxury of getting into these cultural disputes trying to divide us,” the officer told Abcarian. “Where some people have seen my heritage, my background as a liability, the Navy says those are not liabilities, they are assets. A command of the Arab language, fluent in Spanish, having lived in the Middle East, my cultural competency gives us a strategic advantage. . . My Arabic is actually more fluent than my Spanish.”

Abcarian found Campa-Najjar to be somewhat “guarded” but accepted his contention that he was done with politics, “at least for now.” The columnist might cast a glance at his Wikipedia entry.

“Ammar Campa-Najjar is a United States naval officer,” it begins, as though he had graduated Annapolis and commanded a carrier. His father Yasser Najjar “was an important internal critic of Palestinian hardliners” and during his time in Gaza, “he attempted to counteract the rising influence of Hamas.” Grandfather Muhammad Abu Yousef al-Najjar “has been the subject of significant controversy,” and so on.  If anybody thought that sounded like campaign copy it would be hard to blame them.

The Munichian candidate’s story has yet to face a squad of forensic document examiners, polygraphers and DNA testers. On the other hand, the rockstar Democrat has let slip what he is about. In a in a February 25, 2017 commentary in The Hill, which bills him as a “Mexican-Palestinian American,” Najjar wrote about restoring “the original glow that once graced the face of Islam.”

On October 15, nearly a thousand pro-Hamas demonstrators gathered in San Diego, but if the newly minted naval officer showed up, he did not speak to reporters. It has emerged that the rockstar Democrat has been dating Rep. Sara Jacobs, granddaughter of billionaire Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs. With that kind of support, the former Gaza resident is someone to watch in 2024 and beyond.

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About Lloyd Billingsley

Lloyd Billingsley is the author of Hollywood Party and other books including Bill of Writes and Barack ‘em Up: A Literary Investigation. His journalism has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Spectator (London) and many other publications. Billingsley serves as a policy fellow with the Independent Institute.

Photo: SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 03: Ammar Campa-Najjar (D-CA), who is running for congress in Rep. Duncan Hunter's(R-CA) district, speaks to members of the media outside the Federal Courthouse on December 3, 2019 in San Diego, California. Congressman Hunter is expected to plead guilty to charges that he violated federal campaign finance laws by using campaign funds for extensive personal expenses.(Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)