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Islamist 'Fifth Column' Escapes Justice -- At Least, for the Time Being
Columnist Cal Thomas writes on www.JewishWorldReview.com on Oct. 25 about an unholy attempt to raise money for terror:
"A federal judge in Dallas declared a mistrial in the case of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development when a jury was unable to reach a verdict on 197 counts brought by the government that accused the Muslim charity of funding terrorism.
"A hung jury, however, is not an acquittal, and even if the Holy Land Foundation eventually is acquitted (the government has indicated it will retry the case), it doesn't necessarily mean the accused is innocent (think O.J. Simpson's murder trial).
"Anyone in doubt about the game plan for infiltrating, undermining and attacking America from within our borders had better sober up. Our enemies know our ways, and they are using them to gain a strategic advantage over us. From the rapid construction of mosques and Islamic schools across the country -- many of which are financed by Saudi Arabia -- to the use of front organizations as conduits to channel money to terrorist groups abroad, a 'fifth column' has been opened in the United States.
"Despite the hung jury, a lot of useful information came out at the trial that people with terrorist intent would just as soon have remained hidden. Among the evidence revealed in court is the connection of Holy Land Foundation and a number of other Islamic groups, such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Islamic Society of North America and the Islamic Circle of North America, to the radical Muslim Brotherhood organization.
"The Holy Land Foundation is not an unfairly persecuted charity. While it exhibits some charitable work as window dressing, evidence presented at the trial shows its connections with known terrorist groups.
"Although scores of examples from the government's case show what we face, I offer just one found in a recent '9/11 Finding Answers Foundation' report: 'On Aug. 16, 2007, a Miami jury convicted Adham Hassoun, Jose Padilla and Kifah Jayyousi of conspiring to provide material support to terrorists. A Department of Justice press release announcing the initial indictment against Hassoun, a Palestinian national living in Florida, stated, 'As part of the conspiracy, Hassoun allegedly wrote a series of checks over several years -- from 1994 to late 2001 -- to unindicted co-conspirators and organizations, including the Holy Land Foundation and the Global Relief Foundation, to be used to support violent jihad.'
"There is much more, including this from the government's case: 'HLF is also mentioned in The 9/11 Commission Report in connection with the investigation of Anwar Aulaqi, an imam in San Diego and Falls Church who allegedly had a "close relationship" with hijackers Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar. Investigators probing Aulaqi prior to 9/11 learned that he "knew individuals from the Holy Land Foundation and others involved in raising money for the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas." '
"That the government was unable to convince a jury of this is either the fault of the prosecutors or the blindness of the jurors. I suspect it is the latter. Americans are extremely reluctant to brand a class of people and put them in categories. Our enemies know this, so they trade on our sorry history of slavery and racism, and wrap themselves in the image of civil-rights workers seeking only the same freedoms everyone else enjoys."
Whatever They Say, Israel Represents the Only Democracy in the Mideast
Columnist Jeff Jacoby writes in The Boston Globe (www. boston.com) on Oct. 21 about criticism of Israel that goes too far:
"In civilized circles, it is considered boorish to speak of Jews as Christ-killers, or to use language evoking the venomous old teaching that Jews are forever cursed for the death of Jesus. Those circles apparently don't include the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center, an anti-Israel 'peace' organization based in Jerusalem, or its founder, the Anglican cleric Naim Ateek.
"Sabeel and Ateek are highly regarded on the hard-line Christian left, and regularly organize American conferences at which Israel is extravagantly denounced by numerous critics. So far this year, such conferences have been held in Cleveland; Berkeley, Calif.; and Birmingham, Ala.; another begins [Oct. 26] at Boston's Old South Church.
"Just as critics of the United States are not necessarily anti-American bigots, critics of Israel are not necessarily biased against Jews. But Sabeel and Ateek's denunciations of Israel have included imagery explicitly linking the modern Jewish state to the terrible charge of deicide that for centuries fueled so much anti-Jewish hatred and bloodshed.
" 'It seems to many of us that Jesus is on the cross again with thousands of crucified Palestinians around him,' Ateek has written, envisioning 'hundreds of thousands of crosses throughout the land, Palestinian men, women and children being crucified. Palestine has become one huge Golgotha. The Israeli government crucifixion system is operating daily.'
"In a sermon titled 'The Massacre of the Innocents,' Ateek similarly condemned the 'modern-day Herods' in Israel -- a reference to the evil king who the New Testament says slaughtered the babies of Bethlehem in an attempt to murder the newborn Jesus. In another sermon, Ateek portrays Israelis as having 'shut off the Palestinians in a tomb ... similar to the stone placed on the entrance of Jesus' tomb.'
"In Ateek's metaphorical telling, in other words, Israel is guilty of trying to murder Jesus as an infant, of killing Jesus on the cross and of seeking to prevent his resurrection.
"Exemplifying Sabeel's grotesque demonization of the Jewish state is the theme of its Boston conference: 'The Apartheid Paradigm in Palestine-Israel.' It is hard to imagine an uglier slander.
"Apartheid was the racist system through which South Africa's white minority government ruthlessly repressed the country's large black majority, denying them political rights and relegating them to third-class education, housing and employment.
"Israel, by contrast, is a flourishing democracy based on tolerance, individual liberty and the rule of law. Israeli citizens of every race, ethnicity and religion -- and both sexes -- exercise the right to vote, and enjoy identical civil and political liberties. Within Israel's parliament, about one member in 10 is Arab; there is even a mosque within the Knesset for the benefit of Muslim parliamentarians.
"Arabs and other non-Jews serve in Israel's government ministries and foreign service, on its courts, and in the military. From the Arab beauty who was crowned Miss Israel to the country's Arab soccer stars to the Arab students in Israeli universities, the evidence of Israel's democratic equality is overwhelming and ubiquitous.
"It is true that in response to deadly terrorist attacks by Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza, Israel has been forced to adopt stringent security measures, such as the protective fence between the West Bank and Israel proper, or the checkpoints at border crossings. These are unpopular and inconvenient, but they have saved many Israelis -- Arab and Jew alike -- from being murdered or maimed. Checkpoints and fences can always be removed when the bombings and incitement end, but lives lost to suicide bombings can never be replaced."