On the very day, November 24, 2008, that the United Nations spent all day and countless sums of money “mourning” the alleged Palestinian catastrophe, a federal jury in Dallas found all five former officials of the Holy Land Foundation, guilty of having illegally raised money in the United States to assist the Palestinian terrorist group, Hamas, in its hot war against Israel.
According to terrorism expert, Steven Emerson, the defendants, “Shukri Abu-Baker, Ghassan Elashi, Mohamed El-Mezain, Mufid Abdulqader and Abdelrahman Odeh, could face up to 20 years in prison for their convictions on conspiracy counts, including conspiring to provide material support to terrorists. The verdicts, read Monday afternoon, ended a two-year saga in what is considered the largest terror financing case since the 9/11 attacks.”
All five defendants are “Palestinians” and/or American citizens as well. Elyashi was born in Gaza; Abu-Baker moved to the “Palestinian territories” as a child; both Abdhulqader and Odeh were born in the West Bank; El-Mezain was born in Gaza. One wonders why five Palestinians chose to set up shop in Dallas, Texas?
Has Holy Land Foundation monies been going to widows and orphans? Well, maybe–but I would suggest, mainly to those whose sons and daughters have blown Israelis (as well as themselves) up. Maybe The Holy Land Foundation paid for the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit who still remains in captivity or for the murder of countless Israel civilians; maybe their monies paid for the Qasam rockets that Hamas has rained down upon civilians in Sderot and Ashkelon. Maybe it paid for most of the weapons shipped to Hamas by boat and by underground tunnel.
But, many people say, the Palestinians are starving refugees and it’s all Israel’s fault. No, I beg to differ: Palestinian suffering is primarily the fault of their own corrupt, terrorist leaders who have refused to allow Arabs who once considered themselves Egyptians, Syrians, or Jordanians to become citizens of those countries and who keep back all the monies and resources sent to the Palestinian people from abroad, including from the Israeli government, in order to show the world how cruel Israel is, and in order to both “grow” homicide-suicide killers, as well as to fund their relentless, endless terrorist war against Israel.
Why are the Palestinians still refugees? Why don’t they have their own state? Why are the people poor?
The answer: The Palestinian and Arab leaders have adamantly and consistently refused their own state from 1947 on to this very day. Their object is to exterminate the Jewish state, not to build their own state and to welcome their refugees.
Approximately 800,000 Jews from Arab countries were exiled and were immediately granted statehood in Israel. The United Nations did not have to fund a swelling number of stateless Jews nor did it fight for the return of the considerable property and wealth which was confiscated from the Jews by Arab Muslim dictators.
Maybe the Holy Land monies funded propaganda. Remember the Palestinian boy, Mohammed al-Dura, who supposedly died in his father’s arms? We now know that the Palestinians staged it, just as we know that Palestinian fighters, dressed as civilians, literally launch rockets from hospitals and school houses hoping, praying, that Israel will respond in self-defense and in so doing, kill Palestinian children.
The United Nations, the world media, human rights and campus groups would condemn and demonize Israel in a flash. That is why twenty three young Israeli soldiers entered Jenin on foot–a Jenin that was booby-trapped and in which Palestinian sharpshooters, (perhaps with Holy Land guns and ammunition), picked them off, one by one. Israel could have fought the battle of Jenin safely, from the air, but world public opinion has not allowed Israel the right to defend itself without being demonized as a “Nazi” occupier and aggressor.
According to M. Zuhdi Jasser, founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, prosecutors triumphed because they were able to “connect the ideology of political Islam and the overriding mission of Islamist organizations like the Holy Land Foundation to their desire to contribute to the efforts of terror groups, like Hamas. When this connection is made we will see the return of a guilty verdict. In future [terrorism financing] cases DOJ will not only have to connect the financial dots but [will have] to demonstrate an overarching common Islamist mission.”
The conspiracy is grand, great, and deep and involves both the Muslim Brotherhood and the Council on American-Islamic Relations. All called for a “jihad to destroy Western civilization from within.”
Andrew McCarthy, who prosecuted the blind cleric Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman and others for conspiring to blow up a series of New York landmarks, including the World Trade Center, had this to say about the decision in Dallas:
“This is one of the most significant victories the Justice Department has won in the war on terror. Financing is the life-blood of jihadist organizations like Hamas. With the assistance of willing co-conspirators, they conceal their activities and use the Muslim obligation of charitable giving to mask support that is actually channeled to their murderous agenda. Today’s verdicts say, loudly and clearly, that Americans aren’t fooled and won’t tolerate it. As a former federal prosecutor, I am especially proud of the assistant U.S. attorneys who persevered through some real travails in securing justice for the American people.”
My congratulations to the hard-working prosecutors. This is a day of victory for the rule of law over and against the rule of terrorism.
For a scholarly and footnoted summary of the history and cast of characters involved in the Holy Land-Hamas connection, please read The Israel Project/Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi’s press release HERE.