Windows and Doors

Windows and Doors

Holy Land 5 Successfully Prosecuted, Not Persecuted

Today is a good day for Justice in America. Five leaders of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development were convicted on 108 criminal counts of supporting terrorism, money laundering and tax fraud. They funneled millions of dollars to the outlawed organization, Hamas. Today is also a good day for Justice in America because federal judge, Frederick Block, of the United States District Court in Brooklyn ruled against the government’s use of ethnicity as the sole justification for detaining Egyptian Americans, Tarik Farag and Amro Elmasry.
Taken together, these rulings point to a country which will make those who ignore the law, pay the full price for so doing, while protecting the rights of those who have done nothing to arouse suspicion on the part of others beyond looking or sounding different from most other Americans. That’s good justice.
The claim that the Holy Land 5 were unfairly persecuted, as many of their supporters claim is truly disturbing. It demonstrates that they actually put their political views above the law. Whether people agree with the government having labeled Hamas a terrorist organization or not, these men and their foundation knew full well that it was illegal to channel funds to Hamas. The fact that they covered it up proves that.
If they wanted the law changed, they should argue for the change, not become a law unto themselves. And the argument that they were only supporting the humanitarian work of Hamas is absurd. And pretending that this was “only” or “simply” humanitarian relief wrong.
That does not mean that any of the five convicted personally support the suicide bombing, arms smuggling, or endless rocket fire on civilian target that are the hallmark of Hamas.


In fact, there is no evidence that any of them believe that is the right thing to do. But helping Hamas to provide the humanitarian assistance which is part and parcel of their recruitment process and which galvanizes support for those activities is as good as putting weapons in the hands of those who would fire them.
There is real human need in Gaza and nobody should be hampered in their efforts to address those needs. But when you help terrorists in any way, you are helping terror and that must be stopped. The only alternative explanation is that those convicted and the people who support them approve of Hamas and its violence. If that is the case, then they should admit that they support a terrorist organization and pay the price for do so. If they do not, then they should find other ways of feeding the hungry and caring for the sick.
Likewise, our government needs to find ways to counter the ongoing threat of terror that do not hinge on racist profiling and needless suspicion of anyone who speaks Arabic or “looks Muslim”, itself a ridiculous term. While ethnicity and background may shape our thinking about who is a threat and who is not, we better be pretty certain that we have more to go on than a gut reaction to a person’s skin color or accent before hauling them in for interrogation. And simply switching seats so that two men traveling together can sit next to each other, hardly qualifies.
We must not become a lawless nation in defense of our laws. If we did, we would be little different from those against whom we fight. That need to honor the law falls on all of us, including Pro-Palestinian philanthropists, and those entrusted with keeping us safe from attacks. Yesterday’s rulings prove that. That is why today is a good day for justice.

  • jestrfyl

    I would be very cautious about extolling this as a wondrous act of justice. This dog can bite anyone, and it may just bite people who support Israel as well. I think that the case as presented by the Government was shaky. They would not have had to produce so much paper if their case was good. Their statement would not be complex and they would not have to tell people it was complicated. Instead they try to say it is too much for mere mortal minds. I am suspicious of ANYone who resorts to this tactic.
    Humanitarian aid is the only way any real change will be effected. Preventing that aid is a questionable approach to diplomacy. making any assitance seem like acts of terrorism dilutes the argument and simply comes off as feeble.

  • Your Name

    The law is a great thing and I have little against it. I happen to obey the law.
    On the flip side lets step back how we got here:
    We the US told the Palestinians to hold democratic elections since we believe democracy is the cure for their issues.
    They did just that and chose Hamas. We then told them we can’t accept the result since this is a terror organization. On the other hand we are on best terms with Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other great democracies.
    Interestingly a large portion of the population of this planet living out of the US thinks the way we make laws is self serving, hypocritical and unjust. Perhpas we should re evaluate the law.

  • chinkjunior

    “your name”, just because they hold democratic elections doesnt mean we have to accept their choice- electorates can make bad choices (see US Election 2000, Germany 1933). We can still base our foreign policy on independent factors, and yes, cooperate with governmental structures that are, in the case of Saudi Arabia et al, less than desirable.

  • Your Name

    One man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter. By labeling all armed opposition to Israel policies and tactics toward the Palestinians “terrorism,” the U.S. and Israel use too broad a brush. By this definition, the people who fought the British during our Revolutionary War were terrorists.

  • Solomon2

    “Humanitarian aid is the only way any real change will be effected. Preventing that aid is a questionable approach to diplomacy. ”
    Palestinian Arabs have received such aid for sixty years. As a result, they suffer in the way many cultures in history have when they were hooked on welfare: a high birth rate in or out of wedlock, an under-appreciation of honest work in favor of easy money, an aggressive concern with “honor” expressed through seeking both internal and external conflicts, and continual rent-seeking in lieu of self-betterment.
    If change is wanted, doesn’t “humanitarian aid” as we know it need to cease, rather than continue? Seems like a fit subject for diplomacy to me.

  • chinkjunior

    There is no modern day argument more engorged with intellectual cowardice than the oft-repeated “One man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter.” Yes, one can differentiate between the two, and it’s not for this column.

  • Robert

    I wouldn’t call it a great day just because five Muslims have been convicted of sending money to Hamas. Sure, it was against the law, and their punishment is rightful. I don’t advocate funding Hamas. But I don’t advocate the US government funding Israel, either. Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish who is more filled with self-righteousness and hate, Hamas or Likud. I truly believe the world would be a better place if both groups disbanded.

  • Your Name

    honesty begins in the grass roots of any society.and is finelly
    sealed years later by goverments.its called revolution.when it does transform cultures its long anwsered prayer.coruption will always remain as threat to all thats good.peace

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