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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 19, 2004 / 4 Mar-Cheshvan, 5765

In Sunshine State, battle over coddling of accused Islamist terrorist at center of senatorial race

By Daniel Pipes


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There must be a price to pay for courting the radical Muslim vote


http://www.jewishworldreview.com | What is the issue the Palm Beach Post calls "almost the only topic" and the one that is "playing a pivotal" role in Florida's battle for the U.S. Senate? It's not health care, taxes, education, the economy, or even Iraq. Rather, the two principal candidates are engaged in a ferocious argument over Sami Al-Arian, an accused Islamist terrorist. Their battle teaches lessons for the future.

Al-Arian, a Palestinian immigrant, was a professor of engineering at the University of South Florida when in 1994, investigative journalist Steven Emerson aired a documentary establishing that, as president of the Islamic Committee for Palestine, Al-Arian headed the "primary support group in the United States for [Palestinian] Islamic Jihad," a notorious terrorist group.

How did Al-Arian's employer respond to this news? Betty Castor, then-president of USF and now the Democratic candidate for Senate, neither took steps to fire Al-Arian nor criticize him. Instead, she ordered a review of his dossier and only in 1996 placed him on non-disciplinary administrative leave with full pay — a form of paid vacation. When the U.S. government failed to indict him by 1998, she reinstated Al-Arian in his old teaching job and a year later she left USF.

(It was only after passage of the USA PATRIOT act, giving law enforcement access to intelligence information, that Al-Arian was finally in February 2003 indicted and arrested on terrorism charges.)

Mel Martinez, Castor's Republican opponent, argues that Castor provided "weak leadership" in failing to protect her university from Islamic Jihad, that she fussed about academic freedom instead of grappling with a campus terrorist cell by firing the man he calls the "terrorism professor."

Castor replies that union and university rules tied her hands. She then went on the offensive, digging up a picture of George W. Bush campaigning at a strawberry festival in Florida in 2000 — and who should be there, grinning with the future president, but Sami Al-Arian. Castor's ad charges that "As chair of George Bush's Florida campaign, Martinez allowed suspected terrorist Sami Al-Arian to campaign with Bush, years after Al-Arian was suspended by Betty Castor."

This accusation looks powerful — except that three factual errors undermine it: Martinez was not chair but one of eight honorary co-chairmen; he did not "allow" the photograph to take place but had no knowledge of a spontaneous campaign event; and Castor gave Al-Arian a long vacation rather than suspend him (which is a disciplinary action).

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More broadly, the Martinez campaign rightly points out that the two candidates have hardly equivalent records. "Mel Martinez never allowed Sami Al-Arian to do anything, unlike Betty Castor, who allowed Al-Arian to operate on her campus for six years." Or in Rudy Giuliani's more pungent formulation, Castor "couldn't figure out how to fire an alleged terrorist."

Lou Magill, the chairman of Martinez's campaign in Seminole County took it over the top in an e-mail to supporters: "You and I are the front line on the war on terror because if Castor succeeds, we lose that war."

Both candidates "are consumed with al-Arian," notes Marc Caputo in the Miami Herald. But there the symmetry stops, for the public so far has penalized Castor and rewarded Martinez. It recognizes that for Martinez, Al-Arian was not an issue while Castor for six long years failed to handle the problem the professor presented.

According to a Mason-Dixon poll, Castor's soft treatment of Al-Arian ranks as her "chief weakness." A Martinez advisor reports that when asked, "Who do you think is better on terrorism?" voters favor Martinez 2-1. Martinez has also enjoyed a 20 percent increase since August of voters who view him favorably; Castor won just a 4 percent increase.

The "all Al-Arian all the time" campaign has several implications:

  • As Islamist terrorism grows in menace and capabilities, how American politicians deal with it is becoming more central to their attractiveness as candidates and their stature as leaders.

  • The U.S. voter rewards a tough policy toward those suspected of ties to terrorism.

  • Both major parties must ignore those activists (Grover Norquist for the Republicans, James Zogby for the Democrats) who argue for courting the Islamist vote.

It is unclear who will win the tight Florida race; it is clear, however, that politicians who coddle terrorists have adopted a losing electoral strategy. .

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JWR contributor Daniel Pipes is director of the Middle East Forum and the author of several books, most recently, "Miniatures: Views of Islamic and Middle Eastern Politics". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.). Comment by clicking here.

© 2004, Daniel Pipes