JWR Eric BreindelMona CharenLinda Chavez
Jacob SullumJonathan S. TobinThomas Sowell
Robert ScheerDon FederRoger Simon
Left, Right & Center
Jewish World Review / March 5, 1998 / 7 Adar, 5758

Jonathan S. Tobin

Jonathan S. Tobin Follow the money to Hamas

THE DISCOVERY last December of a cache of documents in a Hamas hideout in Israel may have grave implications for American law enforcement.

The documents link an American fundraising group for Islamic causes - The Holy Land Foundation - to a group operating under the same name in Israel. This proves that the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation is directly contributing to the activities of Hamas Angry Arabs in Israel. Though this foundation has represented itself as merely a charity for the victims of Israeli brutality, in fact, it is a conduit for the "martyrs" of Hamas. This places them in direct violation of the 1996 Federal Anti-Terrorism Act, which prohibits fundraising for groups which have been specifically designated as foreign terrorist groups. Hamas and Hezbollah are two such groups.

This and other evidence which has been accumulating in recent years ought to do more than light a fire under the F.B.I. to hit these groups hard. It ought to give pause to many in the media who have been lending an ear to apologists for supporters of Islamic terrorists groups. These apologists and fellow travelers of Hamas such as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the American Muslim Council (AMC) have been working full time to discredit those courageous Americans who have uncovered the unsavory connections between some American Muslim groups and the mass murderers and extremists of Hamas and Hezbollah. They have, with some success, created a mindset that identifies all investigations of Islamic group with prejudice against Arabs.

Unfortunately, outside of the Anti-Defamation League and a precious few others, not many monitoring groups and even fewer journalists have dared to cross this new boundary of political incorrectness to call American supporters of terrorism by their right names.

Specifically, CAIR and AMC have made independent journalist Steven Emerson a special target of their smears and slanders. They, and their more mainstream accomplices such as James Zogby (a leading Washington political insider and Democratic party fundraiser), have tried to intimidate Emerson and falsely accused him of branding all Muslims with the brush of terrorism. Contrary to the scurrilous rhetoric which has been let loose at him, Emerson's fact-finding investigations into the seedy world of American support for Islamic fundamentalist terrorism have been vindicated both by the solid nature of his research and subsequent events.

I still have concerns about the implementation of anti-terrorist legislation which might - if used wrongly - serve to restrain free speech or criminalize legal activity. I would also deplore any effort which would (as Emerson and the ADL clearly have not) brand all Arabs as fundraisers for terrorists. That said, it is still high time that CAIR and AMC were held accountable by the national media for their rhetorical support for terrorism (which has victimized Jews, Arabs and American citizens alike) and their false charges against Emerson. In the meantime, Federal authorities need to use the newly uncovered evidence to bring groups like the "Holy Land Foundation" to account for their crimes.

JWR contributor Jonathan S. Tobin is executive editor of the Connecticut Jewish Ledger.


2/22/98: Re-writing "Anne Frank" - A distorted legacy
2/15/98: Religious persecution is still a Jewish issue
2/6/98: A lost cause remembered (the failure of the Bund)
2/1/98: Economic aid is not in Israel's interest
1/25/98: Jews are news, and a fair shake for Israel is hard to find

©1998, Jonathan S. Tobin