Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|Those who do business with terror|
|12/19/01 at 17:49:15|
|Those who do business with terror|
By Margaret Zaknoen
December 14, 2001
'Those who do business with terror will do no business with the United States or anywhere else the United States can reach."
President Bush spoke those words when he announced that the assets of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), the largest American Muslim charity, had been frozen. The U.S. government alleges that HLF uses charitable contributions to fund the operations of Hamas. The group categorically denies this, and no evidence has been produced to substantiate the charge. American Muslims are anxious to see if the president meant what he said, even when those in question are not Muslim.
On Tuesday, the FBI arrested two men affiliated with the Jewish Defense League -- the group's chairman, Irv Rubin, and member Earl Kruger. An investigation under way since October revealed that the two men were plotting to bomb the office of Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, the Los Angeles office of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) and the Islamic Center of Southern California. Rubin said the bombings were planned because people needed to know that the JDL is "alive in a militant way." Krugel said that Arabs "need a wake-up call."
The FBI should be commended for the apprehension of Rubin and Krugel and the prevention of this act of terrorism. The smear campaign mounted against Muslims and Islam since Sept. 11 by a number of extremist conservative and pro-Israel groups and individuals has already led to violence.
Since Sept. 11, 19 people have been murdered in hate crimes directed against Muslims. Prominent community figures and organizations have received countless death and bomb threats. The JDL, in fact, published on its Web site the home address of MPAC Senior Adviser Maher Hathout.
The JDL has a long record of targeting American Muslim and Arab-American leaders and organizations. The group was implicated in the 1985 assassination of Alex Odeh, Southern California regional director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee in his Santa Ana office. The 10-year FBI investigation of Odeh's death led to three suspects linked to the JDL.
Israel refused until recently to extradite any of the suspects who fled to Israel and were granted Israeli citizenship. Rubin is quoted as saying of Odeh that he "got what he deserved."
In 1986, prominent Islamic scholar Ismail al-Faruqi and his wife, Lois, were stabbed to death in their Philadelphia home. One week before the prominent couple's death, the president of the JDL predicted in New York's Village Voice that within a week an outspoken Palestinian professor would be eliminated.
The JDL has also targeted Jewish organizations. In January 1994, groups calling themselves "The Shield of David" and the "Maccabee Squad" planted bombs outside New York offices of two Jewish organizations, Americans for Peace Now and the New Israel Fund. The Historical Dictionary of Terrorism notes that a database developed on behalf of the CIA "recorded 50 such [terrorist] incidents from 1968-1987, making the JDL second only to the Puerto Rican FALN as the major domestic terrorist group."
The JDL has extensive ties to a network of Jewish extremists operating on American soil and overseas. According to Rubin, the JDL has approximately 6,000 members nationwide. The group's national headquarters are in Los Angeles, with chapters in San Diego, Chicago, Philadelphia, New York and other cities. The JDL also has chapters in Denmark, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Eastern Europe, Argentina and the United Kingdom.
The JDL was formed by the late radical Israeli-American rabbi, Meir Kahane. Kahane, also founded the Kach Party. Kach and its offshoot Kahane Chai are both on the U.S. State Department's list of terrorist organizations. They operate from bases in Israel and illegal settlements in the Occupied West Bank.
The JDL, Kach and Kahane Chai praised the 1994 massacre of 29 Palestinian worshippers at the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron by American-born Israeli terrorist Dr. Baruch Goldstein. The JDL statement read: "Dr. Goldstein was a brilliant surgeon, a mild-mannered Yeshiva-educated man who was promoted to the rank of major in the IDF. We understand his motivation, his grief and his actions. And we are not ashamed to say that Goldstein was a charter member of the Jewish Defense League."
These are American citizens living in America and plotting terrorist attacks on American institutions, houses of worship and now a member of Congress. While the FBI is to be commended for preventing this attack, an investigation is required, not only of Irv Rubin and Earl Krugel, but of their links to other individuals and organizations that may be enabling, funding or plotting similar terrorist acts.
The assets of the JDL and all those who "harbor them and support them" must be frozen immediately, and their offices around the country must be closed, as they have clearly demonstrated that they are in the business of terror.
[i]Zaknoen is director of programs for the Washington, D.C.-based American Muslims for Jerusalem.[/i]
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