imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Ben Hecht & Sami Al-Arian: What’s the Difference?

by William Hughes Thursday, Jun. 30, 2005 at 4:48 AM
liamhughes@comcast.net

The late Ben Hecht tried to save the Jews of Europe from the Nazi onslaught. Sami Al-Arian is struggling to lift the cruel Israeli occupation off the backs of the Palestinians. Hecht was praised for his First Amendment efforts, while Al-Arian faces trial in Florida “for supporting terrorism!” A devout Muslim, he has been a leader in the Tampa, Florida community. Al-Arian has also been fired from his tenured teaching position at the U. of South Florida.

 Ben Hecht & Sami Al...
the_supreme_court.jpg, image/jpeg, 640x480

In the early 1940s, in America, a talented man, Ben Hecht, did everything he could to save the Jews of Europe, then trapped under the heel of the Nazis. (1) Some of these victims would be remembered for their armed resistance at Warsaw, Poland. Hecht organized rallies, spoke out, raised money and conducted PR campaigns to raise the consciousness of the American people to the evil that was happening. Now, try to imagine an America, where Hecht’s First Amendment activities are criminalized! Hecht, the humanitarian, becomes Hecht, the defendant, in a federal court case, charged with giving “support to terrorism!” That’s what they are doing to Sami Al-Arian!

In Tampa, Florida, Sami Al-Arian is on trial in a federal court house, along with eight other defendants, as the result of a fifty-three count indictment, accusing them of various charges, including, “providing material support to a terrorist group.” (2) Five of the defendants aren’t even in the courtroom. They are wanted men, living overseas. The other three defendants, with Al-Arian, have been called “stage props” by one court house observer. “The government,” he continued, “didn’t have enough of the big guns here to give a visual showing of a conspiracy, so they sweep in the poor mopes at the bottom.” (3) The terrorist group, according to federal prosecutors, is the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Getting back to Hecht. Let’s suppose that the U.S. didn’t get involved in WWII. Instead, it had stayed neutral. Let’s suppose further that the federal government of that day had decided to make it a crime for any citizen to support resistance to the Nazi occupation and had enacted a dubious law to that effect. If it had, then Hecht’s advocacy, no matter how noble, on behalf of the Jews of Europe, could have landed him in the slammer!

The case against Al-Arian relies heavily on thousands of hours of intercepted calls and faxes,” which prosecutors insist show that the defendant “and others ran a criminal enterprise.” (2) Al-Arian denies all these charges and says that he has had “no connections with any terrorist groups.” His advocacy on behalf of Palestinians, he believes, has been only as a moral and legal issue and is “protected by the U.S. Constitution.” He said that the indictment contains “old charges that have been refuted” and that his First Amendment-protected views have been “taken out of context.” (4)

Governments, since the days of the “Star Chamber Proceedings” in England, have relished using the conspiracy charge against a defendant. (5) They like it because the statute of limitations didn’t apply to it and also because the rules of evidence allow statements or admissions made by one of the codefendants to be be used against all of the parties. Governments are also guilty of being selective moralizers. Have you ever wondered why the Contra were called “freedom fighters” by the U.S. and Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress was tagged as a “terrorist movement?” (6)

Al-Arian, the son of Palestinian refugee parents, was born in 1958, in the diaspora, in Kuwait. A devout Muslim, he made his way to America, in 1975, and to Tampa, Florida, in 1986. In many ways, before his arrest on Feb. 20, 2003, his life in the U.S. read like a chapter out of the “American Dream” come true. Married with five children, Al-Arian gained tenure as a Professor of Computer Science at the U. of South Florida. He was also a well know and a very popular speaker on the justice of the Palestinian cause, at the local, state and federal levels, as well as the Iman for the Islamic Society of Tampa.

A federal immigration judge in another case has affirmed the fact that two of the organizations that Al-Arian was most associated with, were “reputable” and “highly regarded.” As a result of the hysteria over 9/11, however, and his arbitrary arrest, Al-Arian was fired from his job at the college, denied bail, and held under conditions so harsh, (it included a 23-hour lock down and solitary confinement), that Amnesty International, itself, had to intervene with prison authorities to demand some relief. (4)

As a champion of the Palestinian cause, Al-Arian made enemies in the camp of the Zionist Cartel. After that very “suspicious” 9/11 tragedy, five thousand Arab-Americans were rounded up and held on bogus charges, without access to lawyers. The man in charge of that sweep-up operation is, in my opinion, the most dangerous man living in America - Michael Chertoff! He was then head of the criminal division of the Justice Department. Today, he is the czar of the Homeland Security Agency, which has 180,000 employees. (7) I see Chertoff’s fingerprints on Al-Arian’s case! As for the power of the Zionist Cartel, consider this: Ex-AIPAC honcho, Steven Rosen, once bragged: “You see this napkin? In twenty-four hours, we could have the signatures of seventy senators on this napkin!” (8) As an historical reference, too, it has only been a few years ago, when shadowy Jewish groups in this country, resorted to the use of violence as a means to protest the treatment of Jews who wanted to emigrate to Israel from the then-Soviet Union. (9) I don’t recall the federal government using conspiracy laws then and/or dragnet police tactics to round up those wrongdoers or any of their possible collaborators in the even more shadowy - Zionist Cartel!

Now, back to Al-Arian! It is beyond cavil that Israel’s brutal treatment and occupation of the Palestinian peoples and their lands, dating back to 1948, and more particularly, since the 1967 War, is a massive crime against humanity. (10) It would be wrong, however, to attempt to morally equate, and I’m not attempting to do it here, the Jewish Holocaust with the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Nevertheless, I do make this argument: The laudable motivation of Hecht to save the Jews of Europe; and of al-Arian to lift the cruel Israeli occupation off the backs of the Palestinians, both spring from the same spiritual source! That source requires an individual to come to the assistance of another person who is being subjugated! It is a duty, that is older than any holy texts, and is written on the hearts of humankind.

The defendant, and his family, have endured ten years of mostly negative publicity, “particularly from the Tampa Tribune.” One of Al-Arian’s lawyers, William B. Moffitt, filed a motion for a change of venue, but it was denied by the court. The prosecutors have also filed a bizarre motion with the court to prohibit Al-Arian from “discussing the plight of the Palestinians.” Moffitt replied that this would be like “trying to explain Nelson Mandela without an understanding of Apartheid. Without an appropriate historical foundation being laid even the Founding Fathers would seem like criminals and outlaws in their resort to armed revolt,” he said. (4)

On reflection, I don’t think there is any real difference between what Hecht was trying to do or Al-Arian. Hecht was praised for his efforts, while Al-Arian's life has become an Kafakaesque-like nightmare. The latter’s indictment is a sham. He is being persecuted by the powers-to-be to put fear into the hearts of the Muslim-American community in the U.S. and to keep it from speaking out on issues. (11) That is all Al-Arian's case is really about.

In his opening statement to the jury, attorney Moffitt said, “The government has admitted there is no evidence that my client took part in any acts of violence or planned terrorist attacks in the United States. Instead he is being punished for espousing view some might find reprehensible. The evidence will show that this case is about Dr. Al-Arian’s freedom of speech, your right to hear it, and the attempt by the powerful to silence it. Do not allow the silencing of Dr. Sami Al-Arian to serve some ‘unknown policy goal’ of of the United States,” he said. (2)

Finally, the prosecution will try to make a big deal about some of Al-Arian's out-of-court statements, which he had made in the heat of the moment, in responding to the horrors being inflicted on innocent Palestinians by Israel’s Death, War and Mayhem Machine. (4) If, however, you want to read a truly malevolent statement, then just check out what Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, said in 1948. Here’s his exact quote: “We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting off of all social services to rid Galilee of the Arab population.” If you have a strong stomach for it, there are plenty more like that to be found at Monabaker.com’s web site. (12) All of the quotes come out of the mouths of the supposed Israeli heroes. When you read them, and if you still have a soul, you will ask yourself this: “How could someone, like Al-Arian, not speak out on behalf of the Palestinians living under the grip of these Zionists?”

© William Hughes 2005.

William Hughes is the author of “Saying ‘’No’ to the War Party” (IUniverse, Inc.). He can be reached at liamhughes@comcast.net.

Notes:

1. Hecht was the author of the sensational expose, “Perfidy,” which was sharply criticized by the Zionist Cartel. It has been praised, however, by writers like, Lenni Brenner, the author of “51 Documents: Zionist Collaboration with the Nazis.” See, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Hecht

2. “Terrorism-related Trial of Four Opens in Florida,” 06/07/05, Orlando Sentinel, by Pedro Ruz Gutierrez.

3. “Co-Defendants in Fla. Deny Ties to Conspiracy,” by John Mintz, Washington Post, 06/08/05.

4. http://www.freesamialarian.com/home.htm

5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Chamber

6. See, “The Terrorism Industry,” by Edward Hermann and Gerry O’Sullivan; and, also, “Terrorist Group Profiles,” (1988) U.S. Government.

7. http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0112-20.htm

8. “Real Insiders,” by Jeffrey Goldberg, The New Yorker, 07/04/05.

9. http://www.ifamericansknew.org/us_ints/pg-jdl.html

10. http://wrmea.com

11. There is an element of irony here. Just as al-Arian’s trial got underway, it was reported that the Israelis had resumed the illegal practice of extra-judicial executions of suspected Palestinian militants, a/k/a, “Targeted Killings.” See, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4119136.stm

12. http://monabaker.com/quotes.htm

© William Hughes 2005

William Hughes is the author of “Saying ‘No’ to the War Party” (IUniverse, Inc.). He can be reached at liamhughes@comcast.net.

Report this post as:

LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 3 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Ben Hecht JTF Thursday, Jun. 30, 2005 at 11:10 AM
You think we're INSANE? Not quite Thursday, Jun. 30, 2005 at 12:37 PM
Irgun Meyer London Friday, Jul. 01, 2005 at 12:33 PM

Local News

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 12:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 12:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 4:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J10 11:58PM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M30 10:20PM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 12:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 1:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 2:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 3:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 2:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 1:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 1:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 4:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 1:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A26 10:37PM

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Democratic Socialists of America J14 4:57PM

Leonard Peltier Non Violent Native American Political Prisoner since 1970's J14 4:18PM

Paraphysique miscellanées de l'aggiornamento J14 12:54AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Cleanup J13 4:14PM

FBI Investigated LA County Sheriff Baca,Why Not Hank Skinner's Persecution? J13 3:52PM

Updated Partial List Of Famous Vegetarians, Vegans, & Fruitarians J13 2:59PM

The Shortwave Report 07136/18 Listen Globally! J12 4:36PM

Social Policy as Social Infrastructure J12 3:38AM

Vol I: 84 Varieties Of GOP Election Fraud J12 1:50AM

Texas Can Call it An Execution,But It is A State Sponsored Murder of Hank Skinner.. J11 6:48PM

June 2018 Honduras coup update J11 3:35PM

Maria Estrada doubles down on racist support J11 1:40PM

New York Women in Film & Television Announces 2018 NYWIFT Ha Phuong Scholarship Recipients J11 10:14AM

Trapps de la domination, trapps de l'aliénation J11 1:31AM

Please Work For The Defeat Of Brett Kavanaugh And Why J09 8:54PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 1:27PM

Transinhumanisme ( transe inhumanisme ) J09 12:44PM

Google, World's Biggest Censor, Was Founded By The CIA J09 10:25AM

For a World Free of Nuclear Risks J09 8:29AM

Corrupt CDC Ignores Meat Fish Recalls J09 4:55AM

The (Temporary) End of Globalization J09 3:03AM

Aternatives to Abortions such as Plan B the pill, condoms and IUD J08 4:03PM

U.S Congressional Legal Minds Know Better Than Allowing Texas To Murder Hank Skinner J08 3:37PM

ACLU in many US states defends in court KKK and American Nazis Sometimes for Money J07 11:28PM

Judge Brett Kavanaugh: 12 Of Many Reasons To Oppose Him J07 9:00AM

Insensibilité engrammée J07 2:37AM

Silver Lining J07 12:21AM

The Shortwave Report 07/06/18 Listen Globally! J05 4:38PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy