More news on the Hamas
Salah, 51, is one of three men charged in a racketeering indictment with laundering money that Hamas used to finance terrorism in Israel.Interesting. Whether or not the criminal was tortured, as he claimed, could this be an attempt by the AP to incite violence against Jews and Israel? Good question indeed.
The others charged are Abdelhaleem Hasan Abdelraziq Ashqar, 46, of Alexandria, Virginia, and Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook, who according to federal prosecutors now lives in Damascus, Syria.
Salah served nearly five years in an Israeli prison after he was arrested there in 1993 and confessed that he was transporting money for Hamas. He says he was tortured into confessing.
Prosecutors want to use his Israeli confession against him in the Chicago court. His attorneys have urged St. Eve to rule out the use of the confession as the product of torture.
A hearing on whether the hearing will be suppressed is set for March 6, with prosecutors set to bring in Israeli intelligence agents to explain how Salah was interrogated.
But prosecutors say that such a hearing must be closed to protect the identities of the Israeli agents against possible reprisals from Hamas sympathizers. Prosecutors have also asked that the agents be allowed to testify under aliases and wearing "light disguise."
In better, more inspiring news, Christian leaders have said that the Hamas victory will help bring the Christian and Jewish relations closer together. However, there is some left-wing influence that taints the article:
The victory of the militant Islamic Hamas in last week's Palestinian election will likely strengthen the relationship between Israel and evangelicals, Israeli parliament members and Christian leaders said Monday.Ummm, if we could more clear here, there needs to be a distinction between Israel and the Israeli government. Which are the reporters/editors referring to?
A Hamas-led government could threaten access to holy sites and the well-being of Christians in the holy land, Israeli parliament members and evangelical leaders warned in a meeting sponsored by the Christian Allies Caucus, a group of 14 Israeli parliament members seeking to mobilize Christian support for the Jewish state.
Evangelical Christians are among the strongest supporters of Israel in the U.S., but some are uncomfortable with their extreme stance, opposing any Israeli pullback from Judea, Samaria or Gaza or compromise with the Palestinians.
The Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak's been calling for Hamas to recognize Israel, but if you ask me, I would advise not to be taken in by Mubarak: he was responsible for getting the hijackers of the Achille Lauro released by Italy, by having the cruise liner held hostage in the Cairo port and certainly enabled the terrorists who committed the crime, which included murdering the wheelchair bound Leon Klinghoffer, to go free. Via Barking Moonbat, here's a column by Col. Oliver North, which gives some very telling details about Mubarak and what part he played in the crime, which, as you'll notice, Mahmoud Abbas was also part of:
Back at the White House, we drafted a strong personal message for President Reagan to send to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, asking him to turn the terrorists over to us—or at least to the Italians, as we learned that Arafat and Abbas had struck a deal with Mubarak that if the terrorists surrendered to the Egyptians they would be given safe passage out of the country.Besides the very telling news on Abbas, this shows just what a despicable crime Mubarak himself pulled, which is exactly why, just like Abbas, he does not deserve to be in a position of political power.
While that information was true, it was the timing of their exit that was in question. In the Situation Room on Thursday morning, I found a cable informing us that the Egyptians allowed the four terrorists to leave the country. Mubarak claimed ignorance to the validity of the report, the terrorists’ whereabouts and the murder of Klinghoffer. After checking with numerous sources in Washington and around the world, we learned that not only were the terrorists still in Egypt, but that they would be flying out that night, with the help of the Egyptians, and Abul Abbas would be on the plane with them.
We devised a plan for F-14 Tomcats flying off the Sixth Fleet’s USS Saratoga to intercept the plane and force it down at a base in Sigonella, Sicily, so we could take the terrorists into custody and fly them back to the United States to stand trial. A team of Special Operations Forces had been dispatched overseas days earlier, believing that they would have to board the Achille Lauro and take out the terrorists on the ship.
It was a difficult, dangerous mission, but Navy pilots and Special Ops Forces executed it to the letter. The problem began when the Italian national police involved themselves and demanded custody of Abbas and his terrorists. Since a shoot-out with the Italians would have been a political disaster, we had to entrust them with custody of Abbas and his henchmen. Abbas was separated from the others and eventually was put on a plane in Rome where he made his way to Yugoslavia to Tunisia to Damascus to Baghdad.
Jeff Jacoby says that the Hamas election is good news, because it helps show the reality of the situation. He also notes that Dubya was initially trying to act naive:
Some of that delusion was on display at the White House on Thursday, when President Bush painted the Palestinian election as a "healthy" and "interesting" exercise in civic reform:It should also be noted that, were the al Qaeda to supposedly renounce terrorism and other crime, that would not make them deserving of political power, nor would it make them legitimate. And no matter what bin Laden and his followers would say, they'd still have to go to prison and the chair, because what they did was a most utterly obscene crime indeed. The same goes for the Hamas.
"Obviously, people were not happy with the status quo," Bush explained. "The people are demanding honest government. The people want services. They want to be able to raise their children in an environment in which they can get a decent education and they can find healthcare. And so the elections should open the eyes of the old guard there in the Palestinian territories. . . . There's something healthy about a system that does that. And so the elections yesterday were very interesting."
Please, Mr. President. If a slate of neo-Nazi skinheads swept to power in a European election, would you say that the voters were seeking "honest government" and "services"? Palestinians are not stupid, and it insults their intelligence to pretend that when they vote to empower a genocidal organization with a platform straight out of "Mein Kampf," what they're really after is better healthcare. Islamist extremism isn't needed to fix Palestinian hospitals any more than Fascism was needed to make Italian trains run on time in the 1920s. If Palestinians turned out en masse to elect a party that unapologetically stands for hatred and mass murder, it's a safe bet that the hatred and mass murder had something to do with the turnout.
By the same token, Hamas's new duties are not going to turn it into a moderate group of diligent civil servants. When violent Islamists win political power, their brutality and zealotry do not diminish. (See Khomeini, Ayatollah and Taliban, Afghan). The notion that Hamas now has "a choice to make" is just another example of the delusional thinking that is so pervasive when it comes to the Palestinian Authority.
See also this column by Walid Phares, and by Caroline Glick, and also Dennis Prager. And here's three pages from OneJerusalem.Org that offer some extra insight into who the Hamas really are.