Tuesday, August 28, 2007

HOLY LAND FOUNDATION TRIAL: Bill Clinton's tragic mistake

As anyone who is paying attention realizes that the Holy Land Foundation trial is about HAMAS and is centered on carrying out the wishes of the State of Israel regarding HAMAS.

William Jefferson Clinton's great tragic mistake had nothing to do with his inability to be a faithful husband. President Clinton's tragic mistake was pandering (“to cater to the lower tastes and desires of others”) to the wishes of Israel.

The charges against HLF stem, of course, from Clinton's designation of HAMAS as a “specially designated terrorist” organization. What has not been made clear is that the designation is a special category invented just for HAMAS as one of the eleven “Palestinian organizations that have engaged in terror to disrupt peace efforts.” A category of terrorism created at the behest of Israel—a category that has nothing to do with United States security.

That this is true was made clear by George Glass, Director of the (United States) Office of Terrorism Finance and Sanctions Policy, in testimony before a House of Representatives Committee on December 15, 2003. He said,

We have also urged governments throughout the region to take steps to shut down both HAMAS operations and offices, and to do everything possible to disrupt the flow of funding to HAMAS, and other Palestinian organizations that have engaged in terror to disrupt peace efforts.

The efforts to shut down HAMAS are based on Israel's desire to blame the Palestinians for the ineffectiveness of efforts to bring peace and, thus, to perpetuate the myth that Israel is blameless.

Bill Clinton's designation had nothing to do with “terrorism” but was part and parcel of Israel's desire to silence the Palestinian Resistance movement. A report of the Suburban Emergency Management Project (which provides counter-terrorism assistance to government agencies in the suburban counties around Chicago) makes this clear:

Israel was beside itself over the HLF. Israel raided the HLF office Beit Hanina near Jerusalem in early 1997, arrested its director, Mohammed Anati, and issued a decree that outlawed the HLF and two Palestinian banks because they had “become part of the communications and financial infrastructure of HAMAS. This decree triggered four years of close (and at some times, intense) bilateral cooperation to find a way to declare HLF illegal in the U.S.

It was (is) not obvious that either HAMAS (or, by extension, the Holy Land Foundation) was (is) a “terrorist” organization by any normal definition. A Resistance Movement whose purpose was to end the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory and deny Israel's desire to destroy Palestinian society could not be categorized as a “normal” terrorist organization because it was (is) not. Connecting the HLF to this Resistance (“terrorist”) movement would deny the suffering Palestinians humanitarian aid that was helping to keep Palestinian culture alive and giving the people hope to believe that they and their way of life would not be obliterated by the Israelis.

President Bill Clinton's designation gave cover for the Israeli government to continue its virulent efforts to silence and end any opposition to its continued irreparable encroachment on Palestinian territory and to destroy Palestinian society. A report from the US National Defense University of the National War College makes clear Israel's purpose:

Israeli authorities raided the HLF office in Beit Hanina near Jerusalem in early 1997, arresting its director, Mohammed Anati, and opening the next chapter in the HLF investigation saga. Based on information obtained from Anati and other sources, Israeli Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordechai issued an executive decree in May 1997 which outlawed HLF and two Palestinian banks. The decree stated that the three organizations “have become part of the communications and financial infrastructure of Hamas.”11

(Henifin, David E. “What Took So Long? Closing the Holy Land Foundation: A Case Study in Counterterrorism”, National Defense University, National War College, Jan. 14, 2004, available at: http://www.ndu.edu/nwc/writing/AY04/5603/5603%20Best%20Paper--Seminar%20C.pdf)

The “11” as a footnote to this quotation is from the original, and it makes even clearer the truth about this trial and the unsupportable charges on which it is based. Even the United States War College bases its conclusions on evidence that is, at best, questionable, but is probably completely unreliable. The official report of the War College quotes Steve McGonigle:

11 Steve McGonigle. “Israel Bans Richardson Foundation,” Dallas Morning News, June 21,
1997, www.DallasNews.com (12 January 2004).

My post of August 21 (http://theenemyshallnot.blogspot.com/2007_08_21_archive.html) discusses Mr. McGonigle's reliability as a source of information. Thus the continual looping around of unreliable information to support the contentions of the indictment of the HLF and this trial is obvious. Distorting facts and relying on information that cannot be verified is part and parcel of the case the United States Department of Justice has woven around the Holy Land Foundation.

That the premise of the indictment is absurd is clear. One of the main points the evidence taken from searches of the defendants, homes is that copies of the HAMAS charter found there “prove” somehow that the defendants not only support HAMAS but support the destruction of Israel because of the language of the charter. Whatever ownership of the HAMAS charter means (I own a copy of Mein Kampf; does that make me a Nazi?), it does not mean that any of the defendants has ever called for the destruction of Israel.

That fact stands in stark contrast to the words of the Israeli Minister of National Infrastructure (1996-1998), Foreign Minister (1998—1999), and Prime Minister (2001-2006), Ariel Sharon. Sharon was, of course, the Israeli official who convinced William Jefferson Clinton to make his tragic mistake. According to one of the leading “neocon” thinkers in America, and an indomitable supporter of Israel, Ariel Sharon was not shy about stating his desire to destroy Palestinian identity:

Though not a religiously observant Jew, let alone an ultra-Orthodox one, Sharon often said (I heard him say it more than once with my own ears) that he was a Jew first and an Israeli second. It was, then, as a Jew that he always referred to the territories as Judea and Samaria, never as “the West Bank” and certainly never as “occupied.” For how could the very heartland of the biblical land of Israel be considered foreign to the present-day children of Israel? And it was both as a Jew and as a military man that, through the various ministerial offices he held in past governments, Sharon had done so much to increase the number and size of the Jewish settlements in those territories that he became known as the “father of the settler movement.(n1) As he saw it, not only did Jews have an absolute right to live in Judea and Samaria, but by being placed along certain strategically located routes, they would form a protective barrier against invading armies.
(Podhoretz, Norman. “Bush, Sharon, My Daughter, and Me.” Commentary, Apr2005, Vol. 119 Issue 4, p38-49.)

That Sharon indicts himself in exactly the way the prosecution of the HLF has accused the defendants of doing (that is, supporting the destruction of an entire people) is clear to everyone except the United States government. And that William Jefferson Clinton could allow himself to be used by such a person to hasten the destruction of an entire people is not only his most tragic mistake, it is unconscionable for a President of the United States.