While tax exempt money flows to the settlements, a humanitarian sits in prison for aiding Palestinians

on 17 Comments

We give a lot of attention on this site to non-profits that raise tax-exempt donations in the US to support the Israeli colonization of the West Bank. The flipside to that story is that at the same time the US government continues to harass, and shut down, charities which send humanitarian aid to the Middle East under a law barring "material support" for terrorism. This has been one of the legal means the US has used to uphold the siege on Gaza. Noor Elashi, daughter of Ghassan Elashi, the imprisoned co-founder of the Holy Land Foundation, appeared yesterday on Grit TV along with Medea Benjamin to talk about the issue:

17 Responses

  1. radii
    August 13, 2010, 4:04 pm

    control the message

    control the borders

    control the movement of people

    control the money

    control the benefactor (USA)

    control dissent

    … how ironic that the only thing zionist israel doesn’t control is the ultimate outcome which will not be in its favor

  2. potsherd
    August 13, 2010, 4:40 pm

    Control the Congress, control the lawmakers, control the courts, control the prosecutors.

  3. VR
    August 13, 2010, 11:17 pm

    My hat is off to these ladies, Noor Elashi – Medea Benjamin, and to Laura Flanders of GritTV for airing these issues. The venues should only grow in the face of such oppression, trying to muzzle the free speech and compassion of the people.

    The halting of monies under dubious auspices is not a new act in regard to the suffering Palestinians, it has a long trail from the Mandate period from Western countries in an underhanded fashion, all the way to the overcharged activities of today with blanket criminalization. One would have thought that by this day and age the US Supreme Court would have stopped being a rubber stamp to oppression, unfortunately this is not the case – which should be a wake up call to the improper systemic activity of this nations branches of government which causes one to ask, is this the purpose of this institution (and if it is, many questions should arise from the American people)?

    Media Benjamin bold assertion that Israel is acting like a terrorist state was amazing to hear, because the conclusion is so rarely voiced. Noor Elashi’s explanation of her fathers incarceration was heartbreaking, and needs to be addressed – I am glad there is still an appeal process available.

    We should all support the Flotilla activity regardless of the consequences, and that brings me to another statement made by Media – about the safety in large numbers, and specifically the statement about being privileged white people, with a lot of connection – such reduction to the essential issue going back to this country’s repeated record of activity against people of color. This was a great pick Mr. Horowitz.

  4. Sumud
    August 14, 2010, 2:47 am

    65 years!? That’s insane. I’d never heard of Elashi before today.

    The US are already talking w/ Hamas on the quiet. Time to adopt a more nuanced public attitude to Hamas. In the UK and Australia the socio-political wing of Hamas is NOT designated as a terrorist organisation, but the Al Qassam Brigades (the militant wing) is. An objective analysis of Palestine and Israel would see Israel on the State Departments list of terrorists..

    • potsherd
      August 14, 2010, 8:08 am

      “soft on terrorism” has replaced “soft on crime” as the fear button for US politicians. The prison policies of this nation are insane on any level, not just regarding “terrorism,” though.

      • Chaos4700
        August 14, 2010, 8:52 am

        Don’t forget guys, Nelson Mandela was still on the US terrorism watch list well into the second term of the Bush Administration.

        The “war on terrorism” is basically an invention of the extreme right wing in the US.

      • potsherd
        August 14, 2010, 10:52 am

        There is absolutely no doubt that much impetus for the WOT escalation comes from the Zionists who took advantage of the 9/11 attacks to promote a anti-Hamas, anti-Hezbollah agenda. Successfully.

        It is not without reason that 9/11 conspiracy theorists look at Israel when the question cui bono> comes up.

      • potsherd
        August 14, 2010, 10:54 am

        Adding – the Obama administration has done nothing whatsoever to pull back on the WOT and its assault on civil liberties. In some cases, they have even gone further. It would be a mistake to consider this some kind of tea bagger issue.

  5. Kathleen
    August 14, 2010, 9:02 am

    While I celebrate Medea Benjaman’s newly found awareness having to do with the Israeli Palestinian conflict. Sometimes I think Medea is an opportunist. Would have been far more appropriate for Laura Flanders to have on Norman Finkelstein or others who have been deeply involved with this critical issue for decades.

    Norman and others are far more informed than Medea

    • Philip Weiss
      August 14, 2010, 10:01 am

      kathleen, i think it’s unfair to expect people to be on this issue for decades. i stayed away till after ’03, iraq. medea got in after gaza slaughter. she’s schooled herself very well… phil

      • Chaos4700
        August 14, 2010, 10:29 am

        A lot of us are latecomers. I only became really aware of this issue in 2006 after the vast bombing campaigns by Israel in Lebanon and Gaza — and to that point I’d missed a number of opportunities to really pay attention, which I regret.

      • Kathleen
        August 14, 2010, 11:02 am

        Nothing wrong about being a late comer. And I respect Medea Benjaman deeply. But I have asked her along with others several years ago why she was not involved with issue. She has come a long way. But my point being that it would have been more appropriate for Laura Flanders to have Prof Finkelstein or someone like him who has been focused on this critical issue for decades. And is more well informed about the facts and nuances than Medea.

        That was my point

      • Kathleen
        September 14, 2010, 9:21 pm

        The way I understood there was a heated situation between Medea and Norman Finkelstein about what the focus of one of the collaborated events that they were trying to do together that I believe was Finkelsteins idea.

        Finkelstein wanted to focus on the International laws and UN Resolutions that Israel is in violation of and allegedly Medea had another idea.

        To me Medea should have conceded to someone like Finkelstein who has seriously paid his dues and knows far more than medea does.

        Just seems to be a bit of the opportunist in Medea and a need to be in front of those cameras far more ego than Norman. Trust what this man knows

      • Seham
        September 14, 2010, 9:26 pm

        Medea has been on the scene for a really long time, I remember seeing her at Palestinian events and protests when I was in junior high and high school.

  6. Kathleen
    August 14, 2010, 9:16 am

    This interview with Jane Hamsher (Firedoglake) on Washington Journal is fascinating. Jane was on discussing the stance of the Obama administration on many issues and how the left feels about those stances.

    While I appreciate Jane’s willingness to touch upon many issues and call the Obama administration out. Jane and other Pep’s (progressives except for Palestine) completely avoided even mentioning the Israeli Palestinian conflict. Jane and other so called progressive bloggers completely avoid this humanitarian crisis. At one point on her blog she called my efforts to bring up this issue over at Firedoglake a “pet issue” She called this effort over at her blog “MY PET ISSUE’

    The most critical issue in the middle east. The issue that the 9/11 commission even mentioned. The decades old conflict that many leaders in that part of the world reference as the most critical issue to resolve. The issue that former head of the CIA Bin Laden unit Micheal Scheuer, Former Cia analyst Ray McGovern and many many others state is the most critical issue to resolve. Jane and others will not touch it. She even criticizes others who do make an effort to shed light on this conflict.

    She had a prime opportunity to shed some light on this issue during her 45 minutes on WAshington Journal. But she did not. Chicken shit

  7. Kathleen
    August 14, 2010, 9:18 am

    oops here is Jane on Washington Journal.

    Now remember Jane takes pride in calling others out on the mat. But is incapable of taking the same kind of criticism from others

    Check it out. Jane Hamsher
    link to cspan.org

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