A Dallas, Texas jury has gone into deliberation following closing arguments in a landmark case that will determine if the Holy Land Foundation is a legitimate charity organization for Palestinian Authority schools or a front to fund Hamas terrorism. Last year, the case ended in a mistrial.
Prosecutor Barry Jonas told the jurors to make their decision without political considerations. "You are not going to decide who is right and who is wrong in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict," he said.
Jonas replayed for the jury videos of Hamas fundraisers, including songs and lyrics that glorify Jihad. "If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it's a duck," he declared. "This was a Hamas rally. Who are we kidding?"
"They were part of a larger plan to eliminate the State of Israel and take over their land," Jonas charged. "By supporting Hamas, they helped create widows and orphans. Find them guilty."
Defense lawyers pleaded that the $12 million given by Holy Land to PA schools was earmarked for relief work for Arabs "under Israeli occupation," a phrase that prosecutors said was being used to distract jurors from the evidence.
Holy Land lawyer Theresa Duncan argued that stressing the "occupation" was not a distraction but an essential part of the argument that the funds were provided as a "religious obligation" to help people suffering stress.
"This case has always been about charity," she said. "This case is not about exploiting needs for a political agenda."
Jonas responded that the government believes in supporting charity, but "the bottom line is: it's illegal to give money to Hamas."
Although the United States has declared Hamas a terrorist organization, Holy Land officials never "advocated for the destruction of Israel," according to Duncan.
In a separate case, the Treasury Department ordered a freeze on Wednesday on any funds allocated for the Union of Good charity organization, which "acts as a broker" for Hamas, according to officials.
Government officials charged, "Some of the funds transferred by the Union of Good have compensated Hamas terrorists by providing payments to the families of suicide bombers."
Internet Hate describes the rapidly expanding practice utilized by racists and extremists to place anti-Semitic, racist, and other hateful material on the World Wide Web. The growth of the Internet has enabled bigoted and sometimes violent messages to reach a much wider and broader audience than ever before. Consequently, these messages of hate have become widely accessible online - in homes, offices, schools, and libraries.
For years extremists have used printing of every kind -- books, pamphlets, posters, newspapers, magazines -- to get their message out. They have also tried to use modern inventions such as movies. radio, television, recorded audio and video tape and even telephone messages to spread their beliefs. So it is not surprising that they have decided to take their hate to the Internet. The Internet lets them reach millions with a click of a mouse.
Haters use the World Wide Web with its colorful web pages, sounds, and images to push propaganda attacking their enemies. Some of these pages suggest that violent action is needed. Old lies are reprinted and new ones are created. Neo-Nazi Skinheads try to sell the latest CDs filled with calls for "racial holy war."
It is fairly easy to create a simple Web page. Many bigots have. They often try to create the false impression that many people are involved in their activities. This frightens their targets and encourages supporters.
The number of racists and anti-Semites is small compared to the rest of the population; in addition, they are fairly spread out. Yet, on the Internet, they can find people who think like them, which strengthens their beliefs and makes them feel less isolate.
Because extremists on the Internet can hide their real identity behind screen names and addresses (like anyone else), they feel free to attack those they hate. They realize there is no way for anyone to know who they are.
This blog was created to shine a light on who these haters are, where they hang out on the web, and the methods they employ to try and intimidate their victims.