Newsletter : 6fax0401.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
April 1, 1996 V4, #59
All the News the Big Guys Missed
Arab-Americans Claim FBI Harassment
By Phil Kurata (VOA-Washington)
Arab American leaders say the Clinton administration's strong
support of Israel's attempts to crush Palestinian terrorism is
undermining the chances for peace in the Middle East. Arab American
leaders also are complaining about what they call heavy handed
attempts by the US to uncover supporters of Palestinian terrorism.
Arab American leaders say the recent wave of suicide bombings and
Israel's subsequent security crackdown have put the chances for
peace in jeopardy.
James Zogby, the president of the Arab American Institute, says all
the participants at the Arab American Leadership Conference are
opposed to terrorism regardless of who commits it.
"Terrorism, whether committed by Israelis or Palestinians, is to be
condemned, its perpetrators and organizers brought to justice. It
is imperative that such anti-terror campaigns, whether implemented by
Israel, by the Palestinian Authority, or here in the United
States, be respectful of internationally recognized norms of human
rights and the rule of law. Additionally, we believe that Israel's
use of collective punishment, which violates international norms of
human rights and law, is counterproductive and threatens the peace
process as much as terrorism."
The Arab American leaders have gathered in Washington from around
the United States at a time the US State Department is hosting a
conference on promoting peace in the Middle East. They say
Israel's closure of the West Bank and Gaza is causing suffering
and hardship to the Palestinians, and that, in turn, is sowing
the seeds of more terrorism.
Zogby says the Arab Americans are urging the Clinton administration
to raise $100 million to create jobs for Palestinians. "We urge
active and visible US leadership in marshalling $100 million in
emergency funds to provide immediate short-term public works
employment for the 100,000 Palestinians who are currently
unemployed as a result of the closure."
Zogby says funds are available from the UN Relief and Works
Administration and other international and domestic sources. He
says the Clinton administration also should pressure Israel to
ease its blockade of the occupied territories and allow unhindered
travel from the Palestinian areas to Egypt and Jordan.
Israel has intensified its security measures in response to suicide
bomb attacks by Palestinian terrorists, who have killed 62 people
The United States backs Israel's efforts to strengthen its
security. In recent months, the FBI has been looking for
supporters of Palestinian terrorism in the Arab American community.
Arab Americans are reported to be a source of funding for the
Islamic resistance movement, Hamas, which has claimed
responsibility for the suicide bombings.
Abdurahman Alamoudi of the American Muslim Council says the FBI
activities have not violated any civil rights, but their tactics
have been heavy-handed and they have had a chilling effect.
"Sometimes they would go and harass people. Last week they called
somebody and said, look, we can come to your home. We can talk to
you. We can talk to your boss. We can do that. Another one, they
called on him at 6 a.m, And they said they had a report that a
plane from Chicago had a bomb on it, and his name was given for
that with no evidence at all."
Arab American leaders say the FBI has a duty to fight crime, but
when it questions people about their political and religious
beliefs, the bureau is infringing on their civil rights.
Arafat May be Called as Witness for the Defense
By Breck Ardery (VOA-New York)
A federal judge in New York heard arguments Friday over whether top
PLO officials may be called as witnesses in the case of Mousa abu
Marzuk, a senior leader of the militant palestinian group Hamas.
Stanley Cohen, Marzuk's lawyer, told the court that Palestinian
President Yasir Arafat and former PLO spokeswoman Hanan Ashrawi can
both testify that Marzuk has no involvement in terrorism.
Prosecutors argued that any testimony by the Palestinian leaders
would be irrelevant and has nothing to do with the case.
Marzuk has been detained in the United States since last July
after his name appeared on a list of suspected terrorists. The
government of Israel then asked for his extradition. Marzuk, who
heads Hamas's political bureau, denies responsibility for any
A federal judge is now considering what witnesses and what evidence
may be presented at a formal hearing on Israel's extradition
In a development out of court, Cohen told reporters the government
of Egypt has sent a formal request to the United States urging that
Marzuk not be extradited to Israel. Cohen claimed the request was
made in a letter from the Egyptian Foreign Ministry to the US State
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