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Tuesday, June 07, 2005

 

Sami Al-Arian Trial Begins

The trial for former Southern Florida University professor Sami Al-Arian started today in a Tampa courtroom. He is accused of financing Palestine Islamic Jihad and contributing to one hundred Israeli deaths. The judge has precluded mention of any "context"; i.e, Al-Arian's defense will not be able to talk about the thirty-eight year occupation of Palestine and its violence. Things are as usual in the US. The government has no such limitations. Prosecutors will play Al-Arian's "Death to Israel" statement he made at a university rally years ago to the hilt and will have at their disposal one hundred Israeli witnesses to include relatives of suicide bomb victims and those who pick up body parts.

Radio Show host Andy Martin writes the following: "I hope and pray Sami Al-Arian takes the stand, and I hope he is allowed to tell the American people and the world the truth about why people of good sense and godly direction favor peace for both peoples, and not just peace for one people. I predict the Al-Arian trial will backfire on the federal government, and, ultimately backfire on the Israeli regime that created it, orchestrated it and controls it (to read more click on heardline)."

I hope that Martin is correct. Al-Arian has been imprisoned since 2003 and has spent twenty-three hours a day in solitary confinement. He supported George Bush in 2000 and the government has also said that he was an FBI informant for a brief time. His troubles started after an appearance on Fox News' Bill O'Reilly Show. He was fired from USF, not for violent action on his part, but because the University President said that he might inspire anti-Palestinian groups to violence against the university. Al-Arian has been skewered in Florida's media, but attempts to move the trial to another location failed.

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