For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
Jonathan Schanzer The Weekly Standard 05 August '10
Former federal prosecutor Andy McCarthy recently argued at National Review Online that the federal government has reason to investigate Rashid Khalidi, an activist Middle Eastern studies professor at Columbia University. What prompted this? Khalidi's efforts to raise $370,000 for a new sea vessel (to be named The Audacity of Hope, after President Barack Obama's second book) designed to break the Israeli blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
As increasing numbers of pro-Palestinian activists try to break the blockade of Gaza, McCarthy's argument is worth exploring. Are these flotillas legal?
McCarthy notes that it is illegal for Americans "to furnish or fit out a vessel in the service of any foreign entity 'to cruise, or commit hostilities' against a nation with which the U.S. is at peace." Israel, of course, is an American ally that is imposing a policy in Gaza that Washington officially supports.
McCarthy also notes that the Logan Act prohibits U.S. citizens "from carrying on 'any correspondence or intercourse' with any foreign government… to 'defeat the measures of the United States.'" To this end, McCarthy then suggests that the Justice Department should investigate flotilla organizers' communications with the de facto Hamas government in Gaza, particularly if they seek to undermine U.S. policy.
In the end, it is McCarthy's third point that is the most convincing: The Justice Department, under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, could also investigate American flotilla organizers for providing material support to a terrorist group.
I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"