January 30, 2006
Letters to the Editor
We are disappointed and troubled that Jehuda Reinharz, President of Brandeis University, refuses to give credence to US government wiretaps linking Brandeis research fellow Khalil Shikaki with monies collected for the terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad, whose members murdered Brandeis student Alisa Flatow. (Ron Kampeas, JTA)
Reinharz has also ignored the fact that Shikaki is a founding member of the World Islamic Study Enterprise, which regularly brought in radical Islamic speakers. They include Sheik Omar Rahman, who was convicted in connection with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing; exiled Tunisian Rashid el-Ghanoushi, who was denied a US visa due to terror connections; and Sudan's Hassan Turabi, who is referred to by the FBI's Buck Revell as someone "who supports terrorists."
Shouldn't Mr. Reinharz take seriously the conclusions of one of the country's top terror experts, Steve Emerson: "The pattern of evidence from the wiretaps...and other material clearly show that Shikaki was intimately not just aware of, but participated in the operation of Islamic Jihad. He was a pivotal player in the creation of these institutions - the transfer point between the different parties in the Islamic Jihad and their transfer of monies." (New York Sun, 1/17/06 and personal conversation)
And shouldn't Mr. Reinharz take seriously the concerns of Stephen Flatow, father of murdered Brandeis student Alisa: "What troubles me the most about Mr. Shikaki is that he's been rehabilitated...How ironic is it if he is tainted by Islamic Jihad, that he is teaching at a university where one of the students was killed by Islamic Jihad, you have to wonder what they were thinking." (New York Sun, 1/17/06 and personal conversation)
We at the Zionist Organization of America, who proudly claim former Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis as a past President, have received numerous phone calls from people questioning why Brandeis doesn't do a thorough investigation and assessment of the available information about Mr. Shikaki before making a decision about whether it is appropriate for him to be employed and funded by Brandeis.
Justice Brandeis himself once said that, "Light is the best disinfectant." We agree and urge Brandeis University to shed more light on Mr. Shikaki's background.
Morton A. Klein, President Daniel Mandel, Ph.D.
Zionist Organization of America Director, ZOA Center for Middle East Policy