Jonathan Schanzer writes a very good , brief article in the Weekly Standard regarding efforts by some Americans -- including Barack Obama's old friend, Rashid Khalidi -- to send a ship to break the blockade of Hamas-controlled Gaza. This is a blockade designed by Israel to prevent Hamas from continuing its terrorism against Israel. He quotes Andy McCarthy, who had previously asked the same question, and focuses on one point in particular raised by McCarthy:
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....
According to a Supreme Court decision in June (Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project), the prohibition against material support can apply even when the offerings are not money or weapons.
Not surprisingly, this has triggered criticism, including from former president Jimmy Carter, who advocates for engagement with Hamas. Carter says the material support clause "inhibits the work of human rights and conflict resolution groups."
However, as Chief Justice John Roberts noted, even if the support is administered with peaceful intent, it can lighten the financial burden of a terrorist group, and thus allow it to expend resources on terrorist activities.
Justice Roberts added that such support also "helps lend legitimacy to foreign terrorist groups -legitimacy that makes it easier for those groups to persist, to recruit members and to raise funds -all of which facilitate more terrorist attacks."
Left unsaid by Mr. Schanzer is that the Justice Department has become highly politicized; that the administration is allergic to raising the specter that there are people in America who sympathize and support Islamic terrorism. Will Attorney General Eric Holder investigate this ploy and the role that Rashid Khalidi - a long-time anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian activist with a checkered past - is playing on providing this support? After all, at a going away party for Khalidi held a few years before Barack Obama became President, Obama lauded the efforts of his friend in educating him about the Middle East (see "Allies of Palestinians see a Friend in Barack Obama ).
Will Holder investigate this effort to help Hamas? Will he implicate Barack Obama's friend? This is one area where I have no hope.