Monday, September 27, 2010
It will be interesting to see if the FBI ends up targeting activists involved in the effort to break the blockade of Gaza, as well as the Stop the Wall movement. For some reason, I think there's a good chance that this is really about suppressing American support for them, as limited as it is.
The FBI on Friday searched eight addresses in Minneapolis and Chicago, including the home of Hatem Abudayyeh, who is the executive director of the Arab American Action Network, attorney Jim Fennerty told The Associated Press.
The government's trying to quiet activists, Fennerty said. This case is really scary.
More than half a dozen agents went to Abudayyeh's home on Friday and took any documents containing the word Palestine, Fennerty said.
Abudayyeh, a U.S. citizen whose parent immigrated from Palestine, wasn't home at the time of the raid because he was at a hospital with his mother who is battling liver cancer, Fennerty said.
A message left for an FBI spokesman in Chicago wasn't immediately returned Sunday. The FBI has declined to give details on the searches, saying the agency was investigating criminal activity not protected by the First Amendment.
For those who can't resist speculating as to the link between the Arab American Action Network, Abudayyeh's employer, and the investigation, you can scrutinize the following for clues:
Not surprisingly, David Horowitz is harshly critical of it, although he describes it in language that makes the organization sound quite appealing for people with my social perspective.
The Arab American Action Network is a Chicago community center founded in 1995, the brainchild of Columbia University historian and Professor of Arab Studies Rashid Khalidi and Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs Assistant Dean Mona Khalidi. It is a community-based organization that strives to strengthen the Arab immigrant and Arab American community, primarily in the Chicago area. Through use of such tactics as community organizing, advocacy, education and social services, and leadership development, it seeks to empower the Arab population in Chicago's low-income South Side. The organization acts as an advocate for Palestinian issues and for women's issues.