judyandreas.com
archive 27: February, 2007
Growing Up Jewdy (February 18, 2007)
VERSION ONE

Each day, I read stories about Jewish cults and customs, corrupt Jewish leaders and the heinous activities of the Zionist elite. Each day I read about the brutality in the Middle East, the plight of the Palestinians, and the culpable Jewish leaders in America. And each day, as I think back on my personal history, my coming of age in an average American Jewish family, I wonder, "where do I fit in?"

I am prompted to write this essay because stories like mine rarely get told. It is the story of an ordinary Jewish family, my family.

My childhood drama played on the stage of a secular Jewish family. Dad, who had been raised as an Orthodox Jew, married Mom, an atheist. She professed to be a Zionist, and yet, I cannot help but wonder, if she were alive today, how she would feel about the behavior of the State of Israel.

I was blessed with a sister who is five years my senior. Always wanting to be like her, I followed obediently down the rebellious road that she paved. She refused religious instruction so "little sister" emulated her. My father went to shul (synagogue) alone.

Certain holidays did make their way into the Zaldin household. We had our annual Passover Celebration, we lit candles on Chanukah, on Rosh Hashanah my father made his pilgrimage to the shul and on Yom Kippur, my mother yelled at my sister and me as we headed out the door to spend time doing "our own thing"

"What will the neighbors think?" My mother's main concern echoed behind us.

I did not know much about the meaning behind the holidays except, supposedly, that they had something to do with the Jews fleeing persecution. In an attempt to enlighten me, Dad provided a copy of "Hillel's Happy Holidays". If I indeed read it, I do not remember it. And from what I have learned, since those innocent days of yesteryear, they were not necessarily "happy".

Dad pursued a career in medicine.

"You are wasting your time and money" His father had no empathy for his son's choice and wanted him to take his rightful place in the family furniture business. But Dad was resolute, and so, in the face of extreme opposition, he did various and sundry jobs to put himself through medical school. You see, my Dad had watched his mother die an excruciating death from esophageal cancer when he was a boy of 16. His motivation was to help put an end to suffering.

My father was a dreamer. But he was a lot more. An old fashioned man, Dad was the stereotypical family doctor with the little black bag who made "house calls". Yes, dear readers, there were such things, back in the day. Many a night, the phone would awaken him. Bag in hand, he set out to answer the cry of the sick. Those were the days before Medicare and Medicaid and so, if his patients could not pay, they did not pay.

"Before I die, there will probably be a cure for cancer" He said innocently. He has been dead for 24 years.

I am certain that my father, with his Orthodox background, had read the Talmud and yet, when my sister and I married outside the faith, both husbands were welcomed into the family. We never heard the "g" word. We were never exposed to any racist doctrine. If I had not reincarnated as an Internet essayist, I would never have known about the racist Babylonian Talmud. The secular Jewish people I knew assimilated into the host culture and many of them intermarried. Their children also intermarried.

Last night I listened to Joachim Martillo being interviewed on Lewis News. He is a convert to Islam but has a rich background in Jewish studies. In Israel, he got to experience the evils of Zionism first hand.

In my family, lying to anyone, whether Jew or Gentile, was considered a sin. And so, it was with great interest that I heard Mr. Martillo discuss the Kol Nidre, the most sacred and controversial prayer in the Jewish religion. "There are many non-Jewish Web sites that are alarmed by the existence of this prayer and what they feel is a license to lie and deceive year after year." The "Explaining Kol Nidre" Web site --
www.angelfire.com/mt/talmud/kolnidre.html

Mr. Martillo explained the difference between a vow and a contract, and further research provided me with the following: "Refers Only to Individual Vows.
The teachers of the synagogues, however, have never failed to point out to their cobelievers that the dispensation from vows in the "Kol Nidre" refers only to those which an individual voluntarily assumes for himself alone (see RoSH to Ned. 23b) and in which no other persons or their interests are involved. In other words, the formula is restricted to those vows which concern only the relation of man to his conscience or to his Heavenly Judge "(see especially Tos. to Ned. 23b). http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=340&letter=K

I believe that my father was an unusual role model for ethics. We had a summer cottage upstate where no taxes were required, but our main place of residence was in heavily taxed Brooklyn, NY. When my father bought my mother an expensive coat, he could easily have avoided paying taxes by using the upstate address. And yet, he refused. He did not think it was ethical And furthermore, he felt privileged to be able to pay taxes in America. You see, Dad's family had been in Russia during the Pogroms. His older brother was nearly killed. And so, when they came to America, they literally kissed the ground.

And now it is 2007 and the world is precariously teetering in the balance. Israel is not the dream that my mother had envisioned. The America of today is not the dream of my father. They have morphed into a nightmare where greedy unconscionable elitists make the rules and the ordinary person, Jew or Gentile is merely fodder for the self serving goals of the ruling cabal. I have long since left the Jewish religion, if indeed, I was ever there. I was baptized in 1991 and opened myself to an entirely new reality. And yet, the values of my family of origin will always be a part of me.

The Internet screams about Jewish crimes and Jewish criminals. My mission as an Internet essayist has been twofold. One has been to open Jewish eyes to the reality of their leaders; leaders who have duped them in the past and are duping them again. I yearn for Jewish people to question what is truly taking place in the Middle East. I yearn for Jewish people to question their history and their reported "victimhood". I yearn for Jewish people to become "individuals" and not fall prey to a "consensus trance" imposed upon them by "fear programming". I yearn for Jewish people not to accept the official narrative of events past and not to jail differing opinions. I yearn for Jewish people to rise up against their leaders. And, most passionately, I yearn for ALL Jewish people to recognize that nobody is any better or any worse than anyone else.

In addition, I yearn for non Jewish people to realize that not ALL Jewish people are corrupt and/or evil. Certainly there are families that lie and cheat, but it is important to acknowledge that my story is not unique; many people have grown up in families such as mine. Do not let those who have been corrupted obscure the reality that there are many people of Jewish origin who have love and respect for all of humanity.

I hope my story has been of value. That is the only justification for its telling.

"We are one, after all, you and I; together we suffer, together exist, and
forever will recreate one another." - Teilhard de Chardin.



Growing Up Jewdy (VERSION TWO)

The other day, during an innocent Judy Andreas google, I stumbled across a description of myself as a "racist". I have also been accused of being an anti-Semite and have found myself awkwardly positioned on the "Self Hating Israel Threatening" list. http://www.masada2000.org/shit-list.html
I have been the recipient of angry midnight phonecalls from angry rabid Zionists. The calls ranged from threats to propositions; in other words from sickening to downright repulsive. Four letter words were pelted at me.

A gust of "hot air" has also blown in from the other direction. An essayist once called me "the head of the Israel Protection racket"and, in addition, falsified my maiden name. What is the old expression? "Say what you want but please spell my name right"!

"You are too pretty to be Jewish", a member of a Christian Identity group paid me a compliment. (?) "What is your blood type? I think that you probably are not really Jewish" I know she meant well, but I cannot say that I was particularly flattered.

Each day, my mailbox fills up with the most bizarre stories of Jewish cults and customs as well as the heinous activities of the Zionists. And no matter which way I turn, there is discomfort awaiting my psyche. Though I have consecrated my life to fairness and honesty, I realize that there is always an invective waiting to be hurled in my direction.

Recently, I heard an interview in which a man said that he could not define what a Jew is. Positioned in front of the computer, with my head nodding in agreement, I began to think of all the variations on the theme of Judaism. I thought of the Hasidic Jews, with their disparate sects, the Orthodox Jews, who differ vastly from the Hasidim, the Conservative Jews, "the branch of Judaism that allows for modifications in Jewish law when authorized by the Conservative rabbinate" http://www.answers.com/topic/conservative-judaism, and the Secular Jews, which embrace a variety of groups including those whose affiliation to Judaism is merely cultural.

"The Orthodox, particularly, worry that secular Jews will fail to pass Judaism on to the next generation." Betty Rollin http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/week609/feature.html

I thought of the Turkish Jews, Ethopian Jews, Sephardic Jews, Ashkanazi Jews and Jews for Jesus. It is difficult to group them under the umbrella of Judaism, since many have very little in common. In addition, some Jews are Zionists and look upon Israel as the fulfillment of the "promise" of a Jewish Homeland, while others are vehemently opposed to the settler State of Israel.

"Where do I fit in?" I wondered.

My childhood drama played on the stage of my Secular Jewish family. Dad, who had been raised Orthodox married Mom, an atheist. She professed to be a Zionist, and yet, I cannot help but wonder, if she were alive today, how she would feel about the behavior of the State of Israel.

I was blessed with a sister who is five years my senior. Always wanting to be like her, I followed obediently down the rebellious road that she paved. She refused religious instruction so "little sister" emulated her. My father went to shul (synagogue) alone.

Certain holidays did make their way into the Zaldin household. We had our annual Passover Celebration, we lit candles on Chanukah, on Rosh Hashanah my father made his pilgrimage to the shul and on Yom Kippur, my mother yelled at my sister and me as we headed out the door to spend time doing "our own thing"

"What will the neighbors think?" My mother's main concern echoed behind us.

I did not know much about the meaning behind the holidays except, supposedly, that they had something to do with the Jews fleeing persecution. In an attempt to enlighten me, Dad provided a copy of "Hillel's Happy Holidays". If I indeed read it, I do not remember it. And from what I have learned, since those innocent days of yesteryear, they were not necessarily "happy".

Dad pursued a career in medicine.

"You are wasting your time and money" His father had no empathy for his son's choice and wanted him to take his rightful place in the family furniture business. But Dad was resolute, and so, in the face of extreme opposition, he did various and sundry jobs to put himself through medical school. You see, my Dad had watched his mother die an excruciating death from esophageal cancer when he was a boy of 16. His motivation was to help put an end to suffering.

My father was a dreamer. But he was a lot more. An old fashioned man, Dad was the stereotypical family doctor with the little black bag who made "house calls". Yes, dear readers, there were such things, back in the day. Many a night, the phone would awaken him. Bag in hand, he set out to answer the cry of the sick.
Those were the days before Medicare and Medicaid and so, if his patients could not pay, they did not pay.

"Before I die, there will probably be a cure for cancer" He said innocently. He has been dead for 24 years.

I am certain that my father, with his Orthodox background, had read the Talmud and yet, when my sister and I married outside the faith, both husbands were welcomed into the family. We never heard the "g" word. We were never exposed to any racist doctrine. If I had not reincarnated as an Internet essayist, I would never have known about the racist Babylonian Talmud. The Secular Jewish people I knew assimilated into the host culture and many of them intermarried. Their children also intermarried.

Friday night I listened to Joachim Martillo being interviewed on Lewis News. He is a convert to Islam but has a rich background in Jewish studies. In Israel, he got to experience the evils of Zionism first hand.

In my family of origin, lying to both Jews and Gentiles was a sin. And so I was glad to hear Mr. Martillo discuss the Kol Nidre, the most sacred and the most controversial prayer in the Jewish religion.
"
There are many non-Jewish Web sites that are alarmed by the existence of this prayer and what they feel is a license to lie and deceive year after year." The "Explaining Kol Nidre" Web site --
www.angelfire.com/mt/talmud/kolnidre.html

Mr. Martillo discussed the difference between a vow and a contract.
With further research, I came upon the following:

"Refers Only to Individual Vows"
The teachers of the synagogues, however, have never failed to point out to their cobelievers that the dispensation from vows in the "Kol Nidre" refers only to those which an individual voluntarily assumes for himself alone (see RoSH to Ned. 23b) and in which no other persons or their interests are involved. In other words, the formula is restricted to those vows which concern only the relation of man to his conscience or to his Heavenly Judge "(see especially Tos. to Ned. 23b). http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=340&letter=K

My father was my role model for ethics. We had a summer cottage upstate where no taxes were required, but our main place of residence was in heavily taxed Brooklyn, NY. When my father bought my mother an expensive coat, he could easily have avoided paying taxes by using the upstate address. And yet, he refused. He did not think it was ethical And furthermore, he felt privileged to be able to pay taxes in America. You see, Dad's family had been in Russia during the Pogroms. His older brother was nearly killed. And so, when they came to America, they literally kissed the ground.

And now it is 2007 and the world is precariously teetering in the balance. Israel is not the dream that my mother had envisioned. The America of today is not the dream of my father. They have morphed into a nightmare where greedy unconscionable elitists make the rules and the ordinary person, Jew or Gentile is merely fodder for the self serving goals of the ruling cabal. I have long since left the Jewish religion, if indeed, I was ever there. I was baptized in 1991 and opened myself to an entirely new reality.
The Internet screams about Jewish crimes and Jewish criminals. There are some people who feel that ALL Jews are culpable for the sins of their leaders. My mission has been twofold. One has been to open Jewish eyes to the reality of their corrupt leaders; leaders who have duped them in the past and are duping them again.

I yearn for Jewish people to question what is truly taking place in the Middle East. I yearn for Jewish people to question their history and their reported "victimhood". I yearn for Jewish people to become "individuals" and not fall prey to a "consensus trance" imposed upon them by "fear programming". I yearn for Jewish people not to accept the official narrative of events past and not to jail differing opinions. And, most passionately, I yearn for ALL Jewish people to recognize that nobody is any better or any worse than anyone else.

I yearn for non Jewish people to realize that not ALL Jewish people are corrupt and/or evil. (Although we will never make the headlines, my family of origin was not unique.) I yearn for non Jewish people to realize that there are many Jewish people speaking out and speaking up and, in the process, losing family, friends and jobs.

I yearn for both Jews and non Jews to realize that the "many" are being manipulated by the "few".

Despite our differing appearances and our differing belief systems, we are, at the end of the day, all part of the great body of humanity. We are all individual expressions of the ONE.

"We are one, after all, you and I; together we suffer, together exist, and
forever will recreate one another." - Teilhard de Chardin.


Copyright Judy Andreas 2007

Reader Comments sent to the Rense.com website:

Judy, Thanks for your story. I'm not Jewish, and long ago had a negative stereotypical idea about "Jews". You humanize your family very touchingly--and unless a ot of humanizing of other cultures begins soon, the world will not be a place in which we will want to live. Love from me to you. --R

Dear Judy, i read your beautiful article you are an inspiration i am a traditional catholic and that is exactly the way i feel do not fear anyone as GOD is on your side as HE said by their fruits you shall know them and to send you hateful e mail is showing us justwhat their fruits are not good for sure GOD BLESS YOU --KAY

Excellent Judy!!! Very good!! It cuts like a thin sharp sword which one does not feel as it slices their flesh.. You're using your words as colors as painters would use their brush.--M

As a Quaker I have always liked Jews (with a few yelling and screaming exceptions) because they are one of the rare sources of lively discourse and respect for education in a society of lower middle class boors. Thank you for your essay. I had been reading so many anti-Zionist essays that I needed a reminder. I wish more Jews or former Jews would stand up to the Neocons and the other conspiratorial types. It is a lot to ask though. 00P

Thanks for your story. I'm not Jewish, and long ago had a negative stereotypical idea about "Jews". You humanize your family very touchingly--and unless a lot of humanizing of other cultures begins soon, the world will not be a place in which we will want to live. Love from me to you. (no signature)

Just read your latest essay on rense.com. Thank you for clarifying the Kol Nidre. Since reading about it, I've been very disturbed by it, and tried to find an explanation such as yours. Thank you for providing it.I'm still working to separate myself from the schemes of the ruling cabal, Jew and Goy alike; they're pure evil, and Zionism qualifies as the False Prophet in Revelation, creating an image of the Beast (Islam) which everyone worships, great and small (image doesn't necessarily mean physical idol; a public relations scam is in progress to make Islam look far more powerful than it is), and of course, the mark in the right hand or forehead is right around the corner. Meanwhile, you've relieved a stressor. Thank you. --Josh

Judy...Thanks for the 'Jewdy' articles - quite informative. Your discontent with aspects of your heritage reminds me of some of my issues regarding mankind as a whole. All too often I feel like I just don't belong in this world. Still, there is beauty to behold and experience in many directions. Paul.

I used to live in the USA and I left for New Zealand ten years ago. There are things I miss, but over-all, it was a good decision. So, why am I writing you? I want you to know that you have fans here in New Zealand. If you have fans here, you must also have fans from many other countries. I really appreciate what you have to say; your perspective is absolutely refreshing and I sincerely believe that your efforts help make the world a better place. As they say down under "Good-on-ya!" Please do not respond to this message but use the same time to continue your writin

Judy, You're not the only one who has wondered what it means to be a x_______.

When and where I grew up, it was unsafe to be anything but a white man; and owing to the Dutch and French side of my ancestry, and the fact that my parents never told me otherwise, I got by as a little white science nerd. Sort of got by. Except seeing the one black boy in my school getting beat up almost daily made my blood boil, so I took a few beatings too, and was labeled "nigger lover".
I was enthralled by my dad's uncanny knowledge of the woods, and chastened by his consistent respect for life. "Just take the dead wood, son; don't cut that tree.", and "Don't kill that animal unless you plan to eat it." But I never knew why until about a year before he "crossed over" - "By the way, you're part Indian on both my dad and mom's side."
Like a door opened, I began to meet Indian people in the local community and, unlike most of the white people I ever met, we actually got along. Before long, I was introduced to several respected elders and medicine men. These were'nt the publicity seeking, self aggrandizing, money hungry types, but the genuine articles. I kept my mouth shut, and worked, and learned.
One of the things I learned is that, all stereotypes and fascinations aside, people are pretty much the same around the world. In the grand movie of life, most are "extras", just a few are bad guys, and just a few are good guys. I learned that a lot of The People are programmed to be sensitive about their own holocaust and traditions, but are too caught up in modern society to practice, or even remember those traditions. (It appears that this is one of the purposes of modern society.)
I learned that I'm too white to be Indian, and too Indian to be white. What that means is, since the US government invented the "blood quantum" method of determining who's what, a lot of people have subscribed to it, since it is rather simple-minded. According to the elders, however, a person was traditionally considered Indian if he lived as an Indian - no matter if his skin was green or his nose grew on the back of his head.

I also learned that none of this matters, because there is something about life which is much larger and deeper than being French or Jew or Indian, or even human, for a that matter. It's a force which both gives and takes life, every moment of the day, like your breath going in and out. It tells us "what's what", if we listen - if we take time out from our heavy schedule of self-serving preoccupation and fear and speculation. The medicine men call it "the force that moves in all things" - the Spirit.

You say you don't really know. But you were there along. You knew what your father knew, because you are of the same flesh. Real knowledge only passes through the intellect; but if it remains, it is stored in the body itself. So what that you don't know the intricate meanings and history of the holidays? In your article, your "yearnings" betray that your Spirit knows what's right. And that's what really counts.
Greg

A real Masterpiece Judy. I better wander on over to AZC and click the 'approve' button. Regards, M

Thanks for the careful writing of your article...
Yes, like many others, I have been reading some frightening things atributed to jews which probably should be better atributed to zionists or just downright criminals.
I had not noticed that jews even really existed as a different kind of people until very recently...I am 60 years old so this may seem difficult to believe. but a couple of my best friends from art school , my best friend and colleague at university where I taught architectural drawing for many years and a couple of girlfriends are jewish i think....they held no mystique or difference for me...they must have been very much like you and your family...us growing up in western australia, you in the USA. I even went 2 years to the free jewish university in Perth to try to learn Hebrew,as I studied Modern greek, Italian, French and German in my free time at the very University where i taught.

But all this changed very recently when i was sending out my articles from Rense.com to my lists and there was one of those articles that show just how unjust Israel is in relation to the Palestinians and to my surprise got a mail back from one of these friends of 40 years telling me that he was angry at me for sending this kind of article as it very seriously looked like i was insulting him or his family!. I wrote him back immediately after I got over the shock, carefully delineating what i thought could clear the air, elucidating the difference for me between zionist actions and anti-semitism. to no avail...he said that "what if his family were zionists?" and then went on to tell me that he was afraid for jews today, that he is militantly anti religion, but that i should be careful about insulting his family. I have just simply been unable to write anything more to him...he did say that he was interested in my art ideas. in this moment, in this dangerous moment, art is almost of zero interest for me...except for music. his reaction has created a dilemma for me....your mail has showed me that it is true...there are jews who don´t want to see, don´t want to hear....simply all argument is anti-semitic.

I myself am an atheist..not an agnostic.

I believe that even the "moral "education that is supposedly presumed to be inherent in the "education" of children with religion and is supposedly elevating, is subverted right from the word go, into elitist/racist/control. for me all religions are subversions of the words and deeds of their creators...perversions of their teachings and ideas....and the logical outcome of this is millions of hypocrites...having to steer between hardly understood high ideals and weird realities created by failed idealists or cynical manipulators! we could do much better without these aberrations.

But getting back to this letter about my shock...and my old friend.......you gave me a clearer understanding of this scene and my reaction to it. This clearly written description of your reality helped me to see more clearly my own.
Thank you......also having someone to write this to helped, too. So, doubly thanks.
Yours... Sam



Another Case of Injustice (February 7, 2007)

I wonder how many Americans are familiar with Sami Al-Arian and the story of injustice that surrounds this man. I wonder how many Americans are aware that Mr. Al-Arian has spent the past four years in prison.

"What has he done?" you ask. I wish I knew the answer. Although Sami Al-Arian was found "not guilty" of the 17 charges against him, the Palestinian Professor and activist remains in jail.

"How could that be?" you ask. I wish I knew the answer. Sami Al-Arian was a computer science professor at the University of South Florida. In addition, he was a leading member of the Muslim Community and a prominent activist. (Oh oh. Did someone say "activist?" )

In February of 2003, Mr. Al-Arian was arrested. He was accused of being a leader of the militant group Palestinian Islamic Jihad. He received a 50-count indictment by the "Justice" (?) Department. The indictment was against Al-Arian and seven other men. They were charged with conspiracy to commit murder, extortion, giving material support to terrorists, perjury, and other offenses.
The trial ended in December of 2005. THE JURY FAILED TO RETURN A SINGLE GUILTY VERDICT. Al -Arian was acquitted on eight of seventeen counts against him and the jury was deadlocked on the rest.

Four months after the verdict, Al-Arian agreed to plead guilty to one of the remaining charges. He did this in exchange for being released and deported. At his sentencing, however, the judge gave him as much prison time as possible under a plea deal - 57 months.

Although the release date was scheduled for April 2007, a little over two weeks ago, a judge found him in contempt. The charge was that he refused, a second time, to testify before a grand jury in Virginia in a case involving a Muslim think tank. Because of this ruling, the date of Mr. Al-Arian's release could now be extended by as much as 18 months. And so, in response, Al-Arian, who is a diabetic, began a hunger strike.

In an interview from Northern Neck Regional Jail in Warsaw, Virginia, Sami Al-Arian stated that he is being held on contempt charges.

On January 22nd, he began his hunger strike. He stated the reason for the strike:

"I believe that freedom and human dignity are more precious than life itself. In essence, I'm taking a principled stand, that I'm willing to endure whatever it takes to win my freedom. I'm also protesting the continuous harassment campaign by the government against me because of my political beliefs. This campaign was supposed to have ended when we concluded the plea deal last year, but unfortunately it hasn't... After two-and-a-half years in pretrial detention with Guantanamo-like conditions, mostly under 23-hour lockdowns, followed by a six-month trial with eighty witnesses, including twenty-one from Israel, thousands of documents, phone interceptions, physical surveillance, websites, hearsay evidence, anything and everything they could think of, preceded by twelve years of investigations, tens of millions of dollars, some even say over $80 million spent on this investigation, with ninety-four charges against me and my co-defendants and with my defense only being four words -- 'I rest my case' -- how did the jury see it? They gave them zero convictions. Unfortunately, however, the judge stopped the deliberations, because of a distressed juror, and they ended up with some hung counts, although they were mostly ten-to-two in my favor. What happened was that the government had the power to retry me on these hung counts. My attorneys had prior commitments and would have left, which meant I probably would have to hire a new legal team and wait perhaps for another year or more for a new trial."

Sami Al-Arian was told that he sponsored a researcher in 1994 and '95 to come to the United States to conduct research and edit a magazine. He was told that he wasn't candid or forthcoming when interviewed by a journalist in November '95.

"I was told that I helped my brother-in-law, Mazen Al-Najiar, to get out of prison when he was detained on secret evidence between '97 and 2000. My main concern with this deal was that the judge got out of hand, because association is constitutionally protected. And everyone kept saying that this was just a face-saving way for the government to end this, and no one was going to object. And, indeed, no one did....Now, they want me to testify before a grand jury in Virginia. We believe that this is either a perjury or contempt trap. Back in August of 2000, I was also subpoenaed before an immigration court, and I was asked if I believe in the freedom of Islam through violence. My answer was one word: no. But this was nonetheless one of the counts against me, which the jury acquitted me of. Now, I have been held in contempt for over a month last year, and then that grand jury expired. Then they reconvened another grand jury this year, and I have been held now in contempt since January 22nd. That's why I'm on a hunger strike."

There is an ongoing investigation of some of the think tanks and charities in Virginia and they want to ask Sami about them. He states that he hasn't had any relationship with any of these since '92 or '93, but he believes that this is just a pretext to hold him either in contempt or charge him with perjury.

"Whatever I say, they are going to tell me that am lying"

Sami has been told that on civil contempt charges, it is really in the hands of the judge who has the power to lift this tomorrow, if he wants to. It is not supposed to be punishment. It's supposed to be coercion. It can go for six months, renewed two more times, which brings it up to eighteen months. And after that, the government can even charge him with criminal contempt. And so, it could go on for years and years.

Al-Arian states "I think it's politically motivated, so this might very well be the case. "

On September 2001, Al-Arian had been invited to be a guest on "The O'Reilly Factor". He was given the impression that the purpose of the interview was to discuss Arab-American reactions to 9/11. After all, Sami Al-Arian was a prominent member of the Muslim community in south Florida as well as a leading Palestinian academic and activist. ( Perhaps Al-Arian was unfamiliar with the tactics of Shill O'Reilly) True to form, O'Reilly used the interview time to accuse Al-Arian of supporting terrorism and concluded by saying "If I was the C.I.A., I'd follow you wherever you went."

The day after the interview, the University of South Florida, where Al-Arian worked, received hundreds of threatening letters and emails. I cannot help but wonder if actual individuals wrote that barrage of letters. Could it be that so many people are fooled by O'Reilly ?

Thirty six hours after the interview, the University put Sami Al-Arian on paid leave. A year and a half later, he was arrested.

The story of Sami Al-Arian is not over. This is a story that extends far beyond the walls of the prison in Virginia. This is a story that touches more than just the lives of the family and community in which Sami Al-Arian resided. This is a story of injustice. This is a story that touches us all.

As you sit down to your dinner tonight, take some time to reflect on what is happening to freedom and dignity in the United States of America.

"I believe that freedom and human dignity are more precious than life itself. In essence, I'm taking a principled stand, that I'm willing to endure whatever it takes to win my freedom. I'm also protesting the continuous harassment campaign by the government against me because of my political beliefs." SAMI AL-ARIAN

Copyright Judy Andreas 2007