Published August 10, 2007
This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," August 9, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
RICH LOWRY, GUEST CO-HOST: This has been introduced as evidence in the trial against the Holy Land Foundation. The man on the right, playing the part of a Hamas activist, is Mufid Abdul Qatar. He's a defendant in the trial, and the half brother of Khalid Mashaal, the Hamas supreme commander in exile.
In the skit they say, quote, "You want to scare me by saying that Hamas is after me in every place? Hamas did not do anything. This is the work of intifada."
So what does this mean for the trial? Joining us now is terrorism expert Steve Emerson.
Steve, as always, thanks for being with us.
STEVE EMERSON, TERRORISM EXPERT: Sure.
LOWRY: Steve, as far as I can tell, these skits seem to be classic incitement, anti-Semitic propaganda, urging people on to kill Jews in the name of the intifada.
EMERSON: Well, they're pretty horrifying. They took place in the United States and they were skits put on by the Islamic Association for Palestine, which was a sister organization to the group that's on trial, the Holy Land Foundation.
And the person who makes the statement, "I am Hamas and I'm going to kill Jews" is Mufid Abdul Qatar. He's one of the defendants. And though it takes place in the late 1980s, the fact of matter it goes directly — it's directly relevant to the mindset of those that are on trial today.
It's like a pedophile who's on trial. If a pedophile says, in years before his trial that "I want to rape children," that's relevant to the mindset.
And in this case, the defendant, as well as the organization, clearly indicate their desire to carry out genocide against Jews.
LOWRY: So Steve, what does that do to the line of defense? In particular, the Holy Land Foundation says we were just supporting Palestinian charities and wow, it's really too bad that some of this money may have made it into the hands of bad actors?
EMERSON: Well, I think it puts a definite lie to that claim, because here you have one of the defendants, an official of the Holy Land Foundation, who actually blurts out and says, "I am Hamas."
And in the very end of this skit, which is pretty horrifying, the — Abdul Qatar actually kills the Jew. And you can actually hear children in the audience laughing and applauding.
LOWRY: Yes, that's disgusting.
Steve, tell us a little bit about Hamas, because there are people out there who will make excuses for them, will say Hamas is a duly elected part of the government and the Palestinian Authority, so Hamas isn't that bad.
EMERSON: Well, they have been duly elected, but Adolph Hitler also got elected through democratic means.
I mean, they are a terrorist organization that carries out vicious killings. They use the cover of social services to legitimize themselves. But it would be the equivalent of saying that David Duke is legitimate simply because he teaches remedial education. He's still a racist. That's the premise of his organization.
ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: It's actually similar to what these guys are saying, Steve. I agree with Rich that it's absolutely despicable speech. It is, however, free speech.
But let me ask you this. The prosecution in the case, in the Holy Land case, they have to prove that $12 million that went to help Palestinian families was intended for terrorists. That's the burden of proof that they have to meet to get convictions, correct?
EMERSON: That's one of their burdens. But they also have to prove that the organization itself that was raising the money was the equivalent of Hamas and therefore, that the money — automatically was going to the Hamas organization.
And I think by introducing videos like these, and these are just the first of several videos that will be introduced. It shows the mindset, the identity, and the direct relevance of these...
COLMES: We have other videos here, and I understand the link you're making between the videos and the despicable speech and perhaps the intent of some of the people involved.
But, again, in a court of law, they have to prove that, intentionally, they want to have that $12 million go to terrorists and not just to families to help for charity.
And by the way, you've got about $14 million, according to OMB Watch, sitting in frozen funds, frozen by our Treasury Department, sitting undistributed to the poor. Wouldn't that money be better spent for its intended target, to help poor families?
EMERSON: Well, first of all, the fact is you do have to prove that the money went to Hamas and went particularly for the killing of Jews or Israelis or Americans or even moderate Palestinians.
But I think that the case can be made and will be made that the charities to which the Holy Land Foundation made contributions were Hamas charities. And they, in turn, distributed the money to the families of martyrs, guaranteeing annuities to the suicide bombers.
So I think they have made the case and they will continue to make the case. As far as the undistributed money, my belief is that money should go to the victims of Hamas terrorism, not to the other people.
LOWRY: Steve, we have to leave it there. Thanks so much for joining us.
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