One is a Jewish Author, the other a Terrorist Fundraiser
Poor Bob Andelman! The Florida writer keeps getting mistaken for Sami Al-Arian, the former University of South Florida computer engineering professor who was sentenced yesterday to four years and nine months in prison after admitting he raised funds for and provided assistance to Islamic Jihad. Even Andelman’s daughter can’t tell the difference between the two and Andelman keeps getting extra attention from security whenever he travels.
All this despite the fact that Al-Arian has been in prison while on trial for the last 39 months. Yesterday’s sentencing of Al-Arian came after a plea agreement whereby the defendant admitted providing support to members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a US State Department-designated terrorist group responsible for hundreds of deaths in Israel and the Palestinian territories. The controversial decision by U.S. District Judge James Moody means that Al-Arian, who has lived in the US for the last 30 years, will be deported in 18 months, after serving out the rest of his sentence.
Andelman, despite all the trouble, remains sympathetic to Al-Arian’s legal plight, but not his ideology:
And it probably wouldn’t have mattered to anyone who mistook me for him that I was somewhat sympathetic to his plight, first being suspected for years but never charged, then held in jail even though a jury acquitted him on eight of 17 charges and deadlocked on the rest. While I couldn’t be more disgusted by Al-Arian’s angry, misguided politics, we are supposed to be a nation of laws and due process. Get accused, get your right to trial. Get acquitted, go home. That’s our system, whether he believes in its righteousness or not.
Oh. One more thing. The Jew is on the left, the terrorist supporter is on the right. In case you were wondering.
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