“Jimmy Carter wants the United States and the European community to legitimize Hamas,” said Dershowitz. “It's against the law in the United States, even if you're a former president, it's against the law to provide material support to a listed terrorist organization,” states Dershowitz.
The Justice Department officially designated ISNA as an un-indicted co-conspirator as part of its successful 2007 trial of those accused of coordinating fundraising efforts for Hamas in the United States through the Dallas-based Holy Land Foundation. A federal judge turned down a subsequent ISNA appeal to reverse the designation, claiming there was “ample” evidence that Holy Land officials clearly “operated from within ISNA.” Key evidence presented at the trial were checks written to known Hamas terrorists and deposited into ISNA accounts from where they were passed on to Hamas.
Shukri Abu Bakr, now serving a 65-year sentence following his conviction on multiple counts of providing material support to Hamas, admitted to working from inside ISNA’s headquarters as he served as Hamas’s top operative in the United States.
Providing any support or assistance to a designated foreign terrorist organization is aviolation of Section 18 of the U.S. Code § 2339B and is punishable by imprisonment of not more than fifteen years. If the death of any person results from providing such support, the penalty increases to imprisonment for any term up to and including life.
US civil rights expert Alan Dershowitz claims that fundraising for ISNA may constitute violation of Section 18, which would put Jimmy Carter “very close to, if not across the line” of criminal activity.
The 89-year-old former president has become an increasingly venomous critic of Israel. In addition to writing a 2006 book that accused Israel of “perpetrating even worse instances of Apartheid than we witnessed in South Africa,” he has more recently accused the Jewish state of deliberately starting the current war with Hamas in order to stop the terrorist group from what he called its “encouraging moves toward peace.”
Several ISNA board members who will welcome President Carter to their event are themselves still officially registered as unindicted co-conspirators: Jamal Badawi for his role in Holy Land Foundation trial and Siraj Wahhaj for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
ISNA’s 2014 Convention will held for the first time in Michigan, home to both the country’s largest and fastest-growing Muslim population. Michigan Governor Rick Synder is scheduled to welcome delegates at the conference’s opening session on Friday.