Recruiting for Jihad
By: Joe Kaufman
Monday, June 16, 2003

A radical Islamic website is looking for "a few good men" -- to blow themselves up.

While a myriad of websites could be described as "sick," palestine4ever.net is a world apart. On this pro-jihad site, you will find:

* a suicide bomber gallery with a web page devoted to each bomber, including intimate details about murders and kidnappings;

*a radical poetry section that features one monster’s masterpiece entitled ‘Rage,’ which concludes: “For every two you kill… ANOTHER BUS WILL BLOW UP!!”;

*a picture presentation that includes the photos of Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, the spiritual leader of Hamas, and Marwan Barghouti, the Fatah leader that was indicted on charges of killing more than two dozen Israelis;

*a quote denouncing President Bush from Jamil abu-Baker, the spokesman of the extremist Muslim Brotherhood, the organization that spawned the terrorist group responsible for the assassination of Egypt’s Anwar Sadat;

*a link to www.ruru81.jeeran.com, an extremist site that speaks about becoming a "Shaheed” (suicide bomber), and on its jihad page states: “Islam also trains all those who volunteer for service to Allah before allowing them to undertake jehad (sic) and establish Allah's rule on the earth.”

Palestine4ever.net is owned by Dallas, Texan Rosemary Davis… or Shadya Hantouli.  She uses both monikers so often that it’s hard to tell which one is legitimate.  She claims to be from Silat Daher (a terrorist hotbed located in Israel’s adjoining Arab territories), where Hantouli is not an uncommon surname, and she seems to have an affinity for an ex-rock thrower named Tariq with the same last name, who apparently took one in the head for ‘the cause.’ The correct answer is probably the second one.  Well, to not belabor this point any longer, let’s just refer to her as Shadya.

Shadya has a close relationship with two different Islamic children’s charities, as medical coordinator for the Palestinian Children’s Welfare Fund and a spokesperson for the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund. (The Palestinian Children’s Welfare Fund is noted on palestine4ever.net with a huge graphic, complete with an image of a lit bomb fuse.) What kind of children's "welfare" group would employ a spokesperson with a soft spot for child martyrs?

The Palestinian Children’s Welfare Fund (PCWF) is one of a multitude of Islamic children’s charities whose stated goal is “to improve the living standards of the children of Palestine.”  One of the ways the PCWF has demonstrated this was to conduct a drawing contest in October of 2002, whereby children won money for drawing gruesome pictures depicting anti-Semitic and violent images. 

The PCWF is headed by Riad Hamad.  Hamad's resume includes being fired from Austin Community College for allegedly "making racist slurs and sexist jokes in the classroom."  He doesn't agree, though;  he says he was fired for "making statements against the U.S. government." Hamad is currently an instructor at a different school, in his words, "till I get fired again." 

The FBI has on a number of occasions conducted surveillance on Riad Hamad.  His neighbors have been interviewed, his co-workers have been questioned, and packages he has sent have been opened - with good reason, it would appear.

Riad Hamad spelled out his anti-Semitic agenda during a response to an online article.  According to his version of history, "Britain allowed several hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants to land in Palestine despite the opposition of the original inhabitants.  In our opinion, they (sic) immigrants arrived illegally and will be deported to their nation of origin… sooner or later."  He also helpfully cleared up one of the author's misconceptions: "You are assuming that most of us Arabs recognize the right of Israel to exist."

The Palestinian Children’s Welfare Fund works closely with the Holy Land Trust, a Christian nonprofit organization with offices in the U.S., Iraq and the Palestinian territories.  Joseph Farrah, Editor of World Net Daily, has described the Holy Land Trust's activities: “The lies this group tells in the name of Christianity are big and bold. They include the standard lines about Jews robbing the homes of Arabs, stealing their land and brutalizing them in a repressive state of military occupation.  These so-called Christians even rationalize terrorism.”

Last December, the co-founder of the PCWF, Bob Rossi, and Margaret Stephens (a.k.a. Margaret Phillips) found themselves held by Israeli authorities in the home of the Executive Director of the Holy Land Trust, Sami Awad, in Bethlehem.  Of the event, Rossi states, “One evening, two of our Palestinian colleagues’ homes were seized by Israeli forces.” 

That's peculiar, as Israel typically seizes (or destroys) the homes of people aiding and abetting terrorism. 

Bob and Margaret publish Northwest Ethnic Voice, an Oregonian newsletter that endorsed an ANSWER protest against President George Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft. 

The Northwest Ethnic Voice website links to ramallahonline.com, a radical site that features anti-Israel poems, petitions and favorable pictures of terrorists, including one of Osama bin Laden.  There is also a link to the website of rapper The Iron Shiek, who believes that Israel’s control of the Palestinian territories is far worse than suicide bombings. He raps, “Ariel Sharon, a real cabron/I’d like to meet him in a dark alley and it’s on/He’d be the Penguin and I’d be Batman/My flurry of fists would sink that fat man.”  The PCWF ordered 100 of his CDs for a recent fundraiser.

Fundraisers are important for the PCWF, because how else can they afford to give out an $8,000 scholarship, whereby they force the winner to “wear a Palestinian flag or a pin every day he/she attends classes in the United States”? 

The Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF), the other “charity” group Shadya is affiliated with, is headed by Stephen Sosebee.  Sosebee is a journalist with a writing style best described as "fantasy."  In his world, the Israelis are murderous Zionist terrorists, resisted by meek-yet-righteous Palestinians via “armed struggle” (that is, suicide bombings).

Sosebee charges that U.S. government, citizenry and media are manipulated by a “Zionist lobby” and “Zionist influence,” classic anti-Semitic accusations.  He recently propounded these theories during a lecture at the Zayed International Centre for Coordination and Follow-up (ZCCF). At this forum, Sosebee joined some illustrious company.  Others that have given lectures at ZCCF include:

*Kurt Waldheim, an ex-Nazi who participated in the deportations and executions of Jews and soldiers in the Balkans during World War II;

*Abu Mazen (a.k.a. Mahmood Abbas), current Palestinian figurehead, who is accused of financing the 1972 Munich Olympics attack, which left eleven Israelis dead;

*Theiry Meyssan, a French author who claims that the United States guided planes via remote control to attack itself on September 11, 2001;

*Umayma Jalahma, a Saudi Arabian professor who wrote that Jews were using the blood of non-Jews to prepare pastries for the Purim holiday;

*David Irving and Roger Garaudy, respectively, English and French Holocaust deniers; and

*James Zogby, president the Arab-American Institute and admirer of Hezbollah, the group responsible for the 1983 bombing of U.S. Marines barracks in Lebanon.

These are not PCRF's only connections to shady organizations.  In 1991, the PCRF considered two entities “ASSISTING ORGANIZATIONS”-- The Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development and Global Relief Foundation --  that were closed down by the U.S. government for funding terrorist groups. Another assisting organization, the International [Islamic] Relief Organization, was raided by the FBI, accused of filtering money to al-Qaeda, Egyptian Islamic Jihad and Hamas. The New York Post records that the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO) has been named in a lawsuit put forward by the families of the 9/11 victims for having “played key roles in laundering of funds to the terrorists in the 1998 African embassy bombings” and having been involved in the “financing and ‘aiding and abetting’ of terrorists in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.”  On its website, the PCRF says it “works with these organizations” and acknowledges their “support and cooperation.”

In addition, the PCRF received thousands of dollars from the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC).  “Throughout the 1980s, the [ADC] lent its name to political-support campaigns for Soviet-backed guerrilla organizations around the world from the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the PFLP to Marxist revolutionaries in Latin America,” according to the December 17, 2001, edition of Insight Magazine.

On March 17, 2001, Steve Sosebee spoke on behalf of the PCRF, at a ‘Conference on Palestine,’ held at the University of Michigan.  The event was co-sponsored by the Global Relief Foundation (described above), the International Action Center (the parent of ANSWER), the Islamic Association for Palestine (a front for Hamas), CAIR (an off-shoot of the Islamic Association for Palestine), and others.  Also speaking at the event was Ibrahim Hooper, the National Communications Director for CAIR and a man that claimed the 1998 bombings of two American embassies in Africa was the result of a “misunderstanding.”  The event kicked off with the showing of a video entitled ‘The New Uprising,’ code words for the second intifada against Israel.

In addition, Sosebee represented the PCRF at an antiwar rally held at Kent State University, on May 4, 2002, although he claims he does not have “any political designs.”  The event included a “solidarity speech” made by the All-African People's Revolutionary Party, the group founded by Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael), who has stated, “Zionism is the enemy of humanity.”  There was also a speech given by the Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade, the youth wing of the Revolutionary Communist Party. This group that was included in New Black Panther Khalid Muhammad’s heavily anti-Semitic “Million Youth March” in 1998.

Besides his attendance at conferences and rallies, Steve Sosebee is also a thrill seeker.  In October of 2000, Sosebee, along with his wife, a team of doctors and his four-year-old daughter Deema trekked all the way to some of the most terrorist-laden areas located within the Palestinian territories. Sosebee’s personal highlights of the trip included:  sightseeing at a police station, where just one day earlier, two Israelis were brutally beaten to death by an angry mob; sitting and waiting for another car to come, “so they could go first and be hit by stones”; keeping Deema busy in the playground, as ambulances sped passed with sirens blaring; putting on a Cuban Che Guevarra t-shirt to ensure his “acceptance among the youths”; driving across a dangerous rocky road, as his wife presses Deema to the floor of the car for protection; and applauding as Palestinian children hurled stones at Israeli soldiers, noting “every decent toss.”

The Palestinian Children’s Welfare Fund and the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund are two of the many Islamic charities in the United States alone, which claim to be non-political yet exploit national and international politics to the utmost.  Why would they allow someone into their staff that obviously harbors affection for suicide bombers?  And into whose hands goes is she delivering “welfare” and “relief”?  Is it those children that are truly innocent, or is it those that make up Shadya Hantouli’s gallery?

“Death is more than escape from occupation, it is the way of life for our courageous countrymen.”- Homepage, palestine4ever.net

Joe Kaufman is the Chairman of Citizens Against Hate and the co-founder of the Republican Jewish Coalition of South Florida.  You could visit Joe Kaufman’s interactive website, at joe4rep.com.

Joe Kaufman is the Chairman of Americans Against Hate and the founder of CAIR Watch.