Arabs face injustice in American judicial system

This week, a jury convicted four organizations and its leaders of the murder of a 17 year old boy, awarding his parents $52 million in damages automatically tripled to $156 million as a result of a U.S. Law.

Under normal circumstances, one might call that justice.

But this case is not about justice at all.

It is instead about hypocrisy and the growth of racism, hatred and bigotry against Arab Americans.

The victim was David Boim, killed eight years ago in a terrorist attack by Hamas, a foreign based organization engaged in a war with Israel, a foreign country, that has been going on since 1947.

There wasn’t one single shred of evidence to prove that the organizations or their leaders were involved in anyway in David Boim’s murder.

If this had happened in any other country, no jury in its right mind would have convicted the defendants. But this is about Israel, and the double standards that allow Israeli citizens to also hold American citizenship. This is strictly prohibited by American laws for nearly every other American. You can’t be the citizen of another foreign country and be an American, too.

But that’s not the heart of the double standards or the bigotry that drove this jury to make this ridiculous award.

I might have cheered on the ruling. Several of the organization are extremist. The Islamic Association for Palestine is an extremist organization that has intimidated and harassed many Americans, including other Palestinians.

They have been found guilty on the principle that they support Hamas and therefore their support makes them liable for what Hamas has done. And, thanks to the pro-Israel congress, a special law targeting Israelis who were victims of the Arab-Israeli conflict can now suit in civil court if they can establish that the cause of their suffering was "terrorism."

In theory, Palestinian Americans who have been murdered by Israel’s extremist governments over the years, could also suit Israel and argue that Israel’s actions caused their son’s or daughter’s death.

Several cases exist. American student Rachel Corrie was killed not eight years ago but less than two years ago by Israeli soldiers using a U.S.-made Caterpillar Tractor to destroy the home of a civilian Palestinian family.

The Palestinians whose home was destroyed could file suit against Caterpillar under the law, and Corrie’s parents could also sue Israel.

But under American hypocrisy, those lawsuits would be thrown out with disdain and prejudice. The law that rewarded the family of David Boim only protects Israeli victims of terrorism. It does not protect Palestinian victims of Israeli terrorism nor Americans killed by Israeli soldiers.

Hell, you can’t even get Congress to investigate Corrie’s murder.

The fact is the court ruling against the extremist Islamic Association for Palestine, and three other organizations, is a conviction driven by hypocrisy that can only happen in an America consumed by racism and hatred against Arabs.

Evidence exists to show that the American criminal justice system is now as biased as is the American entertainment industry. You can make a film filled with hatred of Arabs and Muslims in this country, but you can’t organize a heritage display that has any tinges of politics critical of Israeli terrorism.

This double standard didn’t begin on Sept. 11. It just got worse.

More than 14 people who "looked Middle Eastern" were murdered in the six weeks after Sept. 11, but no one in American thinks that’s worth investigating.

Never mind the thousands of Arabs who have detained illegally for no other reasons than their religion and race, or usually that an American neighbor said they looked like a terrorist.

Arab Americans are being arrested and charged in cases across this country holding them to a standard not held to other Americans.

Juries around the country are convicting Arabs simply on the basis of their race and religion, and no one is going to spend any money to investigate that either.

If you are an Arab woman traveling to attend her father’s funeral in the West Bank, and someone claims to have heard you say the word "bomb" in a conversation with an airport security official, you will go to jail for three days, lose your job and be humiliated.

If you happen to be a store owner and a convicted gang member points a finger at you and alleges you supplied him with drugs, you will lose your pharmacy license and all your possession.

The murder of David Boim is a tragedy. But so was Corrie’s murder and the killing of the 14 "Middle Eastern-looking people that no one seems interested in defending. Boim is one of thousands of innocent people – Palestinians and Israelis – who have been killed by both sides.

But the laws that protect David Boim do not protect victims of Israeli terrorism, and many supporters of Israel are responsible.

The same week of the jury’s injustice in the Boim case, Congress approved $591,000 to fund a campaign to convince the Arab world that America is a land of freedom and justice.

You wouldn’t have to convince them of anything, if it were true.

Most in the Arab world know America is the land of hypocrisy and double standards when it comes to Israel and American foreign policy.

Arab Americans are learning that the double standard extends far beyond foreign policy and threatens their lives directly.