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Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

   Will the Justice Department prosecute associates of President Obama who are organizing flotillas and marches in support of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip?
 
   That question is being asked by pundits as several of Obama’s associates are participating in efforts to end Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza – a blockade that is legal according to international law and that Israel says is necessary to ensure the Hamas terror group does not re-arm itself by sea. Indeed, ships loaded with weapons have been caught multiple times heading for Gaza.
 
   Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy argued at National Review Online that the federal government should investigate Columbia University Professor Rashid Khalidi, a pro-Palestinian Liberation Organization activist known for his friendship with Obama.
 
   Khalidi and other Obama associates are members of an American effort to raise $370,000 to finance the purchase of a U.S. ship in an effort to break the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza. The tentative name of the ship is “The Audacity of Hope,” after Obama’s autobiography.
 
   McCarthy argues the Justice Department, under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, could investigate Khalidi and other flotilla organizers for providing material support to Hamas, which is designated by the State Department as a terrorist organization.
 
   Jonathan Schanzer points out in The Weekly Standard that according to a Supreme Court decision in June, Holder vs. Humanitarian Law Project, the prohibition against material support to terrorists can apply even when the offerings are not money or weapons.
 
   Obama and Khalidi date back many years. Khalidi lectured at the University of Chicago until 2003, while Obama taught law there from 1993 until his election to the Senate in 2004.
 
   Khalidi in 2000 held what was described as a successful fundraiser for Obama’s failed bid for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. 
 
   In 2003, Obama delivered a glowing in-person testimonial for Khalidi when he departed Chicago for a new position at Columbia.
 
   Khalidi’s farewell dinner was replete with anti-Israel speakers. One, a young Palestinian American, recited a poem in Obama’s presence that accused the Israeli government of terrorism in its treatment of Palestinians and sharply criticized U.S. support of Israel. Another speaker, who reportedly talked while Obama was present, compared Israeli settlers on the West Bank to Osama bin Laden.
 
   This column found that another signatory to the American flotilla project is Naomi Esther Jaffe, who founded the Weather Underground terrorist organization along with William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. Jaffe engaged in fundraising efforts for Obama’s presidential campaign, even advertising a “Yoga for Obama” event on Obama’s campaign website.
 

   Ayers and Dorhn themselves have been leaders of efforts to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza.

 

Iran Infiltrating Lebanese Army

 

   Western, Israeli and Arab intelligence services have identified a growing penetration of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Units into the Lebanese Army, according to Egyptian and other Middle Eastern security officials speaking to this column.
 
   The security officials point specifically to the Division 9 Lebanese Army border patrol, which is suspected of carrying out last week’s attack on Israeli troop positions that resulted in the deaths of three Lebanese soldiers, one Lebanese reporter and an Israeli soldier.
 
   The security officials said Iran has penetrated Lebanese Army positions along the Israeli border, replacing Hizbullah inside the first lines of the Lebanese Army.
 
   The security officials said a committee of the Arab League that publicly asked Lebanon to inspect its army for Israeli agents was really mostly concerned about the growing role of Iran in the Lebanese Army.
 
   Egyptian security officials, meanwhile, have said they suspect last Monday’s rocket attacks on Eilat and the Jordanian port city of Aqaba were coordinated by Iranian agents, in particular an axis of Iranian-backed Hamas and Hizbullah that works from the Egyptian Sinai desert.
 
   The attack itself may have been carried out by cutouts, specifically Islamist organizations that operate under the umbrella of Al Qaeda ideology, the officials said.
 

   “Iran is sending a message that they are able also to bring any war into the Israeli land and not only in the Iranian field,” said a Middle Eastern security official. “The message is also intended for Egypt and Jordan, which is accused of helping Israel train for a war with Iran.”

 

Hizbullah Flexing Its Muscles In Lebanon

 

   Iran and its proxy Hizbullah have taken Lebanon hostage, using the country for political and military gain, charged Samy Gemayel, a Lebanese parliament member.
 
   “If Iran wants to escalate the situation in the region it will escalate in our country using Hizbullah’s weapons, using Hizbullah’s power in the region,” said Gemayel, speaking in an interview on this reporter’s investigative radio show on New York’s WABC Radio.
 
   “Hizbullah today is a main axis for Iran and actually Hizbullah is taking Lebanon hostage in this situation. Iran is taking Lebanon into hostage using Hizbullah to play a card on an international level with the U.S. and others,” said Gemayel.
 
   Gemayel said that Hizbullah is “trying to put its hands on the Lebanese institutions, on the Lebanese parliament.”
 
   “Hizbullah is imposing its views on the Lebanese government by force. Hizbullah is using force sometimes to impose some of its decisions on the Lebanese people,” he said.
 

   Continued Gemayel: “Hizbullah is using its weapons to be able to let all the parties adopt [Hizbullah’s] own views on things. And on the international level, on the external level, Hizbullah is still armed and can lead Lebanon into war with Israel at any time.”

 

   Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief and senior reporter for Internet giant WorldNetDaily.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York’s 770-WABC Radio, the largest talk radio station in the U.S., every Sunday between 2-4 p.m.

About the Author: Aaron Klein is a New York Times bestselling author and senior reporter for WND.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York's 970 AM Radio on Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern. His website is KleinOnline.com.


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