- The Washington Times - Friday, January 18, 2002

"This isn't about money, this is about politics," outgoing number two House Democrat David Bonior said last week, flailing away at the mucky dust kicked up by his decision to keep campaign contributions from Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad-supporting donors.
Chalk one up for the Michigan politician: This controversy is about politics specifically, the politics of the money in question. Having raised, banked and retained $1,000 from Abdurahman Alamoudi and $3,200 from Sami and Nahla Al-Arian, Mr. Bonior has allowed supporters and promoters of terrorist organizations to further his political career.
Abdurahman Alamoudi, a founder of the American Muslim Council who has found his way to White House events in the wake of September 11, came to the public's attention during the 2000 campaign for having had to take back donations to Hillary Rodham Clinton and George W. Bush after his leading, cheering role at a veritable pep rally for the terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah became news. Last week, after the Associated Press broached the topic of Mr. Alamoudi's sympathies with Bonior spokesman Ed Bruley. Mr. Bruley said he was unaware of Mr. Alamoudi's sentiments and didn't think Mr. Bonior knew them, either.
Of course, the 2000 rally wasn't the first time Mr. Alamoudi, who considers Hamas a "freedom-fighter organization," made his feelings known. In any event, Mr. Bonior decided not to return the money, but to get Mr. Alamoudi to apologize (sort of) for his rant. Mr. Alamoudi obliged by claiming it was made "in the heat of anger and frustration," and declaring he certainly doesn't support terrorism. (Of course not; he supports "freedom-fighter organizations.")
No sooner, however, had Mr. Bonior extracted the Alamoudi "apology" than the Lansing State Journal picked up on Bonior donations from Sami Al-Arian and his wife, Nahla. Thanks to the Weekly Standard's David Tell, we know much about the pro-terror activism of this erstwhile professor at the University of South Florida. For starters, both the FBI and immigration officials long ago seemed to have concluded that Mr. Al-Arian was Palestinian Islamic Jihad's main representative in North America, a man who fronted various organizations in southern Florida that became way stations for such known terrorists as Ramadan Abdullah Shallah, now head of Islamic Jihad, and Tarik Hamdi, who has links to Osama bin Laden. As Mr. Tell has reported, "Film exists of Al-Arian at … [a rally] shouting 'Jihad is our path! Victory to Islam! Death to Israel! Revolution! Revolution until victory! Rolling into Jerusalem!' "
As for Mr. Bonior, he seems to think he's standing on principle or something. "I'm different from Hillary Clinton," he told the Macomb Daily. "I'm different from the people who returned the money. I stand by people and communities." Any kind of people? He's different, all right.


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