Elashi Brothers in Gaza
by IPT News • Jul 16, 2012 at 4:41 pm
As we reported Friday, the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) issued a grossly misleading news release lamenting the plight of two Palestinian brothers ripped away from their families and dumped at the airport in Cairo.
ADC failed to identify the brothers, Basman and Bayan Elashi, or note that they were convicted felons tied to terror financing who did not appeal immigration court orders that they be deported. Rather, it cast the government action as an unjust action executed clumsily. The Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement actions in the case "are alarming, troubling, and intolerable," the release said. They were left at the airport in Cairo with no place to go "and appear likely to be detained indefinitely."
"Indefinitely" turned out to be a day or two. Palestinian media had several stories over the weekend about the brothers' return to Gaza. On Saturday, a paid notice from the Elashi family offered congratulations "on the arrival of The Honorable Engineers Bayan and Basman Medhat Elashi to Gaza." Well-wishers would be received until Thursday at relative Abu Yasser Elashi's home.
A second paid notice published Sunday offered congratulations from Hamas member Ahmad Bahar, deputy speaker of the Legislative Council, offered the Elashi family "warmest congratulations and blessings on the occasion of the release of the two honorable brothers."
The notices appeared in the newspaper Felasteen, which is tied to Hamas. On Monday, Felasteen ran a story with a picture and interview of the Elashi brothers describing their case and blasting the American judicial system.
"American justice in political cases is not independent," Bayan Elashi said, "and proceeds according to government opinion and directives, regardless of the evidence or the justice of the cause of the accused, as long as the matter is one of security."
Despite the disclosure of the Elashi brothers and their history, and despite their public welcome in Gaza, the release remained the top story on the ADC homepage Monday afternoon.
Reader comments on this item
Submitted by Joe Hood, Feb 26, 2013 11:19
I was appointed as Bayan Elashi's appellate counsel. I am generally sympathetic with the goal of stamping out funding for terrorism, but the funds that his company (Infocom) sent to their cousin (who was married to a Hamas political spokesman) were not used for any terror-related purpose. They were used to pay for household expenses (rent, utilities, food, etc.). And she was living in Virginia when the payments were made. The government's case, in my humble opinion, was a waste of taxpayer money and was used to bolster the case against his younger brother, Ghasan, who was a vocal supporter of Hamas.