Shorts: U.S.

Green Party calls for Israeli divestment

Likening Israel to apartheid-era South Africa, the Green Party of the United States has called for boycotting of Israeli products and divestment from the Jewish state.

Following a vote at the general meeting of Green Parties throughout the United States, the national party last week adopted the plank put forward by the Wisconsin delegation, which was adapted from a campus anti-Israel petition.

“Israel’s treatment of Palestinians — those who are Israeli citizens as well as those in the territories — is comparable in many ways to South African apartheid, and has resulted in a cycle of violence and lack of security for both Israelis and Palestinians,” said Mohammed Abed, a member of the Green Party of Wisconsin.

Presbyterians blasted for meeting with Hezbollah

chicago (ap) | The top Presbyterian church official in Chicago has angered Jewish leaders in this city who say a meeting he and other Presbyterians had with Hezbollah last month was “unconscionable.”

The Rev. Bob Reynolds, head of the Chicago Presbytery, said the meeting in southern Lebanon took place in early November and was part of a tour of the Middle East.

The White House has labeled Hezbollah as a terrorist group.

“It is unconscionable that Presbyterian leaders would meet with Hezbollah, which our government designates as a foreign terrorist organization,” Lonnie Nasatir, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, said in a statement last week. “Hezbollah has a track record of terror that is unambiguous. It pioneered the use of suicide bombing in the Middle East.”

The criticism comes a little more than a year after two employees of the national church were fired for planning an unauthorized meeting with the Lebanese group.

Florida professor acquitted on many terrorism charges

tampa, fla. (ap) | A former Florida professor accused of helping lead a terrorist group that has carried out suicide bombings against Israel was acquitted on several charges Tuesday, Dec. 6, and the jury deadlocked on the other counts.

The case against Sami Al Arian, 47, had been seen as one of the biggest courtroom tests yet of the Patriot Act’s expanded search-and-surveillance powers.

Al Arian, a former University of South Florida computer engineering professor, will return to jail until prosecutors decide whether to retry him on the deadlocked charges.

Federal prosecutors said Sami Al Arian and his co-defendants acted as the communications arm of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, spreading the word and raising money that went toward the suicide attacks that have killed hundreds.