Ties to Terrorism

By Matt Hayes, Fox News, July 10, 2003

...few members of mainstream organizations have worked closely and openly with terrorist groups, like Jeanne Butterfield (search), director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (search).

The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the immigration bar's equivalent of the American Bar Association.... Jeanne Butterfield is, in some sense of the term, the nation's head immigration lawyer...

To understand Ms. Butterfield's history is to understand the newer and downright irresponsible positions taken by AILA. Before she was elected director of AILA, Jeanne Butterfield was executive director of the Palestine Solidarity Committee, the group that acted as a front for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in much the same way that Sinn Fein acted as a representative of the Irish Republican Army -- but without participating in electoral politics and representative government as Sinn Fein has.

...In 2001 alone, the PFLP exploded seven car bombs, a bus and motorcycle bomb, and several bombs placed near high-pedestrian traffic areas, like malls across Israel. In October, 2001, it assassinated Israel's Minister of Tourism as he walked to his home in a quiet neighborhood.

The March-April 1989 issue of Palestine Focus (search), the national newspaper of the Palestine Solidarity Committee -- which features Butterfield on the masthead -- lists among its goals "to stop U.S. intervention in the Middle East and to cut off U.S. aid to Israel."...

It's baffling that a person whose early career was spent apologizing for terrorism has risen to director of a mainstream, national professional organization whose members testify on Capitol Hill...If Ms. Butterfield had been a leader of another group that advocated hate and violence, such as the Ku Klux Klan, she would not have the credibility or trustworthiness to find work as a bank teller, let alone lead a national, mainstream legal organization.

F. Scott Fitzgerald (search) said that in American life, there are no second acts. Jeanne Butterfield proves, provided your politics are acceptable to some, that that's not always so.

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