Ex-US Diplomat Jailed for Anti-Arab Slur

A former US diplomat was sentenced to one year in prison for anti-Arab threats, reported the Washington Post on Saturday, July 12.

"There is no room in our society for the intolerance of other races or national origins, particularly by those who hold positions in the government," US Attorney Jeffrey A. Taylor said.

The court found Patrick Syring, 50, guilty of making racist threats against Arabs.

The charges stem from a series of threatening messages he sent to the Arab American Institute in mid 2006 during the Israeli war in Lebanon.

"The only good Lebanese is a dead Lebanese. The only good Arab is a dead Arab," he said in the message.

"Long live the IDF. Death to Lebanon and death to the Arabs."

Of particular target was the institute’s president James Zogby "and his wicked Hizbullah brothers."

"They will burn in hellfire on this earth and in the hereafter," said Syring, who served two tours in Beirut during his 25-year State Department career.

Hate Crime

The court also fined the former diplomat $10,000 and ordered him to serve 100 hours of community service.

"Threats of violent hate crimes have an impact far greater than the impact on the individual victim," said Grace Chung Becker, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.

"These are crimes against the fundamental ideals on which America was founded."

The court ruling comes on the second anniversary of the Israeli war on Lebanon.

The Israeli onslaught killed up to 1,300 Lebanese civilians, mostly children and women, and left the country’s infrastructure in tatters.

At least 123 Israeli soldiers were killed and thousands wounded in fierce battles with well-trained Hizbullah fighters, who managed to shoot down at least four Apache helicopters and destroy one warship, a fast-speed patrol and around 124 of Israel’s pride Merkava tanks, each costing 4.4 million dollars.

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