Last week, a former State Department Foreign Service officer was sentenced to 5 years  in prison and three years of probation after being found guilty of committing federal hate crimes targeting Arab American Institute leadership and staff, including AAI co-founder and President Jim Zogby. The sentence stems from a May 9 conviction on 14 counts, seven hate crime charges and seven interstate threats charges. Over a period of five years, the defendant sent more than 700 emails to AAI, which included multiple death threats and profuse anti-Arab hatred targeting AAI President Jim Zogby and AAI staff for their advocacy for Palestinian human rights and Arab American civic engagement. In his weekly column, Jim stated the following: “With Syring going to jail for the next five years, my staff and I feel a degree of relief. It won't give us back the years we lived in fear, but we know that at least for the foreseeable future our daily lives won't be turned upside down by cruel death threats from this man. We are thankful for that. We are also thankful for the strong support and protection we were given by the Civil Rights attorneys at the DOJ and law enforcement agencies and for the friendship and support we received from allies and friends. 

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