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Monday, June 02, 2008

The Fulbright kerfuffle

On Thursday, the US State Department notified seven 'Palestinian' students in Gaza that their Fulbright grants were being 'redirected' because they are unable to leave the Gaza Strip to come to the United States to pursue their studies.
"We are neither postponing nor canceling the Fulbright grants, but the funds have been redirected to other recipients in other places because of the difficulty in securing exit permits for the Gazan recipients," [US Consulate official Stacy] Barrios told the Post.

"US officials are very concerned about this issue and raise it in both Washington and Jerusalem, and has urged Israel to allow such individuals to leave Gaza," she continued.

"We are absolutely committed to continuing exchange programs of all kinds," Barrios added.
On Saturday night, Israeli officials said that the students would be allowed to leave.
Officials in the Prime Minister's Office Saturday night expressed "surprise" at State Department criticism of Israel for reportedly not letting seven Gazan students leave the Gaza Strip on Fulbright scholarships, saying that the State Department did not directly contact the PMO about the issue. [For the record, the State Department says they did contact the government but they are not saying whom they contacted. The 'east' Jerusalem consulate, which is apparently handling the issue on behalf of the United States, has a long and sordid history of pro-'Palestinian' activism, and for years has unofficially functioned as the United States embassy to 'Palestine.' CiJ]

According to the officials, there is an individual in the PMO whose job it is to facilitate the passage for humanitarian needs of certain individuals from the Gaza Strip.

"Israel has an interest in seeing future Palestinian leaders go to Western democratic countries to study," one official said.

"In the past, many countries have approached us, and we have made it possible to facilitate study abroad. In this case they just did not approach us, and assumed it would be impossible."
The New York Times is reporting Monday that the State Department has reinstated the grants.
The American Consulate in Jerusalem sent e-mail messages on Sunday night to all seven telling them it was “working closely” with Israeli officials to secure them exit permits. Maj. Peter Lerner, spokesman for the Israeli Defense Ministry’s office of civilian affairs, said the Gazans would be granted permits after individual security checks.


Major Lerner said that the policy toward study abroad for Gazans was under review and could change, but that the case of the seven Fulbright scholars was accelerated. He cited their tight timetable, but it seems likely that the political pressure played a role.
I'll bet it did. Let's go to the videotape and then I'll have a couple of questions to wrap things up.

I have to say that I don't understand why Israel is not willing to let 'Palestinians' leave Gaza so long as they leave on one-way tickets to countries other than Israel. But that still leaves two questions unanswered. First, why do the Gazans specifically have to leave through Israel? Gaza also borders Egypt and Cairo also has an international airport. Why can't they leave through Rafah and fly out of Cairo? Why is no one other than Carl in Jerusalem even mentioning that as a possibility?

And second, from the standpoint of pure American interests, why is the United States granting Fulbright scholarships to Gazans, while the murderers who killed three of its own personnel who were on their way to interview potential Gazan Fulbright scholars remain at large? That question already has two answers. The US could care less about its own personnel. And the murderers of the US personnel were 'good terrorists' from Fatah and not 'bad' ones from Hamas. Follow the five links above and you'll see the whole story.


At 3:35 PM, Blogger VinceP1974 said...

Like there aren't enough radical Muslims in our colleges.

This adminsistration sickens me

At 3:51 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 5:18 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The larger question unaddressed here is why Israel feels compelled to provide her enemy with an education. I don't see where that's an entitlement to provide it to people bent on your destruction. Israel should have said "NO" to Washington and told them to take the matter up with Egypt. And too, there's the State Department's penchant for wanting Islamists to get a better education. Seven years after 9/11, they've learned nothing at Foggy Bottom, including Clueless Condi. All of the 9/11 terrorists had a full Western education but that did not stop them from lashing out at America in destructive fury. A more educated monster is still a monster. Carl - not that they will ever admit it in either Jerusalem or Washington.

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