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Sunday, May 31, 2009

US financing terrorism

Writing in Friday's Washington Times, Joel Mowbray reports on a GAO audit that indicates that the United States taxpayer continues to finance 'Palestinian' terrorism through its support of UNRWA and USAID (Hat Tip: Power Line).
The GAO report, requested in part because of congressional concerns over reporting by this journalist in The Washington Times, indicates that the State Department has dropped the ball on overseeing UNRWA. For example, existing U.S. law requires that UNRWA take "all possible measures" to prevent assistance from going to anyone who has engaged in any terrorist activity. The department, however, "has not defined the key term 'all possible measures' or defined nonconformance."

Some of GAO's recommendations are comically simple, such as "establishing criteria to evaluate UNRWA's efforts." Others are so obviously necessary that it's shocking they haven't been required all along, such as "screening the names of UNRWA contractors against lists of individuals and entities of concern to the United States."

Leading congressional efforts to prevent U.S. taxpayer money from flowing to terrorists or their propaganda has been Rep. Steven R. Rothman, New Jersey Democrat. Earlier this year, he introduced a resolution calling for UNRWA to put its textbooks on the Internet for public inspection and for the United States to screen the agency's payroll for terrorists.

His ultimate goal, he explains, is simple: "Not one penny of U.S. taxpayer dollars should go either directly or indirectly to anyone associated with Hamas or any other terrorist organization. Nor should any go to terrorist propaganda in classrooms."


However, changing the law alone is not enough. Judging by current procedures, the State Department seems intent on not enforcing the laws passed by Congress.

Lawmakers have dictated repeatedly and explicitly that no U.S. taxpayer funds can go to any organization that has even "advocated" terrorism - meaning no money should go to groups whose leaders have declared on Al-Jazeera or elsewhere that suicide bombers are "martyrs." This is not trivial. Figures who lionize terrorists and praise evil acts poison society and ultimately help cause more terrorism.

The State Department's bar that contractors and aid recipients must clear is much lower. Even under the most thorough vetting the department conducts, essentially only people who have actively participated in terrorism would be declared ineligible. It appears the department hasn't even bothered to think of a way to determine which people trying to receive U.S. taxpayer dollars have advocated terrorism.
It has long been known that UNRWA knowingly hires terrorists [pdf link]. In UNRWA union elections in March, Islamists won all eleven seats in the teacher's union. In March, it was also reported that UNRWA was using a bank that had been sanctioned by the United States for money laundering. And in February, UNRWA transmitted a letter from Hamas to Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John F. Kerry.

UNRWA has long since outlived its usefulness. All it does is perpetuate the myth that 'Palestinian refugees' will 'return' to the homes that their great grandparents abandoned in Israel. UNRWA has resisted efforts to find 'Palestinians' permanent housing. It's time for it to be dismantled.


At 4:52 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Carl - you have no argument from me about UNRWA. But the prospects of it ever being dismantled are about as good as the Palestinians ever recognizing Israel. We'll just have to put up with it even though the world would be better served by its disappearance.


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