U.S. Aid Funding Palestinian Terrorism

hamasThe Tel Aviv-based Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center, representing 24 Americans living in Israel, filed a civil action lawsuit against the State Department last November claiming that the U.S. government is funding Palestinian terrorism in the West Bank and Gaza.

The plaintiffs, some of whom have been victims of Palestinian terrorism, “are fearful that the money that is going to the Palestinian Authority eventually winds up in the hands of the terrorist organizations that can be facilitated to carry out attacks against them,” Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, the director of the Shurat HaDin Israel Law Center and one of the lawyers on the case, told The Daily Caller. “So they find themselves in a very weird situation where their tax money is going actually to attacks against them,” she added.

The Obama administration, not surprisingly, has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.  It argued that the plaintiffs do not have legal standing to bring the suit – i.e., they did not suffer direct personal injury traceable to the actions alleged to be illegal. The Obama administration also argued that the courts have no business getting involved in foreign policy decisions that are inherently “political questions.” These are nothing more than pretextual arguments to prevent discovery of the truth whether the Obama administration is violating express congressional conditions on the granting of aid to the Palestinian Authority and for the West Bank and Gaza.

The plaintiffs are Americans living in Israel.  Some were physically injured by past Palestinian terrorist attacks. All of them face the daily danger of being the victims of more attacks by Palestinian terrorist organizations. They deserve to have their day in court to hold the Obama administration accountable for allegedly violating laws designed to ensure that U.S. taxpayer money is not diverted to those terrorist organizations.

The lawsuit, Bernstein vs. Clinton, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, claims that the State Department has failed to observe congressional safeguards, transparency, and reporting requirements in its funding of the Palestinian Authority and United Nations Refugee Worker’s Administration (UNRWA). In addition, the plaintiffs claim that the White House has not been complying with the regulations and reporting obligations governing presidential waivers which facilitate emergency funding to the Palestinians. As a result, the suit alleges, American taxpayer money has ended up in the wrong places, directly or indirectly supporting Palestinian terrorist causes.

Since the mid-1990s, the United States has given the Palestinians over $4 billion. During the last four fiscal years alone, average aid has been roughly $600 million per year. The Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are among the largest per capita recipients of U.S. foreign aid worldwide.

Last month, the U.S. State Department announced that nearly $500 million in aid had been unblocked for transfer to the Palestinian Authority, months after Congress froze the funds in late-2012. But the Obama administration has no way of guaranteeing that at least some of the money it plans to lavish on the Palestinian Authority won’t find its way from Palestinian Authority coffers to Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist organizations. That should be of concern, especially after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said during an interview aired last month on Russian Today TV that there was “no difference between our policies and those of Hamas.” Moreover, according to a report released by Palestinian Media Watch, a portion of the Palestinian Authority’s monthly budget, which the Obama administration is so anxious to fund, is used to provide salaries for Palestinians who have been imprisoned for acts of terrorism.

Additionally, the United States is the largest single-state donor to UNRWA, to which it gives more than $200 million each year.  UNRWA was originally set up as a temporary relief agency for the original refugees from the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.  It has morphed into a bottomless money pit to support their descendants, several generations removed—now comprising approximately 5 million Palestinians in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank, and Gaza.

In 2011, UNRWA’s total budget for its core programs, emergency activities and special projects was $1.2 billion. U.S. contributions in 2011 constituted approximately 25% of the total budget. Aggregate contributions from the Muslim world constituted approximately 15% of the total budget. U.S. contributions totaled $233.3 million for fiscal year 2012 ($125.4 million for the general fund, $103.8 million for emergency funds and special projects).

UNRWA claims that it screens its staff and contractors every six months for terrorist ties, but its terrorist screening list does not include Hamas, Hezbollah, or most other militant groups that operate in UNRWA’s surroundings. A former UNRWA Commissioner-General Peter Hansen admitted, without any show of concern, “Oh I am sure that there are Hamas members on the UNRWA payroll and I don’t see that as a crime.”

A group affiliated with Hamas, known as the Islamic Bloc, has controlled the teachers’ section of the UNRWA union in Gaza, enabling the Islamic Bloc to run its indoctrination programs in the UNRWA schools that U.S. taxpayers may be helping to fund.  UNRWA schools use classroom materials that glorify terrorists, and which contain maps in which Israel has been erased.

Against this murky background, the complaint alleges that the defendants in the Obama administration have “authorized, sanctioned, encouraged, and/or facilitated funding to the Palestinian Authority without imposing the controls and oversight mandated by federal statute… and allowed the Palestinian Authority to evade transparency safeguards mandated by American law.”

The result, the plaintiffs claim in their complaint, is to allow “federal dollars into the hands of Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (both recognized foreign terrorist organizations), the Palestinian Liberation Organization (a terrorist organization), employees of the Palestinian Authority who are barred access to federal funds pursuant to federal statute, and other supporters of terrorism against civilians who live in Israel.”

The plaintiffs are seeking a permanent injunction requiring the defendants to comply with federal anti-terrorism laws and cease all funding to the Palestinian Authority, UNRWA, and others in the West Bank and Gaza, until they can be sure that federal funds will not be diverted to support terrorism.

“Rather than defend the government’s foreign aid policy on its merits and provide proof that it truly knows where taxpayer money to the PA [Palestinian Authority] is going, the government’s lawyers are trying to dismiss the lawsuit on legal technicalities. They are saying that it is pure speculation that Americans can be injured by terrorism in Israel and that the issue of funding is a foreign policy power reserved to the US President and cannot be reviewed by the courts,” Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, the Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center’s director, said. “This lawsuit does not challenge the President and the State Dept’s right to conduct foreign policy nor fund the Palestinians. These plaintiffs simply object to the executive branch’s funding of the PA without oversight. It is a legitimate objection by two dozen Americans, who are the class of individuals Congress sought to protect through their safeguards.”

Unfortunately, the Obama administration will probably prevail in court because the judicial branch is generally reluctant to second guess executive branch foreign policy decisions and assumes that Congress’s oversight and appropriation powers will provide a sufficient political check.

Whatever happens to the lawsuit, Congress needs to step up immediately and investigate the Obama administration’s handling of U.S. aid to the Palestinians through bilateral and United Nations channels. It should hold hearings on whether its current oversight, vetting, monitoring, and evaluation requirements are being met or whether they need to be further tightened. It should assess whether it is time to scale back or end those Palestinian aid programs that are most vulnerable to abuse. Even one dollar of U.S. taxpayers’ money that is allowed to be diverted to pay for support of Palestinian terrorists because of lax oversight is one dollar too much.

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  • κατεργάζομαι

    Pondering the Koran, – The Holy Qur'an (the "Bible" of Islam) was inspired by Moohammed.

    No one knows his last name because Moohammed could neither read nor write. But one thing is for certain. It is the most violent and intolerant faith that has ever been presented to mankind!

    Over the last 1400 years, 270 million non-believers were murdered by Muslim jihadists.

    Islam destroyed the Christian Middle East and Christian North Africa.

    It is estimated that upwards of 60 million Christians were slaughtered during this conquest.

    Also, half the Hindu civilization was annihilated and 80 million Hindus murdered.

    Islamic jihad also destroyed over 10 million Buddhists.

    In other words, Islam is a killing machine.

    • Allie

      ahhh.. it wasn't just Islam that destroyed some (there are many middle eastern believers) of the Christian Middle East – SomeJews contributed when they returned to Israel after WW2. Many Palestinian believers suffered and were driven from their land, still living in refugee camps…

  • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK

    It is illegal, under US and international law, to fund PA terror and most of the funding is fungible – http://adinakutnicki.com/2012/11/01/pa-statehood-

    Case closed.

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/

  • Silver Gonzales

    Islam is assisting in destroying the US National budget but your DEVIL leaders are complicit in that.

    Bravo to frontpgemag. 4 BILLION to these varmints?? No wonder they spend their days throwing rocks. THEY ARE LIVING ON AMERICAN WELFARE.

    But this makes me sick and once again the American leader DEVILS ( be they have a D or R after their name ) are doing the bidding of their masters who want the world full of worthless US fiats and our brains full of chaos so we cannot think.

    Americans and Europeans will have to live like Israelis very soon when the populace demand that Muslims be deported. When that happens there will be more and more Boston explosions. Either the West is cleansed of Islam and their paid supporters ( politicians, journalists, bloggers) or the West is done.

  • Joseph E

    What is portrayed to western ears as 'Humanitarian Aid &/or Foreign Aid' for the 'West ability to carry its mission of security, developement & diplomacy' in the Islam World, IF such mission is compatible w/ political Islam interests, are in fact the Islam global policies of Dhimmitude commonly known under Islam rule, in such case, as the Jizya payment; that as prescribed in the Islam canonical books must be paid w/ disgrace & humiliation by the non-muslims, foreign, dhimmis states, gov'ts, ngo's, groups & individuals.
    In her commentary link, Adinak talkback (above) also explain how such foreign approach violate the state & international law of war.

  • Rostislav

    The peoples, who ought to be especially indignant after this revelation, are the former SS-mannen and our KGB veterans: why didn't the USA support their organizations as lavishly during the WWII and the Cold War? It is so unfair to finance Jihad enemies only! Rostislav, Saint-Petersburg, Russia

  • Chanameel

    Obama lead 50,000 muslim men in a Day of Prayer on the Mall in Washington DC in September 2009.

    They prayed for "The Soul of America". This occult rite was an act of "surrender" to Islam and

    determines the" future destiny of America." But they need to conquer Jerusalem in order to rule the

    world, and that is the reason why Kerry, Hagel and the rest of the crew are putting pressure on Israel to

    return to the 1967 borders. We have land there and will move our embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

    Thereby conquering Jerusalem for Islam and establishing a "New World Order." They need to accomplish

    this in the time frame of 2012 – 2015 respectively.

  • Rev. Roy

    4 Billion $$$$'s of Jizyah (Muslim tax). There is no other way to justify a nation (U.S.) financially supporting their enemies. NONE. WHY ?? Why can't/don/t the 57 Muslim Nations of the world support their own people ?? Why ?? And because they don/t support their own, WHY should the rest of the world. Here is the answer why…
    2 Thessalonians 2:11.."And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie":
    Mr. phsyciatrist, tell me another reason why the supposedly most able, intelligent, articulate politicians and world leaders continue to support those that are destroying them.
    Our "democracy" is about to became a "Theocracy" as Jesus the Christ prepares to return to earth and set up His kingdom to rule and reign for a thousand years with a rod of iron. No more the "babe" in a manger, but the mighty KIng of Kings and Lord of Lords. The Lion of the Tribe of Judah is coming. Are you ready ??
    If not, call on Him now.
    Rev. Roy…..<><

  • κατεργάζομαι

    RE: "The Obama administration tries to dismiss a lawsuit that threatens to expose how American taxpayers’ money ends up in terrorists’ hands. "

    Speaking of duplicity, remember Obama's previous comments about the Cambridge Police ?…..

    Who can forget President Obama's response to the supposed prejudice leveled against Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates?

    Barack Obama rushed before the cameras to publicly condemn Cambridge, Massachusetts police officer Joseph Crowley and insinuated that, due to the color of his skin, Gates was the target of racial profiling and victimized by 'stupidity' on the part of Cambridge Police's law enforcement.

    He sang a different tune this week….

    Obama's oily mouth speaks from both sides (and I don't mean a side of grits with gravy).

    • pierce

      Now, I have known that you are absolutely correct when you say he talks out of both sides.
      It has almost gotten to the point where you can not figure out what he is for, and what he is against.
      Well that is talking out of both sides is it not.

  • Lan Astaslem

    What makes this policy of giving the most barbaric and savage collection of knuckle-draggers a penny really sick, is the in your face reality that the world is now experiencing – the atrocities once limited to Israel and the Jews are now directed at all infidels. The whole world has become a jihadi's shooting gallery. Any and all kufars are fair game. Maybe it's exactly how lil barry wants it.

  • Horace

    It is beyond belief that the beaurocrats that administer thes monies, and their Congressional staff overlords don't know what exactly they are doing (the usual incompetence of government (politcal as opposed to merit based) employees being allowed for and set aside). The gullible dupes who believe that their government is honest and respectable are circling the drain to perdition. Saudi oil money is omnipotent.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    How can the terrorists get away with this, could thay have Islamist moles in the
    American Government, really, imagine our consternation, I wonder if
    Mullah Barak Benghazi Hussein Obama is involved, maybe him and all his crew…..William

  • FrontPgSubscr

    This is part of the problem, NOT part of the solution.

  • HiPlainsDrifter

    Feeding Islamic crocodiles only makes them bigger, not more compliant or manageable …
    Thank you Sultan…

    • Looking4Sanity

      It would be refreshing if we picked a side and stayed on it, wouldn't it? Playing both ends against the middle never ends well. You'd think the people we elect would be smart enough to know this. Alas, they are not.

      • HiPlainsDrifter

        When "we" elect folks ruled by political correctness, steeped in the promotion of multiculturalism, this "war" can never be won….

  • Allie Jane

    Firstly – much of western aid dollars are likely to be used by corrupt governments – this happens not only in Palestine, but places like Africa and Asia. That is why some people (not myself) advocate for no aid, because it doesn't help the problem. (I would personally advocate for money to be given to community development etc, not just generic aid to the government). Anyway, this is not isolated.
    ALso, this is VERY one sided, and demonises Islam, which isn't helpful. Israel itself only stays afloat because of Americas assistance of them, a massive part of that being millions of dollars in arms! Which they use to kill palestinians……
    ALso – Israel keeps the West Banks taxes rather than …so perhaps the mis-spent money works out equally….? Israel are not innocent in the war, and it is generally recognised that the US is strongly in favour of Israel, not Palestine, but we shouldn't begrudge the aid they do give to Palestine…even if it can't be %100 accounted for.

  • http://www.alarmcompanyreviews.net/ Thaddeus

    Amazing! Its truly awesome article, I have got much clear idea about from this article.

  • Nathan Pilson

    What a dumb post., Eveyone knows New York Israel elite mayhem. You treat Palestinians like shit.There is no terrorist groups,but the ones who wrote this article, support ,here in the U.S. and if you think people aren`t mad about The Government funding Alqaeda in Syria, killing Christians. Think again. You are about to find out. how so.Attacking Gaza was the worse mistake Israel ever made., it showed the world the ugly face of Jewish racism.

    • tickletik

      Eh. So many errors in your comment. First off, these Israelis gave Arabs in Gaza the right to self rule on the condition they would stop trying to kill us all. The first thing they did was to legitimize a terrorist organization dedicated to murdering every one of us. Then those animals decided to fire rockets up our asses for the next few years, at which point we decided to invade and kill a bunch of them. Even the British, who hate us more than you do agreed we conducted ourselves perfectly.

      But the truth is, it was ridiculous, Our government does all these stupid suicidal things because they have this fantasy in their heads that wretched dogs and scum like you will “love them”. What they dont understand is that a dog (like you) only loves power, and if he sees someone weak he will bark, and if the dog thinks he has enough other dogs with him, then they will attack of their target shows enough weakness in the face of their barking.

      What we should have done is flatten Gaza, tear the bulshit piece process to shreds, reaquired the West Bank, and nuked Teheran. Lets face it, we havent got anything at all to lose if we do it.

    • Moderator

      Jesus of Nazareth was born in the land of Palestine, occupied
      by Rome in the province of Judea, in the town of Nazareth? Jesus is a Palestinian..
      Israel is a fake occupying force that is growing illegally
      by invaders
      across the world and displacing true natives and relatives of Jesus…
      true oppressed… Israel is killing Jesus bloodline! Jesus was of the
      Palestinians Not sum Russian or polish or American immigrant invader
      disguised as a Jew… Israel Are the True Aliens (illegal immigrants)…….
      If Palestinians are Jordanians then why doesn’t Israel call
      them that???? When bombing Gaza and killing people in occupied territories, why
      does media Zionist and Israel controlled outlets call them Palestinian! Stop killing Muslims and return to your own
      lands go back to your nations of origin like Poland, Russia and America Go back
      home or live in peace in the Arab lands!.