Funding Palestinian Terror
By: Rachel Ehrenfeld and Paul E. Vallely
Washington Times | Monday, September 26, 2005
The U.S. government has exempted itself — and gone against its established policy on terror, again — from requirements to stop terror financing by giving $50 million to the Palestinian Authority, which continues to incite and support terrorism and provide sanctuary for known and established terrorist organizations (Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, Hezbollah and al Qaeda cells). The Sept. 24, 2001, Executive Order 13224, calls for "Blocking Property and Prohibiting Transactions With Persons Who Commit, Threaten to Commit or Support Terrorism."
Pursuant to this order in June 2003, the U.S. Agency for International Development demanded that all U.S. tax-exempt organizations partnering with Palestinian NGOs obtain from the Palestinians an antiterrorism certification, which among other things guarantees that: "The Recipient has not provided, and will take all reasonable steps to ensure that it does not and will not knowingly provide, material support or resources to any individual or entity that commits, attempts to commit, advocates, facilitates, or participates in terrorist acts, or has committed, attempted to commit, facilitated, or participated in terrorist acts."
The U.S. government has exempted itself from these requirements by ignoring the PA's continuing violations of the agreements they signed to stop terror activities and incitement for terrorism, as demonstrated by PA Minister for Civil Affairs Muhammad Dahlan's Aug. 13 statement in the midst of the Israeli disengagement from Gaza. Mr. Dahlan stated, "This is a day for the people, so it can celebrate in honor of the sacrifice of the shahids (shahada) [martyrs/death for Allah]. The Israeli withdrawal was not an act of charity but is the fruit of the strong stance of our people over the years." (As quoted in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida.) This is the same Mr. Dahlan who, on Aug. 4, 2004, told the Guardian that all of the funds donated to the PA by foreign countries since 1993, a total of $5 billion, "have gone down the drain, and we don't know to where." In addition, the PA has not pursued or complied with the "Roadmap to Peace" requirements established by President Bush by eliminating armed terrorist organizations from within Gaza and the West Bank.
And the incitement does not stop with Mr. Dahlan. An Aug. 22 special supplement in the PA-sponsored "independent" daily Al-Ayyam, issued the Ministry of Culture's "Book of the Month," entitled "What Did Hanadi Say?" Jaradat Hanadi murdered 21 Israelis when she detonated herself in a restaurant in Haifa, and the "Book of the Month" is a collection of poems praising Hanadi's act and glorifying suicide bombing.
The PA does not stop at inciting against Israel — it also funds incitement against the United States calling for attacks against American soldiers in Iraq: "We say to the dear, heroic Iraqi nation, turn this incident [the accidental death of 1,000 Iraqis] into an opportunity for resisting the [American] occupation," said Yusuf Hum'a Salamah in his official Friday sermon on PA television on Sept. 2, according to Palestinian Media Watch. The PA fully funds PA Television, which daily spreads support of terrorism and preachers of hate against Jews and Christians. Therefore, another violation of U.S. policy and the using of U.S. taxpayers' money to fund Islamic radicalism. Yet, on Aug. 24, the U.S. Consul-General Jacob Willis and USAID Representative David Harden signed an agreement with PA Finance Minister Salam Fayad granting $50 million to the PA. The grant is dedicated to housing and infrastructure projects. The United States prides itself on closely monitoring how the money is spent; however, money is fungible, especially when given to the PA — as Dahlan statement to the Guardian demonstrates.
Even if the money is spent on the designated projects, funding the Palestinian Authority at a time when it continues to fund the publication of incitement against the United States does not make much sense.
Besides, why should U.S. taxpayers pay for Palestinian infrastructure while the PA itself still cannot and will not account for the billions it squandered away under Yasser Arafat? Moreover, we are witnessing, again, how the Palestinians — not surprisingly — are continuing to violate the agreements they just signed to withhold their arms, when they fired a Qassam rocket at the Negev town of Sderot as the Israeli troops were leaving Gaza. There was no condemnation from the United States.
On September 11, PA President Mahmoud Abbas declared that the synagogues left in Gaza would be destroyed. Shortly afterward mobs of Palestinians torched all the synagogues while the Palestinian police stood by. Unlike the Western world outcry following the destruction of the Buddha statutes in Afghanistan in early 2001 by the Taliban, the silence following the destruction of the Jewish synagogues by the Palestinians is deafening.
These omissions by the United States, while knowingly funding Palestinian terrorist groups, make a mockery of the U.S. "war on terrorism" and violate U.S. policy.
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