The U.S. finances terrorism by providing insufficient safeguards in the distribution of foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority and United Nations Refugee Worker’s Administration (UNRWA) according to a lawsuit filed against Hillary Clinton and other Obama administration officials.
Money Jihad has been making this point for years: why is it a crime when ordinary citizens send money to terrorists, but when the federal government does nobody bats an eye?
This lawsuit is about unlawfully disbursed aid to the Palestinian territories, but the same wrongdoing applies to U.S. negotiations with the Taliban. If you and I communicate with the Taliban and give them money in order to incentivize a certain behavior, we’d be in prison. If the State Department does uses taxpayer money to help bribe the Taliban to sit across from them at the negotiating table, they get praised by the foreign policy “experts.”
In either case, what federal officials are doing is providing material support—money—directly or indirectly to a terrorist organization in violation of U.S. law.
From Shurat HaDin on Nov. 27:
Hillary Clinton sued by Americans over funding of Palestinian terror groups
Federal suit alleges that the US State Dept violated the Anti-Terrorism Act, and abandoned Congressional safeguards, transparency and reporting requirements
Tel Aviv, Nov. 27, 2012: A group of 24 Americans living in Israel, including victims of terrorism, filed a lawsuit today against the US government over its funding of Palestinian terrorism in the West Bank and Gaza.
The civil action, filed in the district court of Washington DC, alleges that the US Department of State, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has ignored congressional safeguards and transparency requirements attached to US aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA). 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 of this non-compliance, US funds have been flowing to terror groups like Hamas, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Palestine Liberation Front.
According to the lawsuit, Americans living in proximity to these Palestinian terror groups are in the class of individuals that Congress sought to protect through the safeguards and regulations that the White House, State Department and USAID are disregarding.
The suit asks the federal court to review the conduct of the State Department and the safeguards on funds being distributed by USAID in its programs to the PA and to the United Nations Refugee Worker’s Administration (UNRWA) and seeks to suspend future American aid to the PA and UNRWA until all the Congressionally legislated regulations and reporting requirements are fully complied with.
The plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Norman Steiner of New York and Nitsana Darshan-Leitner of Tel Aviv.
Darshan-Leitner, the director of Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center, stressed that “once handed over, US funding of the PA and UNRWA is difficult to trace and the State Department has been lax in requiring the Palestinians to utilize bank accounts and other transfer methods that ensure transparency.” The founder of the Israeli counter-terror group added that “elements of the US Government, particularly the State Department and USAID, are breaking the law and must cease all funding of the PA immediately. US aid to the Palestinians is killing innocent people.”
Steiner added: “The American people are opposed to terror and do not want to fund it via their taxes. The ongoing non-compliance of the White House and State Department with Congressionally mandated protections cannot be allowed to continue.”
The United States Department of State, under the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act, is prohibited from providing “material support” to proscribed terrorist groups. It is estimated that since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, the United States State Department, via USAID has given over $4 billion to Palestinians, with portions of that funding illegally landing in the hands of terrorists. During the last four fiscal years, average aid has been roughly $600 million per year. Additionally, the United States gives approximately $200 million to the United Nations body UNRWA, each year, and during the fiscal years 2008 and 2009, UNRWA gave roughly $500 million of their funding to recipients in the West Bank and Gaza.
Under the Anti-Terrorism Act, the State Department is required to certify that the Palestinian government is committed to a peace co-existence with Israel before distributing funds, and ensure that no part of funding is used for Palestinian terrorism. The plaintiffs allege that these crucial safeguards, transparency obligations and reporting requirements are being negligently ignored.
One of the lawyers handling the case is Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, the director of Shurat HaDin, the Israel Law Center, which appears on our blogroll.