Op-Ed: Is the US State Department Funding Terror?
Ari Lieberman, View from NYThe writer is an attorney and former prosecutor who writes on Israel military matters
Daniel Wultz was just another average American teenager. A Floridian native, the 16-year old was vacationing in Israel with his family in the spring of 2006. On April 17, 2006 Wultz was with his dad, eating falafel at a Tel-Aviv falafel restaurant when a “Palestinian” Arab homicide bomber set off a bomb that sent shrapnel, bolts and screws, tearing through the packed Tel Aviv crowd.
Wultz’s dad suffered a fractured leg, but Daniel wasn’t that lucky. He sustained massive trauma to his body. His legs were so badly damaged that doctors were required to amputate one and battled to save the other. Doctors then removed his spleen and then his kidney. On May 14, Daniel succumbed to his wounds, becoming the 11th fatality of the heinous crime.
No sooner did the bomb detonate, then a plethora of Palestinian groups came out of the woodwork to claim responsibility for the cowardly attack, as if the savages had something to be proud of. Among these groups was the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a group affiliated with Mahmoud Abbas’ “moderate” Fatah faction. The Islamic Jihad also claimed responsibility. A leading figure in the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades expressed satisfaction that he had killed an American and an Islamic Jihad representative expressed a similar sentiment.
Since the signing of the Oslo Accords, whereby the now thoroughly discredited Yasser Arafat undertook a commitment to renounce violence and terrorism, more than 50 Americans have been killed and nearly ninety injured by Palestinian terrorists from various Palestinian factions, including Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah.
Iran, Syria and Hizbullah facilitate these terrorist operations by providing generous funding. However, a recent lawsuit brought by Shurat HaDin, an Israeli civil rights organization has brought to light the disturbing prospect that the United States might be culpable as well.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of 24 Americans against Hillary Clinton and the State Department, alleges that U.S. money is doled out to the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the United Nations Refugee Worker’s Administration (UNRWA) without proper oversight and that the State Department has failed to adhere to congressional safeguards and reporting requirements. This, of course, raises the distinct and ominous possibility that monies allocated toward humanitarian efforts have found their way into the Hamas coffers.
Indeed, since the mid-1990s, the United States has provided the Palestinian Authority with more than four-billion dollars in aid.
Moreover, the United States is the largest single donor nation to the UNRWA, providing that agency with some four-billion in contributions since its inception.
In addition to the likelihood of misallocation of funds, UNRWA activities relieve Hamas of much of its civil responsibilities, allowing the terrorist organization to divert its efforts to arms procurement and militarization which it invariably trains on Israel.
Poor State Department oversight and misallocation of U.S. funds has resulted in a kafkaesque-like scenario, whereby U.S. taxpayer money is being used, directly and indirectly, to finance terrorist operations against U.S. citizens.
Congressional efforts to halt aid to the PA in response to provocative, unilateral PA actions have been stymied by the Obama administration.
Continued U.S. aid to the PA and UNRWA without proper safeguards and transparency facilitates terror against U.S. citizens and its allies. Why this absurd situation continues to fester is a matter that will hopefully be addressed through the legal efforts of Shurat HaDin.
It is, however, disheartening to note that the needless deaths of Americans did nothing to stir the State Department to act and that legal action was required to bring this most pressing matter to fore.