Jim Kouri
Islamic terrorists receiving U.S. aid earmarked for Palestinians
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By Jim Kouri
May 22, 2009

aEach year, the Palestinian Authority is given more than a billion dollars in aid. The United States alone last year gave them $575 million of US taxpayers' money to people who siphoned off millions of dollars and left scraps for the Palestinian people living in poverty. During his reign, Yasser Arafat alone stole millions of dollars and stashed the money in Swiss bank accounts. And the world — including the US — looked the other way at best, or winked at Arafat's larceny at worst.

The enormous thievery of the leadership provided these very same Palestinian leaders with a twofold bonanza: they got to keep millions of dollars for themselves; and they kept their people in abject poverty while directing their resentment and hatred towards the Jewish nation and the United States. For instance, while the late Yasser Arafat's wife lived like a queen in Paris, babies in Gaza and the West Bank suffered from malnutrition and disease and Arafat would tell the parents of these infants that it was Israel's and the US' fault.

And the US government has always been aware of this scenario, yet each year the US continues to fork over more than a quarter-billion dollars of taxpayer money to ingrates, bandits, and Islamofascists.

Meanwhile, many lawmakers are urging the President not to discontinue financial and other aid to the Palestinians, the rationale being that to do so will cause suffering to innocent people who are not terrorists and not responsible for the failings and atrocities of their leaders. If only it were so. The fact of the matter is people are — and should be — held responsible and accountable for the government they elect.

Now under President Barack Obama, United States aid for Palestinians — especially taxpayers cash — falling into the hands of Hamas or Hezbollah to be used to purchase weapons continues to be a primary concern for many American officeholders and citizens.

The U.S. government is one of the largest donors to Palestinians. It provided nearly $575 million in assistance in fiscal year 2008. This assistance is provided through the U.S. Agency for International Development and through contributions to international organizations, primarily the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

The Department of State oversees U.S. contributions to UNRWA. To help ensure that U.S. funds for these programs are not provided to individuals or entities engaged in terrorist activities, USAID and State must comply with restrictions under U.S. law.

The Government Accounting Office was asked by the U.S. Congress to assess the extent to which USAID has complied with its antiterrorism policies and procedures, and to assess the Department of State's and UNRWA's policies and procedures to support conformance with U.S. statutory conditions. The GAO reviewed U.S. and UNRWA documents; interviewed USAID, State Department, and UNRWA officials; and conducted fieldwork in Israel, Jerusalem, and Jordan.

USAID strengthened its antiterrorism policies and procedures and complied with them in making new prime awards, but had weaknesses related to compliance at the sub-award level. (Author's Note: "Prime awardee" refers to an organization that directly receives USAID funding to implement projects. "Sub-awardee" refers to an organization that receives funding from prime awardees.)

USAID strengthened its policies and procedures in response to our 2006 recommendations by, for example, strengthening its vetting process, which involves investigating a person or entity for links to terrorism. Since 2006, USAID has instituted new procedures to monitor prime awardee compliance with antiterrorism requirements, which have allowed it to take some actions to address areas of concern.

The agency has hired a specialist who reviews prime awardees' sub-award files for compliance with its antiterrorism policies. All 32 new prime awards made by USAID in fiscal year 2008 included all applicable clauses. USAID obtained the applicable antiterrorism certifications and conducted required vetting for all applicable new prime awards.

For a random sample of fiscal year 2008 sub-awards, applicable antiterrorism certifications were obtained and vetting was conducted. However, an estimated 17 percent of sub-awards had insufficient evidence to assess compliance related to mandatory clauses. For the remaining sub-awards, an estimated 5 percent did not contain the mandatory clauses at the time of the award.

The GAO also found limitations in the agency's monitoring of sub-awards for inclusion of mandatory clauses. Since 2003, State and UNRWA have strengthened policies and procedures to conform with conditions on U.S. contributions to UNRWA, but weaknesses remain.

Section 301(c) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, prohibits U.S. contributions to UNRWA except on the condition that UNRWA take all possible measures to assure that no part of the U.S. contribution shall be used to furnish assistance to, among others, any refugee who has engaged in any act of terrorism.

UNRWA agreed to conform to conditions on U.S. contributions, but the State Department has not established criteria to determine whether UNRWA's actions are consistent with this agreement.

While the State Department has not defined the key term "all possible measures" or defined nonconformance, it has strengthened some policies and procedures to oversee UNRWA's conformance. UNRWA has strengthened policies and procedures to promote neutrality of its beneficiaries, staff, contractors, and facilities that cover a broader range of conduct than covered in section 301(c).

UNRWA reported denying approximately 110 applications for cash assistance to refugees since July 2006, because the agency found the refugees' behavior was inconsistent with UN neutrality or restrictions related to section 301(c). However, limitations exist.

UNRWA said it has screened all staff, contractor, and beneficiary names against a UN Security Council list of potential terrorists and found no matches. However, the list does not include Hamas and Hezbollah, which the United States has designated as foreign terrorist organizations. Finally, internal UNRWA audits do not assess controls for all cash assistance programs or whether contracts contain antiterrorism clauses.

© Jim Kouri

 

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Jim Kouri

Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police... (more)

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