REPORT: U.S. taxpayer dollars funding Palestinian groups glorifying terrorism

REPORT: U.S. taxpayer dollars funding Palestinian groups glorifying terrorism
AP Photo / Adel Hana
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Millions in US taxpayer dollars have gone to Palestinian groups that introduce children to convicted terrorists and treat those convicted terrorists as role models, reports an Israeli watchdog organization.

NGO Monitor released the report on Wednesday which states that funds sent by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) landed in the hands of sub-grantees who host programs that glorify convicted terrorists and portray Israel negatively.

The NGO Monitor report states, “A number of USAID sub-grantees ran programs that introduced children to convicted terrorists, presented convicted terrorists as role models, and publicly demonstrated support for terrorists and terrorist organizations.”

The report lists a number of various organizations with ties to Palestinian extremist groups.

One group the report listed as a recipient of the funds, Juzoor for Health and Social Development, received $2.13 million from 2013 to 2017 as a sub-grantee of the “Palestinian Health Capacity Project,” $600,000 from 2019 to 2020 as a sub-grantee of the Catholic Relief Services (CRS), for the Envision Gaza 2020 project and $3.9 million from 2016 to 2019 as a sub-grantee of International Medical Corps for Gaza 2020 Health Matters.

“Both prior to and during the grant period, Juzoor ran a program that arranged meetings between teenagers and convicted Palestinian terrorists,” the NGO Monitor report states. “In addition, its staff members glorified violence against Israelis.”

Juzoor provided funds to a Jerusalem Youth Parliament (JYP). In September of 2014, JYP “invited Rasem Abidat, a senior [Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine] member, to speak at the camp’s exhibition event.” A member of theMarxist secular Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Abidat was convicted in a Jerusalem court in 2001 to two years in prison and 16 months probation for the supply of forged Israeli identity documents to PFLP members seeking to infiltrate Israel.

During the September 2014 event, Abidat praised the program and said that the exhibition “emphasizes the need to stay devoted and stubborn and persist on our land, in our nation, and in our city Jerusalem, which confronts Israelization and Judaization.”

While JYP received USAID funds through Juzoor, JYP’s coordinator Mosab Abbas posted on social media, praising “Uday and Ghassan Abu Jamal, who murdered five Israelis in November 2014 assault on a Jerusalem synagogue.”

The Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has also received USAID funding and is set to receive approximately $24.5 million in USAID from 2016 to 2022.

NGO Monitor reported that CRS had funding interactions with groups that praised Palestinian terrorists which include the Save Youth Future Society and El-Amal Rehabilitation Society-Rafah.

On its website, NGO Monitor offered recommendations to address the problem of USAID funding being directed to groups that praise terrorists.

“Before approving grantees, USAID must conduct a thorough review of the websites and social media accounts of potential partners, including sub-grantees,” the group states. “This material should be reviewed to ensure that potential grantees are not tied to terrorist organizations, do not espouse or glorify violence, and do not promote antisemitic tropes and rhetoric.”

The NGO Monitor report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found “gaps in compliance for the vetting” that USAID sub-grantees were meeting antiterrorism requirements. The GAO said, “USAID provided pre-award training to prime awardees on antiterrorism requirements for sub-awards, but did not verify that awardees had procedures to comply with the requirements.”

A report published in January by the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-SE) revealed that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), an agency dedicated to providing relief to Palestinians, had distributed educational materials that referred to Israel as “The enemy,” glorified “jihad” and “martyr” and repeating the disputed claim that Israeli “Zionists” were responsible for a 1969 arson attack on the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

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