MILLER: Making Americans complicit in terrorism

U.S. money for Palestinians now funds Hamas

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Etched into the American psyche is the carnage of terrorism. From the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and the Boston Marathon bombing to images seen almost daily from the Middle East and Africa, reasonable people agree there is no place for such brutality in the civilized world.

If you’re with the Obama administration, though, you’ve redefined terrorism and are rewarding and funding the terrorist mindset with taxpayer dollars.

Get used to hearing about the Palestinian Unity Government, a “technocratic” government, which Dictionary.com defines as “a theory or system of society according to which government is controlled by scientists, engineers and other experts.” Christians United for Israel offers a more realistic description: “bureaucrats with (supposedly) no blood on their hands.”

The dictionary definition is being used as the rationale by the administration to fund the new Palestinian government that has recently partnered with Hamas, a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization. The Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006 was signed into law to prevent the Palestinians from using their annual $500 million U.S. taxpayer-funded allotment to promote terrorism. Concerns about funding Hamas were serious enough that the terrorist group was singled out in the resolution: “To urge members of the international community to avoid contact with and refrain from supporting the terrorist organization Hamas until it agrees to recognize Israel, renounce violence, disarm, and accept prior agreements, including the Roadmap.”

When you’re used to breaking the rules — bypassing Congress and the Constitution — what’s a half-billion dollars in the hands of the same people who Secretary of State John F. Kerry implicated recently in the kidnapping of three teenagers in Israel, including a 16-year-old U.S citizen?

American taxpayers are funding hate.

Even before Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reached agreement with Hamas, the Palestinian Authority was rewarding terrorism and other violent acts, including murder, with the hard-earned money from American families.

According to the Palestinian daily publication Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, families of convicted terrorists receive $862 a month. That is about 10 percent more than the average salary of a Palestinian civil servant. Last year, the Palestinian Authority awarded more than $60 million to convicted terrorists and their families. More than $9 million went to bonus payouts to newly released Palestinians (brokered by the United States) — approximately $50,000 each.

In what could have passed for a “Saturday Night Live” sketch, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki’s answers to questions from The Associated Press’ Matt Lee earlier this month could be construed as the administration dismissing rocket attacks against Israeli civilians as tolerable. This must have reassured the Palestinian Unity Government that it can pursue terrorist activities without fear of losing its U.S. taxpayer funded allowance.

Mr. Lee asked if the latest rocket attacks will “have any bearing on your decision to work with the unity government and continue to provide assistance to it.” Ms. Psaki responded, “It does not. Obviously, we’re concerned about it, and we condemn it in the strongest terms. But his — President Abbas’ ability to impact these type of attacks is really severely limited at this point in time.”

Mr. Lee also asked, “How many more rocket attacks do there have to be before you decide that we made a mistake?” Ms. Psaki explained, “Well, again, Matt, you’re familiar, I’m sure, with what the criteria are for delivering assistance.”

Despite bipartisan agreement becoming a pipe dream in Washington, both sides of the aisle are concerned with the administration support of the Palestinian Unity Government and violations pertaining to the “criteria for delivering assistance,” noted by Ms. Psaki.

Sens. Benjamin L. Cardin, Maryland Democrat, and Susan Collins, Maine Republican, have written a letter to the president, signed by a supermajority of 88 senators, stating that there are “consequences as to U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority as provided for in the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006 and restrictions contained in the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2014, including prohibiting foreign assistance to Hamas or any power-sharing government of which Hamas is a member or over which Hamas has undue influence.”

Ms. Psaki can spin that all she wants. The fact remains the administration is putting U.S. tax dollars in the pockets of terrorists. This makes the American taxpayer an unwilling co-conspirator to terrorism.

Paul Miller is a contributor to the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity and principal of Pauliegroup LLC.

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