BY DANIEL GREENFIELD
Republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, & research purposes.
“A radio network run by the Islamic Jihad”
The Biden administration is once again attacking Israel while providing support to terrorists.
As Caroline Glick notes at JNS, “On Feb. 27, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) wrote a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken demanding the suspension of a U.S. State Department grant that was awarded to Fares Al Arab for Development and Charity Works in Gaza due to the group’s ties to Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorist organizations.”
“The State Department gave Fares Al Arab a $41,213 grant for “Developing Palestinian Journalists’ English Skills.” But as The Washington Free Beacon reported, Fares Al Arab issued a grant “to a radio network run by the Islamic Jihad … , honored a self-described journalist who belonged to the PFLP, hosted a press freedom event that featured a spokesman for the Islamic Jihad, and co-led a human rights training course with a convicted terrorist.”
“Issa demanded that by March 10, the State Department explain if it “knew the history of the group’s ties to terrorism,” “why the grant was provided if the history was known” and provide a complete accounting for the State Department’s decision to award Fares Al Arab the grant.”
While the Biden administration does this, it’s constantly attacking Israel’s new government and has seemingly moved to boycott Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and other members of the government even while it continues to meet with terrorists like PA leader Mahmoud Abbas.
On Friday, Channel 12 reported that the Biden administration will boycott Smotrich when he visits Washington to speak at an Israel Bonds conference taking place from March 12 to 14.
“If Smotrich was persona non grata before that statement, now after this debacle he is persona non grata on steroids,” Channel 12 quoted a senior U.S. source as saying. “No American official will meet with Smotrich. After he said these things, the phones in the offices in Jerusalem did not stop ringing,” he added.
U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price earlier this week described Smotrich’s remarks as “disgusting,” and called on Israel’s government to repudiate them.
No call on the PA leader to repudiate this.
Mahmoud Abbas, leader of the Palestinian Authority, the guy who’s frequently touted by both left- and right-leaning politicos as a moderate who wants nothing but peace with Israel, went on an shocking rant against the Jewish state and the United States in recent public remarks, ultimately unleashing a curse on President Donald Trump that went like this: “May your house be destroyed.”
But it’s not just the Biden administration that is trying to isolate Israel’s government. ZOA leader Morton Klein described a Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations meeting that failed to include Smotritch.
It is painful for me to report that the Conference’s directors violated the leadership mission’s purpose, by refusing to give podiums to the major elected ministers and Israeli leaders who are in the forefront of promoting Israel’s judicial, anti-terror and other reforms: Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, and MK Simcha Rothman, chair of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee.
The Conference’s directors’ refusal to have a session with these important current leaders on such critical issues – a form of “cancel culture” – was an enormous missed opportunity to learn from, ask challenging questions to, and exchange views with the judicial and anti-terror reforms’ originators.
In a published interview, the CEO of Jewish News Syndicate (JNS) Alex Traiman asked William Daroff, CEO of the Conference, why he refused to provide access to Smotrich, Ben-Gvir and Rothman “even though they are directly relevant to the issues the Conference is sure to address.”
Daroff gave another irrelevant response, that the Conference mission did not meet with “other party leaders” such as Benny Gantz, Gideon Sa’ar and Merav Michaeli. But none of those other party leaders is leading reform efforts, and none of them is in the present coalition government that overwhelmingly supports the reforms.
That boycott allows the opponents of judicial reform to continue misrepresenting it without allowing members of Israel’s government at the heart of the effort to properly counter it.