February 13, 2009, - 1:22 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
I’m getting sick and tired of receiving a couple of phony stories readers keep sending me, which simply aren’t true. I love how certain so-called terrorism experts can’t even read. And others, well, they’re just flat-out wrong.
So, in that vein, I have to answer a couple of alleged stories in today’s edition of MYTHS & FACTS.
* MYTH: The False Story that President Obama Gave $20 Million to Bring Palestinian Refugees and HAMAS terrorists to the U.S.
FACT: This phony story has been repeated, regurgitated, and otherwise hacked to death by a number of people who call themselves terrorism experts, some well-known conservatives, and some mid-level bloggers. (I’m not going to name names, lest I embarrass people who didn’t do their homework or even a cursory, basic fact-check.)
The thing is, it’s JUST NOT TRUE. As much as I don’t like Barack Obama and his far-left Mid-East policy, he’s not giving $20 million of our tax money to bring Palestinians to America. He is, indeed, giving them $20.3 million (and will give them far more very soon). And that’s cause enough for concern. But the money is for aid to HAMASastan, not for bringing them here.
Those who claim this BS keep citing an Executive Order and Federal Register entry, which reflects the United States’ latest dumb contribution to UNRWA–the United Nations Relief and Works Agency. I’ve written and spoken about UNRWA many times. It’s the U.N. agency that was set up to deal exclusively with Palestinian so-called refugees, instead of grouping them with all other refugees (who fall under UNHCR–the U.N. High Commission on Refugees). UNRWA is basically a HAMAS cesspool that pays to train and propagandize terrorists from cradle to grave.
I’m opposed to paying the $20 million plus in “emergency aid” to UNRWA–which was given to help the Palestinians in HAMASastan for their “suffering” after they got temporary retribution for sending rockets over Gaza. And that’s what this money is for. It is NOT, as keeps being falsely reported by people who should know better, money that is to bring HAMAS terrorists and other Palestinians to America.
Don’t get me wrong–plenty of Palestinians continue to come here–as they did during 8 years of President Bush increasing their numbers here–but that has nothing to do with this $20 million.
Below is the text of the order. As you’ll note, it says not a thing about bringing Palestinians to America. It’s specifically aid allocated to go through the State Department, as all budgeted American donations to UNRWA are.
That’s bad enough. We don’t need phony terrorism experts and conservative commentators lying about what it says to embellish it.
Again, the money is UNRWA aid to the Palestinians in Gaza. It’s not to bring them here (though some will surely end up here, regardless of the $20 mill). In the past, I’ve written about programs and aid to bring Islamic refugees (like the Hezbollah ones from Lebanon) to the U.S. This is NOT one of those cases. Palestinian activists in America are trying to get tax money and a special program to bring them here. So far, they haven’t been successful as a group in doing so (though I’m sure plenty will come here on their own and try to stay; they’ve been doing for the last eight years and decades before that).
Presidential Determination No. 2009-15 of January 27, 2009
Unexpected Urgent Refugee and Migration Needs Related To Gaza
Memorandum for the Secretary of State
By the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, including section 2(c)(1) of the Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1962 (the “Act”), as amended (22 U.S.C. 2601), I hereby determine, pursuant to section 2(c)(1) of the Act, that it is important to the national interest to furnish assistance under the Act in an amount not to exceed $20.3 million from the United States Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund for the purpose of meeting unexpected and urgent refugee and migration needs, including by contributions to international, governmental, and nongovernmental organizations and payment of administrative expenses of Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration of the Department of State, related to humanitarian needs of Palestinian refugees and conflict victims in Gaza.
* MYTH: The Phony Claim That the FBI Cut Off All Ties to CAIR Back in August and isn’t meeting with CAIR anymore.
FACT: Yes, the FBI sent out a letter it released to the public, in which it instructs its local offices to cease relations with the Council on American-Islamic Relations. But it’s a public relations ploy, for which FOX News and many others fell.
In fact, the FBI continues to consult with and have regular, pandering meetings with CAIR officials all over the country, including in Michigan, Santa Clara, and most other places where CAIR is active.
Typically, the FBI doesn’t release letters, like the one they sent out regarding CAIR, unless it was meant for public consumption in the first place. But it’s phony, and the FBI knows that it continues to hang with the extremists at CAIR. They just don’t publicize it.
I know that “terrorism expert” Steven Emerson and his Investigative Project have been touting this alleged ceased relationship between CAIR and the FBI. That’s because they need something to trumpet, since Steve has had no new terrorism information or intelligence since before 9/11, just before the real terrorism expert who worked for him, Rita Katz, quit working for him. And he needs something to show for the money he continues to seek from donors, while falsely pleading poverty (he still has yet to file a publicly available tax return to show the millions his organization has in the bank; CAIR still remains more transparent and open in its record-keeping than the suspect Emerson and his organization).
And that’s why Steven Emerson keeps the focus on this alleged FBI cutting of ties with CAIR, for which he takes credit, and which actually didn’t happen. He has nothing else newto show donors for the last seven years. So, he’s gotta claim this.
Unfortunately, though, CAIR personnel are still meeting with FBI agents. And that’s a fact. There’s nothing to celebrate here.
(Read more on Steven Emerson.)