The Biden Administration Is Funding Efforts To Undermine Israel
As the Biden Administration continues its negotiations in Vienna toward a nuclear deal with Iran, which would directly imperil Israel’s security, it is also taking steps within the State Department to undermine Israel’s democratic legitimacy.
Recent reports show that the State Department has released a new grant opportunity, with potential funding of up to $1 million, to “strengthen accountability and human rights in Israel and the West Bank and Gaza.” As innocuous as that sounds, the reality is the State Department is going to use your taxpayer dollars to support work which slanders Israel and falsely paints it as an apartheid state.
This grant is just the latest in a long line of blatant anti-Israel bias among Biden Administration hires, particularly in the State Department. Sarah Margon, the current nominee to be Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor – the State Department bureau funding the grant – has shown support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement in the past. BDS operates as an antisemitic, corporate blacklisting of the Israeli state and its people, and is founded on the false, one-sided premise that Israel is actively oppressing Palestinians in the West Bank.
Elizabeth Campbell once worked as the Washington, D.C., director of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). UNWRA is responsible for running schools in the West Bank that indoctrinate Palestinians with blatant antisemitic propaganda, particularly in textbooks that are rife with anti-Israel bias. Campbell was recently appointed to the position of Deputy Assistant Secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. The Trump Administration put a stop to U.S. funding for UNWRA, because we understood that the program was only prolonging and intensifying the conflict in the West Bank by raising generations of Palestinians to hate Israel. Now, Team Biden is employing the very individuals responsible for overseeing these problematic anti-Israel programs.
Having individuals with such clear animus toward Israel helps explain why the Biden Administration seems so committed to undermining Israel’s legitimacy and security. Last year, the Biden Administration violated the Taylor Force Act by resuming aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA), knowing full well that the PA was still funding its infamous “pay for slay” programs. These programs held up terrorists who killed innocent Israeli civilians as “martyrs” and gave their families a stipend whenever they were either put in prison for their crimes or killed. Such funding incentivized acts of terror and, in so doing, made the conflict worse, not better. The ACLJ is in ongoing litigation against the Biden Administration over this program through our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit.
The grant now being offered by Team Biden is, sadly, par for the course for this Administration. While it rightly denounced Amnesty International’s sham report – which called Israel an apartheid state – by funding this sort of grant, the Biden Administration is advancing the same agenda which that report did: to encourage the delegitimization of Israel. Worse yet, Team Biden is going to use American taxpayer dollars to do it.
Such a program is to the detriment of American interests. Israel is one of our strongest and most important allies. It is a beacon of democracy and freedom in the Middle East, and our efforts should be directed towards championing its example and sowing good relations between Israel and its neighbors. This is exactly what the Trump Administration achieved with the signing of the Abraham Accords, historic peace agreements between Israel and its neighbors that signaled the beginning of a new era, one that would not be dominated by the fictional, oft-repeated narrative that there could be no peace in the Middle East without resolving the Israel-Palestinian conflict. We proved that this wasn’t the case. We proved peace could be achieved without being held hostage by the simplistic, false Palestinian victimhood story that human rights NGOs the world over cling to in order to remain relevant with elites who are disconnected from reality.
This grant should be seen for what it is, and American leaders in Congress should demand the Biden Administration immediately take it down. U.S. taxpayer dollars should not be directed toward the intentional delegitimization of one of our closest and strongest allies. The United States should always stand with Israel, and rightly recognize it as a place of democratic freedom, economic dynamism, and religious pluralism.
That’s why the ACLJ’s Government Accountability Project is reviewing steps we can take, including making yet another records demand to Biden’s State Department to find out what went on behind the scenes leading to this outrageous use of U.S. taxpayer money.