Tax Dollars for Terrorists
Will Congress stop Obama’s lawless material support to Hamas?

(Win McNamee/Getty Images, Dreamstime)


Andrew C. McCarthy

2. HAMAS achieves its goals through a militant wing, known as the Izz el-Din al-Qassam Brigades, and a social wing, known as Dawa (“preaching” or “calling”). Although these two components have separate responsibilities, the organization operates seamlessly, with each component working to achieve the overall objectives of the terrorist group.

3. HAMAS’ military wing is responsible for carrying out suicide bombings and other terrorist attacks within Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. These attacks have targeted civilians and have resulted in the death and injury of hundreds of individuals, including American citizens. HAMAS’ social wing operates as a social welfare agency, providing food, medical care and education to Palestinians in order to generate loyalty and support for the organization and its overall goals. HAMAS supports religious and academic institutions that facilitate the teachings of HAMAS and introduce its radical and violent ideology at the earliest stages of spiritual and educational development. This social engineering is critical to winning the hearts and minds of the Palestinian people and to creating a military and operational recruitment pool for HAMAS. Additionally, HAMAS rewards past terrorist acts, and provides incentive for future acts, by financially subsidizing family members of HAMAS operatives who are killed, injured or imprisoned, and ensuring that the families are revered in the community.

4. HAMAS’ social services are, in large part, administered by local HAMAS affiliated zakat committees and other ostensibly charitable organizations. “Zakat” or “alms giving,” is one of the pillars of Islam and is an act incumbent on all practicing Muslims. The membership of these committees and organizations consists of HAMAS members, operatives and activists. HAMAS’ social infrastructure is supported by numerous financial sources located around the world, including individuals and entities in the United States. Additionally, due to HAMAS’ substantial expenditures and the fungible nature of money, some of the money collected externally under humanitarian banners is routed to military and operational use, in addition to freeing up other funds for specific terrorist acts. Such uses include the provision of weapons, explosives, transportation services, safehouses, and job salaries for operatives.

The indictment goes on to explain that President Clinton designated Hamas as a terrorist organization in 1995. Moreover, under powers conferred by Congress in the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, President Clinton issued executive orders that make it unlawful to engage in financial transactions with Hamas, including providing it with funds, goods, or services.

After the aforementioned material-support-to-terrorism statutes were added to federal law in 1996, Hamas was among the first groups to be formally designated as a terrorist organization. It is, as the indictment asserts, “unlawful to provide material support and resources, to include currency or monetary instruments, financial services, personnel, transportation and other provisions, to any component of HAMAS.”

There is no exemption in federal law for government officials who provide material support to Hamas. It is just as illegal for them to fund Hamas as it would be for you.

It is already an abomination that $400 million per year in American taxpayer dollars have been going to the Palestinian Authority under circumstances where we are well aware that (a) plenty of it finds its way to HAMAS, which controls Gaza; (b) the “moderates” of Fatah maintain their own terrorist wing; and (c) the Palestinians would already have a sovereign state and peace if they would convincingly recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, convincingly renounce terrorism, and drop their absurd demand for a refugee “right of return” that would destroy Israel from within.

Now, however, the emperor truly has no clothes. Hamas is formally going to be a part of the Palestinian government that the president is pressuring Israel to negotiate with — even though Hamas does not merely deny Israel’s right to exist but is actively working to annihilate the Jewish state.

Is Congress going to continue standing by while the Obama administration supports violent, anti-American jihadists? Caterwauling is not a response, it is an exercise in fecklessness. As I’ve argued in Faithless Execution, the Constitution provides our representatives with powerful tools to counter presidential lawlessness. If they won’t cut off the funding for terrorists and they won’t even utter the word “impeachment,” what exactly do they propose to do?

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His new book, Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment, will be released by Encounter Books on June 3.