Phi Beta Cons

Fully Vet Foreign Fulbright Winners

Congressman Mark Kirk is, quite appropriately, flummoxed that the State Department has not used a new federal vetting process to screen three Palestinian Arab recipients of Fulbright grants. It is not mere common sense to ask, as Kirk does, that these students’ (study or teaching) affiliation with a Hamas-sponsored university, the Islamic University of Gaza, be explored? What plausible reason could State have for not using this process, the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Terrorist Screening Center, which has been instituted to stop terrorists form receiving development aid?

Is the department asleep? As noted in the New York Sun, it has been reported that:

  • Islamic U. was one location where a kidnapped Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, was kept after his abduction.
  • A raid on the university found stocks of rifles and rocket launchers.
  • An officer in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard taught a course at the university in explosives-making.
  • Israeli officials recently announced that two other of Islamic University’s Fulbright recipients would not be granted exit visas because their names were on an Israeli terror watch list.

Why is State so slow on the take? Does it fear being accused of “profiling”? At a minimum, students with demonstrated ties to terrorist-run organizations must be more greatly scrutinized.

Candace de Russy — Candace de Russy is a nationally recognized expert on education and cultural issues.

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