Did Palestinian children benefit from a recent event that was ostensibly held for them?
While on the surface, the fundraiser that took place last month at the Regal Banquet Hall in Pennsauken, New Jersey dubbed A Night For Palestine & Working Together So Kids Get Better: Middle Eastern Kids Fundraising Gala may have sounded like a worthwhile endeavor, a closer look at the players involved and the reality on the ground raises serious concerns.
The event was sponsored by Islamic Relief USA., which, according to a recent report by the Middle East Forum has — for decades — used humanitarian aid events such as this one to distract from its extremist ideology and links to terrorism, including to a group founded by al-Qaeda terrorist and “Bin Laden loyalist” Abdul Majeed Al-Zindani.
In 2016, the United States, agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service and Office of Personnel Management (OPM) put together a criminal case against Islamic Relief. In January 2018, the OPM confirmed the existence of a criminal investigation.
The Middle East Forum’s report prompted several congressional representatives including Ted Budd, Chuck Fleischmann, Matt Gaetz, Paul Gosar, Debbie Lesko, Barry Loudermilk and Walter Jones to issue a letter to the directors of the FBI, IRS and OPM which stated in part,
“As members of the legislative branch, we have a vital role in ensuring taxpayer money is not spent on entities that are subsidizing terrorism. If the United States Government has information suggesting criminal or extremist activity by Islamic Relief, it is critically important that Congress be informed.”
One of the special guest speakers listed at this event was Palestinian archbishop Atallah Hanna of Sebastia. Born in the Upper Galilee region of northern Israel, Hanna has a history of arrests on various charges of incitement and support for Palestinian terrorism.
On August 22, 2002, Hanna was charged with “suspicion of relations with terrorist organizations.” He has declared there will be no peace without ending the “occupation.”
This is a role model for Palestinian children who want to better their lives?
It is hard to imagine how any funds raised at this event will benefit Palestinian children who are cruelly manipulated by both Hamas, which uses children as human shields, and the Palestinian Authority, which constantly incites children to become martyrs, like in the following two examples:
“The families of the Martyrs and their relatives find themselves proud of the Martyrdom that their children achieved…sixteen 12th grade students succeeded…for death…Martyr is the path to excellence and greatness, and the path of those who know how to reach the great victory.” — WAFA (official PA news agency July 11, 2016)
“When the body of the Martyr reached his home, his closest friend looked for the Martyr’s mother and shouted: ‘We have brought you the groom.’ — Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 2, 2018
What Palestinian children need to better their lives and future is a regime change to one that respects and loves the lives of their children — not a fundraiser that will benefit the pockets of extremists who will continue to fill these children’s minds with hatred.