Congress Has a Chance to Prevent Millions of Taxpayer Dollars from Going to Hamas

Every year, the U.S. government funds international organizations that support or cooperate with Hamas, not to mention others that simply ignore its crimes. Bonnie Glick and Richard Goldberg urge Congress to amend upcoming appropriations bills to put a stop to this:

Take the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for starters. This organization runs schools in the West Bank and Gaza that explicitly teach kids to hate Jews and of course Israel. Many of its staff members are members of terrorist groups such as Hamas. Its facilities are used by Hamas to launch attacks and build terror tunnels. Employees stand accused of celebrating October 7 and even holding some of Hamas’s Israeli hostages in their homes.

UNRWA does not submit the names of its staff, contractors, or beneficiaries to the U.S. for counterterrorism vetting. And so, despite funding UNRWA with over $1 billion under the Biden administration, there is no accountability in terms of who has access to that money.

The same goes for the International Committee of the Red Cross, to which the U.S. will send another $600-700 million this year as if on autopilot. This, while the Red Cross refuses to pressure Hamas to allow medical visits to the hostages it kidnapped, and after an apparent cover-up of Hamas’s use of hospitals as both terror base camps and holding centers for hostages.

It gets worse. While the Red Cross won’t visit Jewish hostages held in Gaza, its staff does visit Hamas prisoners in Israeli jails to sign them up for the Palestinian Authority’s “pay to slay” program—a policy that gives government benefits to the families of those who commit terrorist attacks against Israel.

Read more at The Hill

More about: Congress, Hamas, Red Cross, U.S. Foreign policy

Iran’s Calculations and America’s Mistake

There is little doubt that if Hizballah had participated more intensively in Saturday’s attack, Israeli air defenses would have been pushed past their limits, and far more damage would have been done. Daniel Byman and Kenneth Pollack, trying to look at things from Tehran’s perspective, see this as an important sign of caution—but caution that shouldn’t be exaggerated:

Iran is well aware of the extent and capability of Israel’s air defenses. The scale of the strike was almost certainly designed to enable at least some of the attacking munitions to penetrate those defenses and cause some degree of damage. Their inability to do so was doubtless a disappointment to Tehran, but the Iranians can probably still console themselves that the attack was frightening for the Israeli people and alarming to their government. Iran probably hopes that it was unpleasant enough to give Israeli leaders pause the next time they consider an operation like the embassy strike.

Hizballah is Iran’s ace in the hole. With more than 150,000 rockets and missiles, the Lebanese militant group could overwhelm Israeli air defenses. . . . All of this reinforces the strategic assessment that Iran is not looking to escalate with Israel and is, in fact, working very hard to avoid escalation. . . . Still, Iran has crossed a Rubicon, although it may not recognize it. Iran had never struck Israel directly from its own territory before Saturday.

Byman and Pollack see here an important lesson for America:

What Saturday’s fireworks hopefully also illustrated is the danger of U.S. disengagement from the Middle East. . . . The latest round of violence shows why it is important for the United States to take the lead on pushing back on Iran and its proxies and bolstering U.S. allies.

Read more at Foreign Policy

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, U.S. Foreign policy