American Aid May Be Financing the Taliban. It Shouldn’t Be

Since its retreat from Afghanistan in 2020, the U.S. has sought to continue providing humanitarian aid to the country’s citizens, who need it more desperately than ever. Dovid Efune and Benny Avni report that much of the money appears to be going into the Taliban’s coffers:

Last year the Taliban-controlled central bank, known as Da Afghanistan Bank, began posting on its Twitter account photos of pallets of an estimated $40 million in small-denomination Federal Reserve notes. They were packed in casings and sat at the Kabul airport’s tarmac. In the tweet, the bank thanked those who have sent the cash, meant to “help the needy.”

The photographed delivery was part of an infusion of cash arriving monthly at the airport last year. . . . A new delivery was expected this week. The Biden administration has “stonewalled” inquiries about $1.1 billion in humanitarian aid that has been spent “to support the Afghan people since the Taliban’s takeover,” the American special inspector-general for Afghanistan reconstruction, John Sopko, wrote in a recent report.

The son of the martyred sheikh Ahmad Shah Massoud—known as the Lion of Panjshir—a longtime American ally, Ahmad Massoud believes that cash deliveries to the Kabul airport come from America, and that they supply his enemies with “a lifeline.” Without them, “the Taliban will not survive,” Mr. Massoud says.

Separately, the United Nations humanitarian operation in Afghanistan is financed with money from the UN’s annual budget, nearly a quarter of which is funded by America. The UN sends cash to Afghanistan because the country’s central bank has been cut off from the international system. Hard-to-trace cash deliveries meant for various UN agencies and “partners,” however, go to Taliban-controlled banks, making it easy to finance Taliban pet projects and favored allies.

Read more at New York Sun

More about: Afghanistan, Humanitarian aid, Taliban, U.S. Foreign policy, United Nations

Universities Are in Thrall to a Constituency That Sees Israel as an Affront to Its Identity

Commenting on the hearings of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on Tuesday about anti-Semitism on college campuses, and the dismaying testimony of three university presidents, Jonah Goldberg writes:

If some retrograde poltroon called for lynching black people or, heck, if they simply used the wrong adjective to describe black people, the all-seeing panopticon would spot it and deploy whatever resources were required to deal with the problem. If the spark of intolerance flickered even for a moment and offended the transgendered, the Muslim, the neurodivergent, or whomever, the fire-suppression systems would rain down the retardant foams of justice and enlightenment. But calls for liquidating the Jews? Those reside outside the sensory spectrum of the system.

It’s ironic that the term colorblind is “problematic” for these institutions such that the monitoring systems will spot any hint of it, in or out of the classroom (or admissions!). But actual intolerance for Jews is lathered with a kind of stealth paint that renders the same systems Jew-blind.

I can understand the predicament. The receptors on the Islamophobia sensors have been set to 11 for so long, a constituency has built up around it. This constituency—which is multi-ethnic, non-denominational, and well entrenched among students, administrators, and faculty alike—sees Israel and the non-Israeli Jews who tolerate its existence as an affront to their worldview and Muslim “identity.” . . . Blaming the Jews for all manner of evils, including the shortcomings of the people who scapegoat Jews, is protected because, at minimum, it’s a “personal truth,” and for some just the plain truth. But taking offense at such things is evidence of a mulish inability to understand the “context.”

Shocking as all that is, Goldberg goes on to argue, the anti-Semitism is merely a “symptom” of the insidious ideology that has taken over much of the universities as well as an important segment of the hard left. And Jews make the easiest targets.

Read more at Dispatch

More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus, University