THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD PATH TO VICTORY PART 2
The Muslim Brotherhood Path to Victory: Part Two (of Three) Rachel Ehrenfeld
For the past five decades most funding to MB-affiliated organizations around the world – especially those involved directly in terrorist activities – has come from oil rich countries in the Middle East. However the MB Palestinian branch, Hamas, designated as a terrorist organization by the E.U. and U.S., seems to derive large sums of money from the EU, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), and even the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
In fact, the world community facilitated Hamas’ victory in the 2006 Palestinian Authority election, when it allowed Hamas to run under the name “List of Change and Reform.” In June 2007, Hamas took control over the Gaza Strip from the Palestinian Authority (PA).
Since then, despite repeated promises to cut off funds to Hamas, international aid organizations and many countries have continued funneling money to Gaza, purportedly for humanitarian aid, but more recently to fund the “Gaza Administration.”
Hamas’ rule over Gaza does not seem to be an obstacle to funding it. International aid organizations, the EU, and USAID, rely on the U.S. list of designated terrorists. The Treasury Department lists Hamas and its many organizations on its Specially Designated Nationals List (SDN). However, its list from January 6, 2011, named only the Damascus-based Hamas Diplomatic Bureau official Moussa Abu-Marzuk, as a terrorist. Incredibly no other Hamas leader was identified on the list – not even the head of the organization, Khaled Mashal.
In 2009, following Israel’s operation Cast Lead to stop Hamas & Islamic Jihad rockets attacks on Israel, the European Commission pledged at least $554 to Gaza in “humanitarian aid.” Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE promised billions more. But these wealthy Arab nations are known to renege on their financial aid to the Palestinians, including Hamas. Their promises get them lots of publicity, while they let the West foot the bill.
For example, an October 2010 Foreign Policy article reported that “Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, pledged $30 million for U.N. humanitarian operations in Gaza… the money has never arrived.”
However, UNWRA does not rely only on pledges. The UN agency raises money for Gaza through its Web site, with payments going through WorldPay (part of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group), the Arab Bank PLC in Gaza and HSBC in Amman, Jordan. Those funds come in addition to UNRWA’s annual budget of $400 million.
The London-based Palestinians Relief and Development Fund, better known as Interpal, was outlawed by Israel in 1997, and designated by the United States as a supporter of terrorism in 2003. Despite mountains of evidence, Interpal used a well-oiled propaganda machine (and apparently Gordon Brown’s Palestinian leaning government) to escape unscathed from a UK inquiry into its Hamas ties in 2009. An earlier investigation in 1996 similarly exonerated the group, despite its open affiliations with the Qaradawi-led Union of Good, an umbrella group of over 50 charities that funnels money to Hamas. The U.S. only designated the Union of Good as a terrorist entity in 2008.
The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) is another MB offshoot that operates throughout Europe from its base in Britain. Israel banned the PRC on December 27, 2010, because of its involvement “in initiating and organizing radical and violent activity against Israel in Europe, while de-legitimizing Israel’s status as a nation among the European community. For example, in 2008, the PRC hosted its sixth Palestinians in Europe conference in Denmark’s capital Copenhagen, featuring a video address by Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, and appearances by Raid Salah, the head of the Islamic movement in Israel, and the former head of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammad Akram al-Adlouni.
The same Danish leadership that allowed the PRC conference is now prosecuting Lars Hedegaard, the President of the Danish Free Press Society and The International Free Press Society.
PRC co-founded the European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza (ECESG), an entity established by MB’s European umbrella organizations, the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIO). ECESG helped coordinate the Gaza flotilla affair in 2010, which ended in some casualties and fatalities after members of another MB ‘humanitarian’ organization – Turkish Humanitarian Relief (IHH) — attacked Israeli soldiers who boarded to prevent the boat from breaking the blockade around Gaza. Israel banned the IHH in 2008 for its links to Hamas and the Union of Good, and recently asked the United States to follow suit. The Obama Administration is taking its time.
Dr. Madi Arafat
Dr. Arafat Madi heads both PRC and ECESG, which share office space and a telephone number. PRC’s leadership reads like a who’s who of Hamas and MB membership, including Zaher Birawi. Birawi is the former chairman of the MB-linked Muslim Association of Britain, a trustee of a Union of Good’s member organization, Education Aid for Palestine (EAP), and the current spokesman for George Galloway’s Viva Palestina, among other associations; Ghassan Faour, associated with Interpal; and Majdi Akeel, who was identified as a Hamas activist in the Holy Land Foundation case. The list goes on.
In spite of these radical associations, the ECESG website lists numerous supporters among members of the UK government and elsewhere. In January 2010, ECESG arranged for a 50-person delegation of current and former MPs and politicians to travel to Gaza. The delegation met with Ismail Haniya, the head of Hamas’s so-called political wing in Gaza, John Ging, the Director of Operations for the UN Relief and Works Agency, and others. Last year, PRC and ECESG head Madi reportedly discussed Israel policy in Gaza with the President of the European Parliament.
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld is the Director of the New York-based American Center for Democracy. She is an expert on terrorism and corruption-related topics such as terror financing and narco-terrorism. She has helped to change New York state law, when the Libel Terrorism Protection Act (pdf) was passed. Similar laws have been passed in other U.S. states, and a federal law known as the SPEECH ACT which was signed by the president in August 2010, follows the same principle – that First Amendment guarantees should protect authors and publishers against foreign libel judgments from countries with poor free speech protections.
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