America First Legal Foundation (AFL), a national, nonprofit organization working to promote the rule of law in the United States, on March 16 filed a “Freedom of Information Act Request for Records Regarding the Biden Administration’s Efforts to Undermine Israel and Advance BDS.” The group, which believes “the radical left is using its power inside and outside of the government to destroy our country,” demanded “All records of or referencing the funding opportunity now designated ‘DRL Strengthening Human Rights and Accountability in Israel and the West Bank and Gaza.’”
This is not a joke. It appears that the US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) announced on February 11 an open competition for projects that enables “independent civil society in Israel and the West Bank and Gaza to collect, archive, and maintain human rights documentation to support justice and accountability and civil society-led advocacy efforts, which may include documentation of legal or security sector violations and housing, land, and property rights; understand and access the forums and processes available to take meaningful action in pursuing truth, accountability, and memorialization; and/or provide psychosocial support to survivors of atrocities.”
What an ally Israel has in America, why they’re so concerned about the Jewish State, they’re willing to pay an assortment of the worst anti-Zionist NGOs to besmirch it.
How much are Israel’s great American friends willing to spend? The total funding floor is $493,827, the total funding ceiling is $987,654. Just short of a million.
The deadline to apply is at 11:59 PM EST on Wednesday, April 13, 2022. If you hate Israel and need money to help express it, don’t be late!
The AFL’s FOIA Request includes a demand for “records sufficient to identify the person(s) who requested, authorized, reviewed, directed, or wrote the funding opportunity” described above. They also want to know each application for the funds that has been received, and all the records of the evaluation and processing of each application. And, naturally, they want “all records sufficient to identify the person(s) responsible for choosing the winning application.”
The AFL noted that as soon as the requested State Department records arrive, it will begin exposing the Biden Administration’s “activities and plans to divide Jerusalem and build Palestinian capabilities that it knows will be used for terror attacks against Jews and other Israelis.
“These activities and plans are part of the Biden Administration’s larger strategy to cripple Israel’s ability to defend herself against Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Palestinian Authority; to advance the anti-Semitic boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement; and to deter Israel from stopping Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
“America First Legal will not stand by and allow the Biden Administration to violate U.S. law and intimidate an American ally to advance its radical, anti-Israel agenda,” the group vowed.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told the Washington Free Beacon on March 10 that “this debacle shows, yet again, that the people setting Middle East policy for the Biden administration simply hate Israel. They genuinely believe that Israel is like apartheid South Africa and that Israeli Jews should be boycotted. When they think of human rights abuses, they don’t think Russia or China or Cuba, and they certainly don’t think Iran; instead, their smears are reserved and hyper-focused on the world’s only Jewish state.”
Cruz noted that the Biden administration’s nominee to head the DRL which is offering the grant is former Washington director of Human Rights Watch Sarah Margon. In May 2019, Margon mobilized 17 Democratic lawmakers who wrote Netanyahu asking that he halt the deportation of Omar Shakir, a US citizen and director of the Human Rights Watch office for Israel and the Palestinian territories. Margon told the Washington Post at the time that “taking a stronger or more vocal stance on Omar’s likely deportation would run up against their policy of having no daylight between the Trump administration and prime minister Netanyahu,” and added: “It’s unfortunate because in doing that, they are really allowing the growing democratic deficit to go forward without comment.”
In November 2019, Israel’s High Court of Justice finally ruled that Shakir’s work permit not be renewed and that he should be deported from Israel, because he is a long-standing Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) activist and his role at HRW had been to advance BDS and related anti-Israel campaigns. In response, Shakir accused Israel of “joining the ranks of Iran, North Korea, and Egypt in blocking access for HRW officials.”
Margon’s nomination has been stalled in the Senate for many months due to her anti-Israel activism and statements. Other State Department hires have lobbied for the Palestinian government and have been tied to the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, which wages economic warfare on Israel.