Since my post of February 11, stating that contrary to some reports, Hamas members are NOT flooding into the U.S. from Gaza, I’ve seen quite a number of articles either repeating the assertion that they are coming here or agreeing with our opinion that this is not what the presidential order is about. Today I came across a long, involved article at the Family Security Matters website: Determining the Intent of the Presidential Determination, by Frank Salvato. He seems to think there is a good chance the government intends to bring Hamas members here.
I’ll get to the really interesting part of the article in a minute, but I want to set out my criticism first.
Salvato’s argument is too long and rambling to reproduce here. But one thing he does is reprehensible. He slides from his argument about the president directive into a long discussion about the corruption of UNRWA (the UN agency in charge of the Palestinian “refugees”), and into another discussion about media bias, and back again, implying that anyone who disagrees with him about Hamas operatives coming to the U.S. is ignorant of the corruption in UNRWA and similar to the biased media. The connection is that most of the aid given through the president’s directive goes to UNRWA, and that the media have not done their job reporting accurately on UNRWA and on many other things in the Middle East.
Here is his conclusion.
Are the ramifications of President Obama’s Presidential Determination 2009-15 clear? No, nothing in the political arena, even in the United States…especially in the United States today, is ever clear. But an honest assessment of all the components related to the Presidential Determination, when considered in unison, present, not only the reality that there exists an opportunity for Hamas operatives to immigrate/re-settle to the West and United States, but the stark reality that the West – and the taxpayers of the United States in particular – are providing financial aid to an organization that supports the efforts of Hamas. To deny these realities and the possibilities that they conjure is to be perilously naïve.
So after all those words, he admits there is no compelling proof that Hamas operatives are settling here, only that it is unclear, but you have to believe they are coming because if you deny it you’re as much of an idiot as those who don’t realize UNRWA is joined at the hip to Hamas.
We’ve written extensively about UNRWA’s connections to Hamas; our search results for “UNRWA” are here. We’re not naive about UNRWA’s support of terrorism. But I’m not convinced the presidential directive was meant to open the floodgates to Hamas.
But here’s Part Two.
My eye was caught by a name I know being quoted in the article. As Salvat0 describes him:
Howard Linett, a member of the Suicide/Homicide Bomber Tactical Analysis Focus Group of the National Terrorism Preparedness Institute & the Technical Support Working Group of the US Department of Homeland Security, a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a Sergeant-Major and sniper instructor in the Israeli Police Civil Guard, in writing from his home in Jerusalem, Israel….
Howard is an old friend of our family, and as credible and knowledgeable as can be. His first quote is about Hamas’s stealing humanitarian aid, which we know about. I like his description: “the anti-Robin Hoods, stealing from the poor to give to political supporters.”
But it’s his next quote that took me aback. He connects the possibility of Hamas supporters coming to the U.S. with the current push by the Israeli government to get Hamas to release Israeli prisoner Gilad Shalit through a prisoner swap. The number of terrorists to be released is said to be between 400 and 1,000.
Those same media sources report that Israel is demanding that the terrorists to be exchanged for Gilad Shalit not be allowed to return to either the Gaza Strip or the West Bank. Nor does Israel want to release the terrorists into the custody of some country that will warmly embrace them, anoint them heroes and allow them to return to their terrorist ways.
So what is to be done? Well…
$20.3 million for ‘Urgent Refugee Relief and Migration Needs related to Gaza’ thrown at the thorny problem might provide for a ‘temporary solution,’ and allow a new American Administration to claim it is administering defibrillation to a moribund peace process.
Not just Hamas operatives, but terrorists from Israeli prisons? I called up Howard Linett in Jerusalem to ask him if he really thought this is what the presidential directive is about. He told me, “If I didn’t think there was some possibility I wouldn’t have said it.” It would give the Obama administration great credibility to solve the problem of how to get Gilad Shalit released. They could claim credit for re-starting the “peace process.”
But is it likely? “No.”
What’s interesting to me is how easy it is to believe the most far-out things about Obama and his administration. That’s why the story of Obama opening the floodgates to Hamas has circulated so widely. It’s credible. We don’t know his motives at all. His real beliefs have always been hidden, and they remain so. I got an email a couple of weeks ago about Obama’s having changed the oath of the armed services to pledge loyalty to him personally. It was a satire someone had written. But credible to many people, because we have no evidence he wouldn’t do that.
So if you want to say Obama could use the directive to bring in Hamas operatives, well, theoretically he could. Though I don’t know why he’d need to use this particular fund for it; there’s plenty of other government money floating around, and if Obama uses the fund to bring in terrorists, he won’t get credit for sending humanitarian aid to Gaza. Further, he was apparently taken aback by the strong public reaction to his order to close the terrorist prison at Guantanamo; we don’t want released terrorist prisoners wandering around America, whether al-Qaeda or Hamas, so it wouldn’t be easy to sneak them in without an outcry.
Until I see more solid evidence than I’ve seen so far, I’ll spend my hysteria quota on other things Obama is doing, like causing the economy to collapse around us.