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Wednesday, September 3, 2003
PMW: PA NGOs Defy US - Refuse to Sign Anti Terror Document [And New Israel Fund?]

Palestinian Media Watch Bulletin
Sep. 3, 2003

PALESTINIAN MEDIA WATCH
phone: 972- 2- 625-4140 fax: 972-2- 624-2803
visit our website, click here: http://www.pmw.org.il
for further information, contact PMW Director, Itamar Marcus
material may be quoted, citing PMW as the source
subscribe free to PMW reports, details below

[IMRA: It would be interesting to know if The New Israel Fund would be
willing to apply the same requirement in its funding of institutions in
Israel that ""The beneficiary institution has not supplied, and will not
supply in the future, any material or other form of aid to any individual or
other body that is known or has any reason to be considered as a person or
a body that incites, plans, supports, or is involved in any terrorist
activities of any kind." ]

PA NGOs Defy US - Refuse to Sign Anti Terror Document
by Itamar Marcus

Introduction

The Palestinian Authority [PA] NGOs have defied the US, by refusing to sign
a declaration that they will not use USAID grant money for terrorist
purposes. This is a major challenge to the US administration, which sees the
elimination of Palestinian terror and terrorist organizations as an integral
component of US policy. The US has conditioned new funding agreements with
PA NGOs, upon their signing an Appendix declaring the funding will not be
passed on to terrorists. The PA NGOs are refusing to sign.

The Palestinian NGO opposition is universal, following a meeting of
representatives of many NGOs who unanimously agreed they would not sign, and
called for disciplinary measures to be taken against any Palestinian
organization that signs. The Palestinians called the US anti terror Appendix
"provocative" and called on the NGOs to refuse USAID, as was done during the
Jenin battle, rather than sign.

In spite of the significant sums of money given to the Palestinian through
USAID, the organization was maligned at the event, one speaker calling USAID
a "destructive" organization, whose purpose it to "damage" or "corrupt"
Palestinian organizations.

The following is the declaration that the Palestinian NGOs refuse to sign:

"The beneficiary institution has not supplied, and will not supply in the
future, any material or other form of aid to any individual or other body
that is known or has any reason to be considered as a person or a body
that incites, plans, supports, or is involved in any terrorist activities of
any kind." [Trans from Arabic, Al Ayyam Aug. 25, 2003.]

"Another appendix . includes the names of Palestinian individuals and bodies
that the United States considers to be terrorists, and therefore prohibits
any cooperation with them such as the Hamas, the [Islamic] Jihad, the
Al-Aksa Martyrs' Brigades, the Popular Front, the Democratic Front, etc."
[Al Ayyam Aug. 25, 2003.]

Organizations refusing to sign include the "Mizan" Center for Human Rights,
"The Red Crescent" and the "Federation of Sanitation Activities". The
refusal is based on the PA policy that refuses to see murder of Israelis
including suicide bombings as terrorism. The current opposition to suicide
bombings, as it is often stressed within the PA, is because of the negative
political conditions that make suicide bombings politically detrimental, and
not because suicide bombings are terror. Suicide bombings are defined as
"legitimate resistance" [See article below].

The organizations say they do not want to be "captive to the funding
conditions" set by the US.

PMW Background Info

As background it should be noted that USAID policy in the past has had
confusing components when in came to demanding PA compliance to US anti
terror policy. PMW reported in August 2002 that a PA school receiving USAID
funding was named after the terrorist Dalal Mughrabi, who had participated
in the murder of 36, including an American. USAID response at the time was
to cut off aid. However, the very next day the aid was reinstated, following
a PA promise to change the name. [Jerusalem Post, Aug. 11, 2002] However a
week later PMW reported that the PA was still using the terrorist's name,
referring to a ceremony in the Dalal Mughrabi school. [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida,
August 16, 2002]

The following are texts from articles that have appeared in recent days
showing the uniform rejection by PA NGO's of the American terms.

"Relations between the American Agency for International Development [USAID]
and the Palestinian civic organizations are undergoing a true crisis. The
American Agency has announced that its signature [granting aid] is
conditioned on agreements with Palestinian organizations receiving grants
[from USAID], and from [other] [American] non-governmental Private Voluntary
Organizations, upon the inclusion of the following Appendix:

"The beneficiary institution has not supplied, and will not supply in the
future, any material or other form of aid to any individual or other body
that is known or has any reason to be considered as a person or a body
that incites, plans, supports, or is involved in any terrorist activities of
any kind." [**Translated from the Arabic]

"Additionally, this appendix is connected to another appendix . that
includes the names of Palestinian individuals and bodies that the United
States considers to be terrorists, and therefore prohibits any cooperation
with them such as the Hamas, the [Islamic] Jihad, the Al-Aksa Martyrs'
Brigades, the Popular Front, the Democratic Front, etc. [Al-Ayyam
supplement, "Local Activities," August 25, 2003]

"Many experts and representatives of private institutions are warning
against signing the document, which includes the conditions imposed by the
American Development Agency, USAID, on funding Palestinian institutions.
They explained that the civic organizations are not political institutions,
and therefore the United States' demand lacks any legal validity, because it
is of a political nature. They also emphasized that it is important to stand
with the Network of Private Organizations which reject this document and to
prepare a memo that will be signed by the private institutions and published
in the press, and to take disciplinary steps against members of the Network
of Private Organizations who violate the accepted policy [by signing]...

"Senior officials and representatives of many institutions were present at
the conference that was held at the hall of the Red Crescent Organization in
Gaza. The director of the Red Crescent Organization, Dr. Chaider Abd
Al-Shaffi, stated: "The objective behind the message that was received from
this American institution regarding financing and aid is well known. The
basis of the rejection of the United States' request, is that our
institutions are not political..."

"[Abdul Aziz Abu Qaraya, said] the position against this document that is
emerging in the [West] Bank and in the [Gaza] Strip should be solidified,
because it relates to all of the civic institutions, including [political]
parties. The goal is to contend with this US provocation and its provocative
conditions. This provocation indicates a pro-Israel political position."

"The representative of the Federation of Sanitation Activities, Dr. Rabah
Mohana, stated: "From the experience with the [US] Agency for Development,
it emerges that we are talking about a destructive institution, because it
creates a link with salary and administration in order to turn the
organization captive to the funding conditions. The Agency for Development
is subordinated to the U.S. State Department, and it executes its policies.
In addition, it has no connection with private institutions, but in actual
fact the agency executes American policy in order to damage civic
institutions..."

"The director of the "Mizan" Center for Human Rights, attorney Issam Yunes,
stated:
"There is no legal basis for this document. This document should be
boycotted, including the local authorities, political parties and
universities. These institutions should reject this document completely, as
it puts them in great danger. We should publicize a list of any institutions
that agree to the conditions in the document."

"Amar Sheban, the economist, called for the adoption of the position that
was taken while the events took place in the Jenin refugee camp, when
American aid was rejected." [Al-Hayat Al Jadida, August 28, 2003]

"Yesterday the network of local Palestinian organizations conducted a
meeting of civic institutions. The subject was the problem of the conditions
imposed by the American Agency for Development USAID... following the
rejection by Palestinian civic organizations of this step, since it imposes
conditions upon funding of the Palestinian developmental institutions.

"The network and the committee emphasized the refusal of the institutions
[to accept] this appendix. They considered its content to be a clear
violation of the Law of Charitable Organizations and Palestinian Local
Staffs, section 1 of the year 2000, in which the institutions declared their
absolute obligation to implement all of its clauses. They stated that the
appendix in the joint agreement [with USAID] is a breach of the sovereignty
of the local Palestinian activities, which could diminish the ability of
this important sector to continue and participate in the development and
growth of Palestinian society.

"The committee and the network have made clear that the Palestinians have
declared, on several occasions, their sweeping opposition to terror - and
therefore the linkage between legitimate resistance and terror is considered
non-suitable to the Palestinian reality." [Al-Quds, 28th August 2003]
[Ed. note - All Palestinian terrorism, including suicide bombings, are
included under the umbrella of "legitimate resistance".]

"Needless to say, the signature of the Palestinian civic organizations on
this appendix will place them in a great principal and practical dilemma...
It is clear that the Palestinian civic organizations and the United States
disagree fundamentally in their definition of terror and terrorist
activities. The civic organizations distinguish between actions and
activities for national liberation and terrorist acts as the latter are
expressed through actions carried out by the forces of the Israeli
occupation, which are definitely a type of state terror against an unarmed
people.

"We believe that the American Agency for International Development needs to
reassess its decision regarding the signing of the appendix mentioned above,
especially while the appendix and its content create a precedent to
perpetuate the principle of conditional funding which contradicts the
principle of independent local action." [Al-Ayyam supplement, "Local
Activities," August 25, 2003]

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