The White House Says It Does 'Extensive' Work To Avoid Funding Terror Supporters. State Department Grants Say Otherwise.

State Department gave $160K to a West Bank university that openly supports Hamas terrorists

(Olivier Douliery/Pool via Reuters)
October 16, 2023

The Biden State Department claims it conducts "extensive" due diligence to ensure recipients of taxpayer-funded grants do not support terrorism. But it recently gave $160,000 to a Palestinian university known as a hotbed of Hamas activity that praised Hamas terrorists as "martyrs" following their attack on Israel.

The State Department awarded Al-Quds University in the West Bank grants of $160,000 last year, according to records obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. The grants, which will fund programs for Palestinian entrepreneurs and "disadvantaged students" through 2024, are overseen by the State Department's Office of Palestinian Affairs. That office came under fire for calling on Israel to "refrain from … retaliatory attacks" after the Hamas assault.

Al-Quds University praised Hamas fighters in the wake of the terrorist group's recent attack on Israel, in which more than 1,000 Israelis have been slaughtered in the largest terrorist attack on the Jewish state. Al-Quds University said in a statement on social media that it "mourns the martyrs of the nation who died yesterday in the West Bank and Gaza as a result of this aggression."

Al-Quds has hosted numerous Hamas rallies over the years, leading the Israeli government and an American university to cut ties with the school. But that history has not deterred Foggy Bottom, which this week claimed to perform rigorous due diligence of all grant recipients. "All grantees sign terms of agreement agreeing not to support terrorism," a State Department spokesman told the Free Beacon.

It's the latest example of the State Department funding supporters of terrorist groups. Last month, the department awarded $100,000 to Al-Quds Open University, another West Bank school unaffiliated with Al-Quds University. Al-Quds Open University, which operates in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, canceled in-person classes in honor of the "righteous martyrs" who invaded Israel, the Free Beacon reported. The department gave $119,000 in grants earlier this year to two Gaza-based charities that have worked with Hamas. American taxpayers have funded more than $400 million in projects in the Gaza Strip since Hamas took over the area in 2009.

Al-Quds University's history can come as no surprise to the Biden administration. In a 2021 report, the State Department noted that an Al-Quds professor in an interview asked why the world "weeps" over the "so-called Holocaust." The professor in that interview also accused Israel of leading a "real, new Holocaust."

Hamas activities at the school have also been widely reported in the international press.

In 2013, Brandeis University ended a partnership with Al-Quds University after Al-Quds hosted demonstrators in black military gear who marched in front of banners depicting the likenesses of suicide bombers. Al-Quds's president blamed "vilification campaigns by Jewish extremists" for drawing attention to the event. Brandeis president Frederick Lawrence called the Al-Quds statement "unacceptable and inflammatory."

In 2014, masked Hamas activists carrying model rocket launchers demonstrated at Al-Quds University. According to a reporter who covered that event, the demonstration had the "full cooperation" of university authorities.

In 2018, Israel's Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, and Social Services revoked accreditation of Al-Quds because of the university's affiliation with terrorists. "I will not recognize a school that supports terrorism; we will tackle the shortage of social workers without the help of an institution that undermines Israel's legitimacy," then-Israeli labor minister Haim Katz said.

In December 2022, a Hamas official held a rally at Al-Quds University, where he warned that a younger generation of Palestinians "is coming like a raging torrent to liberate Jerusalem, and no occupier or invader will stop it."

The State Department did not respond to questions about the grants to Al-Quds University. But other elite American institutions maintain links to the school.

Bard College, a liberal arts school in New York, operates the Al-Quds Bard College for Arts & Sciences, with funding support from progressive megadonor George Soros. In March, then-Harvard University president Lawrence Bacow visited Al-Quds University to discuss joint academic programs and student exchange programs. Al-Quds's president attended the inauguration of Harvard president Claudine Gay earlier this month.