The American Center for Law and Justice is asking the State Department for records related to former President Jimmy Carter’s Carter Center, to determine whether the activist organization channeled taxpayer funds to terrorist organizations.
Carter, whose support for the Palestinians’ ruling Fatah and Hamas movements is well known, may have violated federal law, according to ACLJ.
It is a federal crime to “knowingly provide material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization,” ACLJ explained, noting Hamas has been designated a foreign terrorist organization by the State Department.
Carter, a Democrat, was president when the U.S. sustained one of its worst foreign policy failures ever, the Islamic revolution in Iran and the hostage-taking of American government workers at the U.S. Embassy. The 52 diplomats, held by the Muslim Student Followers of the Imam’s Line, were released after 444 days when Republican President Ronald Reagan was inaugurated.
“The Carter Center has also been open about the fact that that it maintains close contacts with both Fatah and Hamas,” ACLJ said.
“While Fatah has made some attempts to legitimize its efforts, there is no question that in the eyes of many governments – including the U.S. government – that Hamas is a terrorist organization and that any aid rendered to them is aid rendered to terrorism.
“Therefore, the haphazard manner in which the Carter Center supports these groups cannot be allowed to continue. Nor can we continue to allow our tax dollars to be funneled to efforts that provide ‘material support or resources’ to terrorists.”
ACLJ’s Freedom of Information Act request asks the State Department if it is aware of “any support or funds the Carter Center provides to Hamas or the People’s Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP); both organizations having been designated as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) by the State Department.”
There are reasons for suspicion, the request explains, including that the Carter Center’s website suggests that Jerusalem, recently recognized by President Trump as the capital of Israel, actually belongs to “Palestine.”
The Carter Center says it “works both with grassroots activists and with high-level decision makers in its efforts to further conflict resolution, human rights, and democratic development in Palestine.”
“In 2005, the Carter Center opened a field office in Ramallah, expanding in 2008 to Jerusalem and Gaza. Building on this field presence and the continuous conflict monitoring conducted by Carter Center staff and interns in our Atlanta headquarters, senior Carter Center personnel travel regularly to the area to assess developments firsthand,” the organization says on its website. “These visits include meetings with government officials, members of key political parties, diplomats, civil society activists, and political analysts. In particular, center staff maintains regular contact with leaders of the two largest Palestinian political parties, Fatah and Hamas.”
ACLJ points out that the Carter Center, during 2015-2016, received $306 million in cash, pledges and in-kind gifts, including significant income from the U.S. Agency for International Development.
The request documents: “The Carter Center reported $4,512,313 in accounts receivable from the federal government, and $306,555,985 in total contributions and grants and $418,887,712 in total revenue and support, and end of year net assets totaling $715,497,064. It reported $30,133,185 in salaries and benefits. It reported giving $6,497,541 in 2016 grants and $8,249,006 in 2015 grants. It has a field office in what it calls ‘Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory.’
“Upon information and belief, the Carter Center provides support to both Hamas and the People’s Front for the Liberation of Palestine,” the submission states.
Both of those organizations, it notes, were designated as terror groups in 1997.
“Every year, the United States government gives money to charities that do work around the world giving aid to those who need it most,” ACLJ said. “Unfortunately, however, one of the pitfalls of this kind of generosity is that sometimes the money can end up in unexpected places, and if it falls into the wrong hands can be used for causes that otherwise go against our nation’s interests.
“Investigations from other groups and sources have exposed a very troubling set of circumstances: over the last several years the Carter Center – President Jimmy Carter’s non-profit in Atlanta – may have been diverting some of its funds to provide ‘material support or resources’ to Palestinian terrorist groups like Hamas. In doing so, the Carter Center has not only gone against American interests, but has also very possibly violated federal laws that criminalize the provision of ‘material support or resources’ to such organizations,” the group said.
While the center publicly pushes for reconciliation between Israel and the Palestinian people, it “consistently” favors the Palestinians, and “perceived anti-Israel statements on the part of President Carter have even led many of his long-time advisors to stop their work with him and publicly denounce his actions,” ACLJ said.
“We at the ACLJ maintain that anyone is allowed to think and say what they want, and that free speech is part of what makes a democracy work. But when that speech turns into actual harmful conduct – and especially when U.S. tax dollars are concerned – then the government needs to step in.”
ACLJ said it’s “concerned that the Obama State Department was ensuring the Carter Center was getting U.S. tax dollars, and that it has continued to this day through the deep state bureaucracy, while turning a blind eye to the Carter Center’s open ties with terrorist organizations and sympathizers in potential violation of U.S. law.”
WND reported 10 years ago a Michigan congressman wanted to cut federal funding for the Carter Center because of the former president’s trip to meet with leaders of terrorist organizations.
WND reported Carter initiated a conversation aimed at setting up meetings with the terrorist group Hamas.
Carter has complained of “horrible persecution” of Palestinians by Israel.
He made the comment while promoting his book “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.”
Carter also advocated then for Israel giving Palestinians the land they want.
Carter repeatedly has condemned Israel, calling its “domination” of Palestinians “atrocious.”
He’s called Israel’s “occupation” the “prime cause” of ongoing violence in the Middle East.