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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Can Someone Explain To Me Why We Are Funding This University?

Palestinian Media Watch Bulletin - Feb. 15, 2007

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US-funded Palestinian university holds
anti-American symposium

by Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook

Al-Najah University in Nablus, which receives funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), held a symposium for its law students, faculty and administration this week, condemning the trial of Saddam Hussein and the American role in the trial. The trial was vilified as “illegal and vindictive” because “it took place during the period of the illegal American occupation of Iraq.”

The $4 million dollars in USAID funding that Al-Najah has received since 2004 is for a current project at the university’s faculty of law "for strengthening the rule of law.”

It should be noted that even before this latest anti-American activity at the law faculty, the last two years of funding of Al-Najah University have been in violation of American law. Al-Najah hosts branches of the terror organizations Hamas and Islamic Jihad on campus, and US law since 2005 has prohibited funding any "educational institution that the Secretary knows or has reason to believe advocates, plans, sponsors, engages in, or has engaged in, terrorist activity...” (Foreign Operations Bill 2006 (SEC. 559.b-c)

By sponsoring branches of terrorist organizations, Al-Najah has been ineligible to receive US funding.

The following are the full articles related to Al-Najah university:

Current Article:

"The public relations department in the Al-Najah University in Nablus organized yesterday a symposium named 'The trial of the Iraqi president, Saddam Hussein, and the American role in this trial – a witness testimony from the courthouse.' The head of the university’s public relations department, Dr. Nabil Alawi and the American lawyer, Curtis Dobler, participated in the symposium that Al-Najah University organized… with the presence of students from the law faculty and members of the teaching staff and the administrative staff of the university.

Dobler… focused on two central points in the trial, which are: The trial’s illegality, which took place under the American occupation of Iraq in order to convict Saddam and his assistants, and the vindictive results the trial reached. He emphasized that the trial of President Saddam Hussein is illegal and vindictive.

He further said: “Saddam Hussein’s defense team gave to the courthouse, on November 20, 2006, a memorandum of 300 pages which confirms the illegality of this trial, since it took place during the period of the illegal American occupation of Iraq”…

The American lawyer explained: “Saddam did for the Iraqis a kind of justice and encouraged them to fight against the American occupation of their country, in his death.
[Al-Ayyam, February 12, 2007]

From PMW Archives on USAID Funding:

"The “Arkan” program, funded by the US, and the faculty of law in the Al-Najah University signed a memorandum of understanding yesterday… which, in its framework, there will be a co-operation between the two sides in order to develop the law education in the university…

The “Arkan” program includes two central focal points: the first being the development of law education in the Palestinian faculties of law… in the Al-Quds, Bir Zayt, Al-Najah and Al-Azhar universities…

The “Arkan” program for strengthening the rule of law stretches over a three-year period. Its operation began in September 2004. The program is carried out by the international company “Kimonex”… entirely funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), a total of four million dollars."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 22, 2005]

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