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Biden’s State Department Used Data from Anti-Israel Org To Compile ‘Report Card’ on Jewish State, Internal Emails Show

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The Biden administration produced an internal “report card” on Israeli activities in the West Bank based on data from a United Nations organization closely linked to the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, according to government emails obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

The report, based on data from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), was produced in January 2023, several months after an Israeli election virtually guaranteed that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would return to power. At the time, the Biden administration was preparing for diplomatic clashes with the Netanyahu government. Those divisions are now on full display as the United States pressures Israel to preemptively ink a ceasefire deal with Hamas and stop defending itself from Hezbollah militants along its northern border.

An internal State Department email chain reviewed by the Free Beacon shows the creation and dissemination of the report on so-called Israeli settlement growth. U.S. officials described the report as an update from previous data compiled by the Biden administration on Israeli activities in the West Bank.

Prior to Hamas’s Oct. 7 terror strike on Israel, the construction of Jewish homes in contested areas of the West Bank was a central source of tension between the Biden administration and the Israeli government, particularly under Netanyahu. When Netanyahu’s conservative governing coalition retook power in 2023, the Biden administration appeared ready to clash with Israel over the issue.

“Our very own [redacted name] updated the open-source report card he produced this time last year,” wrote Hady Amr, the Biden administration’s special representative for Palestinian affairs. “This draft conveys the average annual rates [of growth], and as you can see, across board.”

Amr wrote in the email that he “would be happy [to] repackage / update per suggestions.”

OCHA is responsible for funneling money from international governments, including the United States, to “highly biased and politicized NGOs, including a number that are highly active in promoting BDS and lawfare campaigns, and some even engage in blatantly antisemitic activities,” according to NGO Monitor, a group that tracks anti-Israel nonprofits. “Some of the NGOs also have ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a terrorist organization designated as such by the USEUCanada, and Israel.”

A separate 2016 report by NGO Monitor, one of many published by the group, details how OCHA is a driving force in the United Nation’s campaign to delegitimize Israel.

“Coordinating with some of the most virulent NGOs in the region, OCHA promotes a one-sided narrative of Palestinian victimization and sole Israeli aggression,” wrote Anne Herzberg, an NGO Monitor legal adviser. “OCHA’s central role in anti-Israel political warfare is yet another example of the exploitation of human rights, international law, and humanitarian principles via UN bodies to attack the Jewish state.”

Figures and information produced by OCHA, the United Nation’s central humanitarian group, have long been identified as misleading, with the organization facing accusations it facilitates “funding to and the dissemination of information from groups involved in political warfare against Israel.” OCHA’s information is often circulated by anti-Israel nonprofits to build the case that Jewish construction in the West Bank is displacing Palestinians and hurting the chances of a two-state solution.

The emails were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by America First Legal, a watchdog group that is suing the State Department over allegations it engaged in an “illegal and dangerous $1.5 billion terrorism subsidy program for the Palestinians.” The State Department redacted the entirety of the settlement report before publicly releasing the emails discussing it.

The revelation comes after the Free Beacon revealed in May that top Biden administration officials were coordinating with groups involved in the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement to push anti-Israel talking points into official U.S. government documents. The report highlighted discussions between Amr and Lt. Gen. Michael Fenzel, who is the Biden administration’s security coordinator in the West Bank.

Republican lawmakers have long raised concerns about OCHA’s credibility and the State Department’s reliance on its Israel-related information.

“The Biden administration has given OCHA uncountable millions of dollars, including tens of millions in confidential grants and cash, and sometimes they won’t even disclose the final recipients to Congress,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told the Free Beacon. “OCHA funds, coordinates, and serves as a hub for NGOs to produce anti-Israel propaganda, which it then compiles and circulates.”

“It’s no wonder that the Biden administration would take that propaganda and launder it through the State Department, and it’s also no wonder they’re even now redacting the documents so the public can’t see them.”

A State Department spokesman would not comment on the contents of the emails but said officials rely “on a range of information sources for internal deliberations.” The spokesman acknowledged that OCHA “works with a range of NGOs, some of which may take positions on BDS and other issues,” but said that the organization itself “does not have a position on BDS and does not sanction such actions.”

The U.S. government, the State Department said, “is proud to be a top contributor to OCHA’s flash appeal for humanitarian aid to address the most urgent needs of more than three million people in Gaza and the West Bank.”

 

The Biden administration’s creation of an internal “report card” that relies on OCHA suggests officials were preparing earlier than previously known to target Israeli construction in the West Bank, according to a senior GOP congressional aide who works the Middle East portfolio.

“The Biden administration uses every channel and paper that they can to launder NGO smears against Israel into the government, which then serve as the basis for sanctions and other pressure on Israel,” the source said. “They do it with Fenzel, they do it with their human rights reports, and clearly they’ve been doing it with the entire bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.”

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