The Washington Project promotes the Forum’s agenda on the Hill, with the Trump administration, and among opinion-leaders. The project currently focuses on reforming UNRWA by re-defining a “Palestine refugee”; designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization; and finding support for an Israel victory over the Palestinians.
Directed by Clifford Smith, a former Hill staffer and campaign operative, and supported by two government relations specialists, the Washington Project is supervised by Forum president Daniel Pipes, a Middle East scholar who has served in five presidential administrations, and Forum director Gregg Roman, a former Israeli government official.
Redefining “Palestinian Refugee.” Background: The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) perpetuates the Arab-Israel conflict through its indiscriminate practice of granting refugee status to Palestinians. Under UNRWA’s unique definition of refugees that includes unlimited descendants of refugees, it counts nearly 6 million Palestinian refugees, whereas U.S. law and policy count around 30,000.
The Washington Project supports: (1) survival of language in the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill report forcing the State Department to justify UNRWA’s practice of Palestinian refugee proliferation and its ruinous impact on Middle East peace; and (2) forcing the State Department to declassify the number of Palestinian “refugees” supported by U.S. aid, and how many were actually displaced in 1948-49, both as required by the Kirk amendment.
Preventing Muslim Brotherhood (MB) Infiltration. Background: The UK recently issued a scathing indictment of the MB, while the UAE has declared it, and its American satellite CAIR, terrorist organizations. We are working with Forum fellow and Egyptian Liberal Party founder Cynthia Farahat to educate policymakers on the need for the U.S. to take similar action.
The Washington Project supports three bills: (a) the Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act (S.68 and H.R.377 ; (b) the Naming the Enemy Within Homeland Security Act (H.R.5823), prohibiting the DHS from funding or collaborating with organizations or individuals associated with the Muslim Brotherhood; and (c) the Religious FIRE Act (H.R.5824), prohibiting foreigners from countries that do not respect religious liberties from funding religious activities in the United States.
Promoting Israel Victory. Background: A new initiative aiming to steer U.S. policy toward backing an Israel victory over the Palestinians to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict. This is achieved by convincing Palestinians and others that Israel will endure and that dreams of its elimination will fail.
The Washington Project is establishing a bi-partisan Israel Victory Caucus in Congress, and promoting the idea with senior Trump administration officials.
Vetting Muslim Immigrants. Background: The Trump administration has pledged to prevent radicals from entering the U.S.
The Washington Project is educating Congress and the Trump administration on the need to differentiate between Islamism (a political movement to implement Shari’a law worldwide) and Islam (a religion); and how to weed-out potential radicals amid masses of everyday Muslims via extreme vetting.
Defeating Radical Islam. Background: In August 2016, then candidate Trump gave a speech – “Make America Safe Again” – saying, “[O]ne of my first acts as President will be to establish a Commission on Radical Islam.”
In response, the Washington Project has crafted a comprehensive plan for a White House Commission on Radical Islam for the Trump administration to use – how it should be structured, what its mandate should be, who its members should be, and how to implement its recommendations. The overall goal is to define and defeat the enemy.
We also educate policymakers about Islamist groups with radical agendas which pose as innocuous “civil rights” groups. These include: the American Muslim Alliance (AMA), American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA), Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Islamic Circle of North American (ICNA), Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), Muslim Alliance of North America (MANA), Muslim American Society (MAS), Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), Muslim Students Association (MSA), Muslim Youth of North America (MYNA), and Young Muslims (YM).
Teaching Law Enforcement about Jihad. Background: At the behest of Islamists and leftists, references to Islam have been removed from law enforcement and national security training materials. The DHS even added deference to Islamism and Islamist groups in its training guidelines.
The Washington Project educates Congress about the benefits of requiring the DHS to provide law enforcement with counter-jihad training that includes information about Islamism – and forbid cooperation with Islamist groups, such as the terrorist-linked CAIR. DHS is requesting $242 million for its Law Enforcement Training Center in FY2017.
Excluding Islamists from Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Programs. Background: DHS’s CVE grant program “helps states and local communities prepare for, prevent, and respond to emergent threats from violent extremism.” Recently, Islamists posing as civil rights groups have received such grants.
The Washington Project aims to prevent Islamists from participating in such programs, while redefining CVE programs to focus on radical Islam, including its ideology.
Ending Malign University Relationships. Background: MEF revealed San Francisco State University’s relationship with An-Najah University in the West Bank town of Nablus. An-Najah is known for terrorist recruitment, indoctrination, and radicalization of students. According to the Anti-Defamation League, Hamas has described An-Najah as a “greenhouse for martyrs.”
The Washington Project aims to prevent American universities from forming alliances with terrorist-friendly overseas institutions, requesting Department of Education and congressional oversight.
Ending Taxpayer-Funded Bias on College Campuses. Background: Taxpayers currently fund virulent anti-American bias at leading universities through the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA). Although HEOA requires that K-12 outreach programs at Middle East centers “reflect diverse perspectives and a wide range of views and generate debate,” this law currently lacks enforcement mechanisms.
The Washington Project supports adjusting the reauthorization of HEOA so that taxpayer monies spent on Middle East studies fund diverse and balanced perspectives. Long delayed, we expect movement in 2017, with newfound cooperation from the Department of Education.