Under pressure from the Zionist regime and American Jewish lobby groups, Obama administration has quietly canceled a two-year-old scholarship program for students in the Gaza Strip, undercutting one of the few American outreach programs to people in the Hamas-ruled territory. The program now faces an uncertain future, just two years after being launched with great fanfare by Israel-Firster Hillary Rodham Clinton during a visit to Israel.
The program offered 30 scholarships to promising but financially challenged Palestinian high school seniors from Gaza and the West Bank to study in local Palestinian universities.
The scholarships provided finacial support for gifted students in the Gaza Strip, which has turned into a Warsaw Jewish ghetto under the Israeli blockade since Islamic resistance group Hamas was elected by Palestinian majority to rule Gaza and the West Bank five years ago. The blockade has made it harder for Palestinians to travel abroad. Both Israel and the US consider Hamas a terrorist group because of its resistance to the Jewish occupation of historical Palestine and its friendly relations with Lebanese Islamic Resistance Hizballah and Iran.
Hizballah is the only Arab militia which defeated Israel in 2006. Early this month, Hizballah successfully launched a spy-drone over Israel which transmitted back photos of Israeli millitary installations before it was shot-down by Israeli jets near Israel’s Dimona nuclear reactor.
After allowing the scholarship program to proceed in 2010, the Zionist regime this year refused to give permits for the Gaza students to travel to the West Bank, ruled by pro-USrael Mahmoud Abbas.
Education is not considered a humanitarian concern by the US and EU, the international backers of the Zionist terrorist state. Israeli officials claim that West Bank universities are breeding grounds for Israel-haters like Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Last month, Israel’s Supreme Court upheld this travel ban on students.
American Jewish ambassador to Israel, Daniel Shapiro, said the decision not to grant the scholarships over the summer after Israel said it would not permit the students to travel.
The scholarship program, administered by the nonprofit group Amideast, is one of the few contacts between the US and Hamas-ruled Gaza.
On Octber 15, State Department spokeswoman, Zionist Jew Victoria Nuland, in a press briefing, denied that the scholarships were cancelled and instead insinuated that they had never been officially granted after the State Department was informed by Israel that “no new permits” would be issued for students.
Sari Bashi, director of Gisha, an Israeli advocacy group dedicated to increasing the free movement of Palestinians, said the case reflected US unwillingness to confront a strong ally (Israel).
“It’s unfortunate and telling that the US government cannot convince its closest ally in the region to allow its scholarship holders to travel from Gaza to Palestinian universities in the West Bank, for fear of clashing or making a diplomatic issue,” she said.
The Harvard Crimson reported on October 16 that the Zionist authorities did not allow students in the West Bank to take the October SAT exams. Amideast is the only testing agency in the West Bank, serving over three hundred thousand Palestinian students. Yet Israel controls the flow of goods and people in and out of the ever-shrinking Occupied Palestinian Territories. The Israeli occupation impacts nearly every aspect of Palestinian life. In particular, the military occupation, illegal under international law, violates the basic right to education for Palestinian youth.