Opinion | The Dollars That Fund Spies from Iran


By Jerome Marcus

Several weeks ago, an article in the Hebrew-language Yediot Achronot revealed that, according to Palestinian sources, Hamas and Islamic Jihad have received more than $100 million per year over the last few years from Iran. That represents a substantial fraction of the cash that President Barack Obama put on pallets and flew to Tehran shortly before he left office.

It was just announced that two Iranians had been indicted for spying in the United States for the Iranian government. What were they looking at? Missile bases? Nuclear reactors? Grand Central Station?

No. They were indicted for taking pictures of “Israeli and Jewish facilities” inside the United States.

Those facilities include the Rohr Center for Jewish Life in Hyde Park, a college neighborhood in Chicago. That center services students at the University of Chicago.

Of course, after the 1983 Iranian bombing of the Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires, it should come as no surprise that Iran views not just the state of Israel but the Jewish people as its enemy.

The Rohr Center in Chicago, like similar centers philanthropist George Rohr has helped fund and establish on U.S. college campuses and other locations throughout the United States, is a facility run by Chabad-Lubavitch Chasidim. Zionism is not part of their creed. Unlike many other Orthodox Jewish congregations, many Chabad synagogues don’t even say a prayer for the Jewish state during their services (although the movement is very supportive of Jewish communities within Israel and many of its adherents living there serve in the Israel Defense Forces).

But Iran has now sent people into America to film these places and document the security measures these Jewish centers deploy to protect the people praying, eating and socializing within them. And Iran paid these spies to do this work.

Where did Iran get the money to pay for this work? They got it from Obama.

It can’t be a surprise that giving money to Iran — when Iran says in English, Hebrew, Arabic and Farsi that it wants to destroy Israel and kill Jews — results in efforts to destroy Israel and the Jews. Iran uses these funds to dig Hamas tunnels towards Israel, and bring weapons and ammunition into Gaza. And now it becomes clear that Iran is spending the money Obama gave them to fund their own people searching for vulnerabilities at Jewish facilities in America.

In U.S. law, as in Jewish law, there’s a wise maxim: People are presumed to intend the necessary consequences of their actions. Anyone who claims to believe that Obama was a friend of Israel and the Jewish people should mull over these latest pieces of evidence about the behavior of the people whom the former president worked so hard to gift with hundreds of millions of U.S. taxpayers’ dollars. l

Formerly of Philadelphia, Jerome A. Marcus is a lawyer and a fellow at the Kohelet Policy Forum in Jerusalem. This article was distributed by JNS.org.


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