Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Follow-up To That NYTimes Tax-exemption Tale

Follow-up to my blog post:-

From NGO-Monitor:

Half the News That’s Fit to Print

New York Times article ignores funding for anti-Israel groups

Press release:

In response to the New York Times article, Tax-Exempt Funds Aid Settlements in West Bank, NGO Monitor noted the numerous organizations enjoying 501c3 status that are active on the other side of the Israeli political agenda (below). The scale of funding for these organizations is at least comparable to the $200 million in donations over the past decade claimed in the NY Times.

Prof. Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor commented: “The New York Times motto in this instance should be changed to ‘half the news that's fit to print.’ Israel is a very porous society, in terms of the scale and impact of external funding directed towards political agendas. Many organizations use US tax-exempt status to oppose Israeli government policy, and some are among the leaders of campaigns to demonize and wage political war against Israel. In addition, European governments provide tens of millions of dollars annually, and without transparency, to opposition groups in Israel, whose allegations are reflected in the Goldstone Report. All these factors should have been part of the Times investigation—the article should not have been restricted to reflect a narrow and tendentious political position.”

1) NGOs with 501(c)(3) status that promote anti-Israel agendas, demonization, and “one state” policies the single out Israel include:

Friends of Sabeel
Middle East Children’s Alliance
AJ Muste
Deir Yassin Remembered
Advocacy Project
Rachel Corrie Foundation
Birthright Unplugged
Center for Constitutional Rights
Palestinian Right to Return Coalition
Jewish Voice for Peace
International Solidarity Movement
Free Gaza Movement
Electronic Intifada

2) In addition, U.S. donations are central to international NGO superpowers whose biases promote anti-Israel political campaigns, including Human Rights Watch ($40 million annual budget, of which a highly disproportionate percentage is used to “hale turn Israel into a pariah state, as stated by HRW founder Robert Bernstein. Similarly, U.S. donations to London-based Amnesty International help to promote pro-Palestinian positions. These NGO activities and the lack of credibility in their publications on Israel are documented in NGO Monitor’s systematic research reports.

3) The following major funding organizations with 501c3 status provide large scale funding to NGOs, including those listed above, involved in the anti-Israel political warfare.

Open Society Institute
New Israel Fund (approximately one-third of its $31 million annual budget)
Ford Foundation

For press inquiries, please contact +972-52-728-4896 or mail@ngo-monitor.org


and J Street jumps in:

J Street Statement on US Tax-Exempt Organizations’ Funding of Settlement Activity

J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami issued the following statement today regarding American charitable organizations’ fundraising to support settlement activity in the occupied West Bank:

J Street calls on the United States Treasury Department and relevant Congressional bodies to launch thorough investigations into whether or not the organizations funding settlement activities on the West Bank named in today’s New York Times report have broken the law.

The alleged links between the named organizations and former officials and donors associated with far-right Jewish groups that are classified as terrorist organizations by the State Department provide a reasonable starting point for an investigation.

J Street reiterates our ongoing concern over the intention and impact of American organizations and individuals that fundraise for settlement activity over the Green Line, including for many outposts that even the Israeli government considers illegal. Ongoing settlement construction is diminishing the chances of a two-state solution and endangering Israel’s very future as a Jewish, democratic home. Funding such activity is both irresponsible and provocative.

However, read this list they attach of "partnering groups below:

Exciting! Let's get to work - and don't forget to chip in to our ad if you can.
We'll be in touch,
Isaac Luria
Vice President of Communications and New Media
J Street
July 6, 2010

Partnering Groups: Americans for Peace Now, Ameinu, Churches for Middle East Peace, the Foundation for Middle East Peace, Meretz USA, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, and YesMEP

I'd love to investigate their tax-exempt status.



Andrew Sullivan is devastated:

Yes, you and I and anyone who pays taxes in the US are funding far-right Jewish settlers and loony Christianist evangelicals in their bid to make Judea And Samaria and all of Jerusalem a permanent part of Greater Israel...The idea that the US congress would ever do anything to restrain settlements on the West Bank is hilarious.

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