Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Write to J Street

Isaac Luria of J Street is asking you to act:-

J Street Supporter --

Disgraced political fundraiser Jack Ambramoff. Settlements in the West Bank. U.S.-designated Jewish terrorist groups.

This dangerous cocktail was the focus of an investigative report last week in The New York Times on American charities that fund the settlements.

The scariest part? A connection between an American organization that fundraises for pro-settler Israeli political activity and "a former executive director of the banned Israeli political party Kahane Chai." Kahane Chai was designated a terrorist organization by the United States in 1994.

This revelation should raise enormous red flags for the United States Treasury Department, the federal agency responsible for enforcing the law when it comes to terrorist financing and tax evasion.

Click here to ask Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to launch an investigation into whether the organizations funding settlement activities on the West Bank have broken the law.

With the explicit goal of undermining a two-state solution, many of these groups raise tax-deductible contributions from the United States to deepen the occupation in the Occupied Territories. Some even fund settlement outposts that the Israeli government considers illegal.

Settlement activity over the Green Line is diminishing the chances of a two-state solution and endangering Israel's very future as a Jewish, democratic home. This isn't a question of whether or not these groups have the legal right to raise funds for causes they believe in. The question is whether or not they have broken the law.

Click here to send a message to the Treasury Department's Timothy Geithner right now demanding an investigation.

We'll be in touch,
- Isaac

Well, why don't you write him back, at and inform him:-

Thanks for ther heads up.

However, I think the following letter should be sent and I will try to further the matter:

Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20220

Dear Sec'y Geithner,

You have been targeted to receive the email message below by J Street.

May I bring to your attention the situation of the tax-emept status of many other organization, such as Americans for Peace Now, B'tselem, J Street and others who are suspected of abusing their own tax-exempt status by not being enagged in any charitable humanitarian endeavors but rather serve as political agencies.

In addition, there are other groups that receive extensive funding from foreign countries and their governments to operate in the United States against organizations and enterprises in Israel. Are these organizations perhaps abusing their legal financial restrictions under the laws and regulations of the Treasury Department?

Go on, write.

And you can use this for reference:

Half the truth that’s fit to print: Foreign money's influence on Israeli politics

...the “exposé” of tax-exempt funding for right-wing organizations (“Tax-exempt funds aid settlements in West Bank,” The New York Times, July 6) is not surprising. But the authors missed or erased half the story.

Based on NGO Monitor’s extensive research, the scale of tax-exempt funding from the US for the other side of the spectrum probably exceeds the $20 million average annually reportedly provided to support the settlement agenda. And, as in the case of groups targeted in the Times, radical left grantees push objectives that are also in direct opposition to US government policies.

NGO Monitor’s research shows how numerous groups that receive tax-exempt donations promote violent demonization, boycotts (illegal under US law) and “one-state” policies that are equivalent to seeking the destruction of Israel. These include Electronic Intifada, ICAHD-US, Friends of Sabeel, the benignly named Middle East Children’s Alliance and the Palestinian Right to Return Coalition.

The Free Gaza Movement, which sponsored the ships that included violent jihadists from the Turkish IHH organization, tells supporters to send taxdeductible donations through the American Educational Trust. And the International Solidarity Movement receives funding via directed donations to the AJ Muste Memorial Institute and the Middle East Children’s Alliance, both of which have tax-exempt status. ISM members regularly violate Israeli law through violent “direct actions,” including participation in the recent Free Gaza Flotilla.

Powerful Israeli left-wing groups that campaign against settlements also obtain funds in this way and use this money to lobby in the US against the policies of Israel’s democratically elected governments. This category includes American Friends of Peace Now, B’Tselem and Ir Amim (which is active in promoting the Palestinian narrative on Jerusalem).

IN ADDITION, dozens of groups on the Israeli left, as well Palestinian counterparts, are funded by US-based mega-donors, such as George Soros’s Open Society Institute, the New Israel Fund ($31 million annual budget) and the Ford Foundation. OSI and Ford support Human Rights Watch, with a $40 million annual budget, and a Middle East division that works to “turn Israel into a pariah state,” to quote HRW founder Robert Bernstein. Similarly, US donations to Londonbased Amnesty International help to promote the double standards and political warfare targeting Israel, exploiting the moral foundation of human rights.

European governments and the EU add tens of millions of dollars annually, often without transparency, to many of these organizations. European money for Israeli opposition groups, such as B’Tselem, Ir Amim, Gisha, the Geneva Initiative, Breaking the Silence and many more, skew the balance and gives the left an advantage that it fails to get through the democratic process. And while the tax exempt donations from the US are transparent, based on voluntary private decisions and spread across the ideological spectrum, European governments funnel tax revenues to a very narrow Israeli political position, often in secrecy and without due process or accountability.

...In response to growing criticism of these activities, left-wing NGOs and their supporters have launched attacks against ideological enemies. In July 2009, Gush Shalom circulated a confidential memo telling supporters that it “has been engaged recently in the planning, funding and implementation of a legal and public advocacy campaign aimed at blocking foreign funding of illegal settlement activity.” And Akiva Eldar, a columnist for Haaretz and involved with NGOs on the left, sent NGO Monitor a series of emails presaging efforts to impair funding for pro-settlement NGOs.

Rather than more partisan reports targeting the “pro-settlement” side of the NGO battlefield, a wider analysis and debate on the unique influence of externally funded NGOs in Israel is long overdue. This question needs to be addressed by all sides in the framework of Israel’s democratic process. Knesset legislation that fills in the missing gaps in transparency, particularly for secret European funding processes for political NGOs, would be an important first step.

- - -

1 comment:

Juniper in the Desert said...

Done! Will let you know if there is a response!