Sponsor

Little-known charity funded by major liberal groups sponsors BDS-aligned anti-Israel organizations

A not very well-known charity in the United States, supported by influential liberal non-profit groups, is the fiscal sponsor of several anti israel organizations that support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, including a Palestinian terrorist group.

The Alliance for Global Justice was launched in 1998 and is an offshoot of the Nicaragua Network, a group that supported the Sandinista socialist political regime in Nicaragua. The Arizona-based 501(c)(3) charity, which has dubbed itself “anti-capitalist” and “progressive,” fiscally sponsors four groups aligned with BDSa movement that claims Israel is an “apartheid state”, according to its website.

In 2020, AFGJ received combined millions from major leftist groups, including $210,000 from the New Venture Fund run by Arabella Advisors, $250,000 from George Soros’ Open Society Foundations network, and nearly $2 million from the Tides Foundation, according to tax records. AFGJ reported income of more than $56.4 million on its tax filings in November 2021, compared to only about $7 million on its Form 990 filed in August 2020.

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AFGJ lists on its website 93 organizations that it fiscally sponsors, meaning it provides them with services such as donation processing, health insurance management, and payroll. Such sponsorship allows groups often operating at political margins around the world to collect tax-exempt donations from US citizens.

A staff blog post on the AFGJ website said the group sponsors in fact 130 projects, which does not allow to know where this number is currently. The AFGJ did not respond to a request for comment.

According to its website, four groups aligned themselves with BDS and expressed harsh anti-Israel sentiments that the AFGJ sponsors fiscally. This includes the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, the Arizona Palestine Solidarity Alliance, the Lajee Center and Ta’ayush.

“The groups are crazy,” said Itai Reuveni, spokesperson for the NGO Monitor, an Israeli monitoring group. Washington Examiner. “They’re not even on the spectrum of the usual debates. It’s like the craziest bands, which is a red flag for me.”

In particular, Samidoun is an Israeli-designated terrorist group believed to act as an arm of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a US-designated terrorist group. Samidoun regularly calls for the release of Palestinian prisoners, who often have links with the PFLP, according to the NGO Monitor.

In October, the Netherlands banned Samidoun leaders from entering the European Unionand credit card company Discover said in 2021 that it would have no longer processes donations to the AFGJ due to its ties to Samidoun.

In 2019, the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy said in a report that a Samidoun activist had been “trained by” the radical Islamist group Hezbollah in Liban. The Samidoun activist handed over money he had received in Syria and Lebanon to PFLP activists in Belgium, the report said, leading to Mastercard, Visa and American Express no longer allowing their services to be used by Samidoun.

“If you have a mechanism that allows ordinary Americans to give money to a terrorist organization, that’s a problem,” Reuveni said, noting that he thinks the IRS should consider revoking the status. Alliance for Global Justice tax exemption.

Arizona Palestine Solidarity Alliance, another AFGJ-sponsored group, is a network that “connects movements in southern Arizona with the international Palestinian-led BDS movement.” according to its website. The group was launched in 2014 and announces on its website that it even “sponsored a workshop on BDS and the academic and cultural boycott of Israel” at the University of Arizona.

A salsa lab link on the APSA website directs to a donation portal hosted by the AFGJ.

APSA retweeted posts on Twitter from a group called the Palestinian Youth Movement, a non-profit anti-Israel group that is financially sponsored by the BDS-supporting WESPAC Foundation, according to the Capital Research Center.

In 2017, PYM announced it would have host a scholarship bearing the name of Ghassan Kanafani, who was a leader of the PFLP in 1972 when the group was involved in a terrorist attack at the airport offensive in Israel that killed 26 people.

“One of the most important reasons for supporting BDS is that it is nonviolent resistance to occupation,” said APSA co-founder Mohyeddin Abdulaziz. Washington Examiner. “It is very clear that the military and violent solutions have brought nothing but disaster to all the inhabitants of this part of the world.”

“It is absurd that we here in the United States can boycott our own products, but we are criminalized when we try to boycott a foreign country,” Abdulaziz said. “No matter how sacred Israel is thought to be, it is still a foreign country, and it is our constitutional right to free speech to try to hold Israel accountable. Swearing allegiance to a foreign state is contrary to what our country claims to be.”

The Lajee Center, located in the Aida Palestinian refugee camp in Bethlehem, Beit Jala and Jerusalem, notes on its website that he “is an active signatory of the 2005 Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against the Israeli regime”. The group spreads BDS ideas through workshops and networking events, according to its website.

Mohammed Alazza, the director of the Lajee Center, posted videos on Facebook appearing to show Palestinian civilians and children violently clashing with Israeli military forces. In August 2020, the Lajee Center retweeted a post from the official BDS account that called 112 companies “accomplices” in “Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise.”

Ta’ayush Goals “to end the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and to achieve full civil equality for all,” according to its website. The Israel-based organization published articles on Facebook promoting BDS, according to the NGO Monitor.

In 2014, Ta’ayush called Israeli soldiers “[c]uniformed criminals” in a Youtube Publish. One of Ta’ayush’s co-founders, Gadi Elgazi, a history professor at Tel Aviv University in Israel, sign an open letter in June 2019 calling on the German government to reject a resolution calling BDS anti-Semitic.

Ta’ayush said on its website that Neve Gordon, an Israeli professor at Queen Mary University of London, is one of its active members. In 2009 Gordon wrote a article titled “Boycott Israel” in the Los Angeles Times which described how he supported BDS to “counter the apartheid trend in Israel”.

Marc Greendorfer, a lawyer and founder of the Zachor Legal Institute, a legal group fighting anti-Semitism and discrimination, said the AFGJ is “essentially a proxy for every terrorist group that has sufficient funds to promote BDS.”

“The truth is that they definitely form a middleman for these terror-supported groups and circumvent federal laws that prohibit providing financial assistance to these terrorist groups,” Greendorfer told the Washington Examiner.

by Greendorfer the organization wrote a letter to the Ministry of Justice on October 25 who asked him to investigate seven groups, including Samidoun, which act as front groups for the PFLP.

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The AFGJ levies an 8% administrative fee on all contributions made to groups involved in its sponsorship agreement, according to its website. One AFGJ-sponsored group in the past was the Louisville Community Bail Fund, according to 2020 tax filings from the Tides Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit “sister” group of the Tides Foundation.

The fund posted $100,000 bail in February for Quintez Brown, who was arrested after allegedly trying to murder Craig Greenberg, Jewish Democratic candidate for mayor of Louisville, Kentucky.

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