Rightwing Israeli group gets tax-deductible funds from US foundation

Israel/Palestine
on 14 Comments

Lately Allison did a post on the rightwing Israeli youth group Im Tirtzu engaging in Nakba denial at Tel Aviv University. This group has a disruptive pro-settler track record.  And it’s got American support– as a charity, with your tax-free subsidy.

According to federal filings, an American charity organization, Kingjay Foundation Trusts, gave $10,000 in 2011 to Im Tirtzu as a public charity– to its “social and welfare programs.”

Kingjay has over $6 million in assets. Its principals are Roy and Judith Stern. They are settlers, apparently from America. They live in the sprawling illegal colony of Efrat. Here Roy calls on Israeli Arabs to have to demonstrate loyalty to the Jewish state if they want any rights.

The American representative of the organization is Steven Stern of the Upper East Side of New York.

Im Tirtzu is dedicated to an undivided Jerusalem and to regenerating Zionism. It says you can give it tax-free contributions through an American “charity,” the Central Fund of Israel; and Kingjay Foundation also gave $15,000 to the Central Fund of Israel, a settler “charity.” We’ve covered CFI a lot. It operates out of a fabric store on Sixth Avenue. It serves the “urgent security needs” of settlers.

Kinjay gets its tax-deductible status partly because it assures the US government: “The foundation only makes contributions to pre-selected charitable organizations.”

After Im Tirtzu published a cartoon of a liberal Zionist leader with a horn coming out of her head, Haaretz reported that Im Tirtzu is on the radical rightwing settler gravy train:

Financially, Im Tirtzu is supported by a foundation that has contributed to radical right-wing organizations such as the Women in Green; Pastor John Hagee, the head of Christians United for Israel (CUFI) which contributed to Im Tirtzu, has been implicated in the past by a number of anti-Semitic statements.

Ideologically, the movement’s chairman Ronen Shoval used to be spokesman of the “Orange Cell,” a student chapter at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem that fought against the disengagement from the Gaza Strip and supported the settlement project. Shoval was even honored for his efforts with a citation from the evicted settlement block of Gush Katif.

The main channel for donations to Im Tirtzu is the Central Fund of Israel. In addition to Women in Green and Im Tirtzu, it supports Honenu, an organization sponsoring legal defense to radical right-wing activists in trouble with the law. Honenu boasts of financially supporting the families of the Bat Ayin underground, convicted for trying to bomb a girls’ school in East Jerusalem in 2002; of Ami Popper, who shot four Palestinian laborers during the first intifada; Yishai Schlissel, an ultra-Orthodox man who stabbed participants in a Gay Pride parade in Jerusalem in 2005; and Haggai Amir, brother of Yitzhak Rabin’s assassin Yigal Amir.

14 Responses

  1. Citizen
    May 17, 2013, 11:46 am

    Keep beating your head against the Zionist Wall, Phil. It’s a hard row to hoe. See The Sad Lesson of Alan Hart–is Phiip Weiss next? link to consortiumnews.com

    • Annie Robbins
      May 17, 2013, 1:07 pm

      citizen, did you read hart’s sad rant? in what way does that mirror phil’s life?

      • Citizen
        May 17, 2013, 1:24 pm

        Yeah, I did, Annie Robbins-I don’t get the point to your comment. Hart has been fighting the good fight far longer than Phil, and obviously never had the economic support Phil has had. Read the article I linked to again–I read any articles I link to before I link to them. I will leave it to other who come here to see the mirror you impliedly claim does not exist.

      • Danaa
        May 17, 2013, 2:41 pm

        I read that piece (thanks Citizen for bringing to our attention). I see things quite differently however and am inclined to agree with the author Davidson that, on the micro level, enormous progress has been made.

        Of course, for those most active in the I/P cause and those making the most personal sacrifices, periodic “loss of heart” is an expected collateral. On an emotional level, the struggle against grave injustice – one perpetrated by powers far greater than oneself – is bound to result in a little depression, now and then, especially when progress seems too small to sustain. However, no one should expect that triumph over injustice should be either quick or easy. Every day there are some who predict the dam will break any minute. But it’s a very strong dam with seemingly endless resources for continuing fortification. For a long time now, I have come to believe that Israel’s path will not be like South Africa. The Jews of israel are not the Boors, and they are nothing like the Irish catholics. Israel’s path to existence was unique and there is every reason to believe that the demise of the zionist enterprise – in its current, increasingly monstrous form – will be unique as well.

        Davidson said in his article on Hart’s decision that the I/P struggle is about process more than an outcome – which we do not know and can’t even see its outlines. I agree with that. What’s important is that the process has already redeemed many individuals, and has empowered and enriched the lives of many – in more than one dimension. I think Phil and Adam can probably attest to that. As can many others. For myself, I continue to be astounded by the humanity, strength and moral commitment shown by the many activists and writers and even mere commenters for the cause, a commitment that almost resembles religious fervor at times (we can all use a little fervor now and then, right, Mooser?).

        Hart may have made an unfortunate gamble whereupon his personal fortunes were adversely affected. But then relying on wealthy individuals to come through – whoever they are – is something that has an expiration date stamped on it. i think many a foundation can attest to that. He blames wealthy palestinians for not putting their money where their mouths is, but then, wealth goes by its own rules, doesn’t it? not everyone can be a Buddha or a St. Francis, can they? and wealthy palestinians are probably wealthy before they are palestinian, really no different than wealthy Jews.

        BTW, I find it an interesting parallel between the voices announcing the coming collapse of Capitalism and those presaging the collapse of the zionist enterprise (as opposed to the “Jewish” state – that’s something different altogether). People sometimes seem to think that just because there are obvious systemic problems, that the system itself will collapse any day. If i learnt anything it’s that systems, no matter how weak the foundations and numerous the fault lines, once they achieve a certain size, the system fights tooth and nail to stay erect.

        Oh well, I’m not sure whether any of this will make you happier, Citizen. Perhaps a bit more sanguine though?

      • seafoid
        May 17, 2013, 4:24 pm

        The Zionists are consumers. They consume resources. Their consumption is based on the availability of cash.

        I think BDS and general disgust in Galut will cut down the flow of cash and it will be fairly similar to other cases of abuse collapsing. I thought the fall of the News of the World was very like what will happen to Zionism.

        The most rabid Zionists live in the West Bank and call themselves pioneers and laugh at the sad schmucks in Tel Aviv but they couldn’t survive more than a couple of days without the support of Israel’s first world infrastructure. They have no independent means of support. Israeli society depends on oil from the Azeris and credit from the West – cut either of these off and Israel would be plunged into an existential crisis. It is quite a fragile Sparta, for all of the posturing.

      • Keith
        May 17, 2013, 5:33 pm

        DANAA- “People sometimes seem to think that just because there are obvious systemic problems, that the system itself will collapse any day.”

        Additionally, these same people irrationally assume that systemic collapse will automatically result in a victory for their ideological perspective. There seems to me to be a profound lack of understanding of the functioning of the real political economy. Ideology has trumped rationality, as it usually does. In fact, things are changing rapidly and the current global financial system may collapse. Regrettably, what follows may be as bad or worse. The “masters of the universe” aren’t known for their benevolence.

      • Citizen
        May 17, 2013, 6:40 pm

        @ Danaa
        Yeah, thanks. I just don’t get Annie’s response to my comment. I mean, it’s not like there are no at least semi-rational parallels to Weiss and Hart’s endeavors. Or am I missing something Annie sees? I do know that Hart has been attacking the rogue conduct of Israel for a very long time. Obviously, he’s not got rich by doing so. Maybe there’s a difference–is Hart a Gentile?

    • DICKERSON3870
      May 17, 2013, 1:51 pm

      ● RE: “Keep beating your head against the Zionist Wall, Phil. It’s a hard row to hoe. See The Sad Lesson of Alan Hart . . . link to consortiumnews.com” ~ Citizen

      ● FROM THE ‘CONSORTIUM NEWS’ ARTICLE TITLED ‘The Sad Lesson of Alan Hart”:

      [EXCERPT] . . . On April 25, Alan Hart literally turned in his resignation letter. In it he states, “I am withdrawing from the battlefield of the war for the truth of history as it relates to making and sustaining of the conflict in and over Palestine.” Why did he do this? In Hart’s opinion, the struggle for justice in Palestine is “mission impossible.” . . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to consortiumnews.com

      ● GEORGE ORWELL (Eric Arthur Blair, 1903-1950): “The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history.”

      ● P.S. ALSO SEE: “Notes on Nationalism”, by George Orwell, 1945

      [EXCERPTS] . . . All nationalists have the power of not seeing resemblances between similar sets of facts. A British Tory will defend self-determination in Europe and oppose it in India with no feeling of inconsistency. Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits, but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage — torture, the use of hostages, forced labour, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians — which does not change its moral colour when it is committed by ‘our’ side. . .

      . . . The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them. For quite six years the English admirers of Hitler contrived not to learn of the existence of Dachau and Buchenwald. And those who are loudest in denouncing the German concentration camps are often quite unaware, or only very dimly aware, that there are also concentration camps in Russia. Huge events like the Ukraine famine of 1933, involving the deaths of millions of people, have actually escaped the attention of the majority of English russophiles. Many English people have heard almost nothing about the extermination of German and Polish Jews during the present war. Their own antisemitism has caused this vast crime to bounce off their consciousness. In nationalist thought there are facts which are both true and untrue, known and unknown. A known fact may be so unbearable that it is habitually pushed aside and not allowed to enter into logical processes, or on the other hand it may enter into every calculation and yet never be admitted as a fact, even in one’s own mind. . .

      SOURCE – link to orwell.ru

  2. piotr
    May 17, 2013, 12:13 pm

    If I recall, Hagee’s organization found Im Tirtzu to be too radical and discontinued their support. This is one of the most frankly fascist organizations on the Israeli scene. In particular, Im Tirtzu targets “enemy within”, or “Jewish traitors”. But can such radicalism be singled out as not conforming to “social and welfare programs”?

    IRS is already in hot water for scrutinizing charities that support so-called Tea Party which probably means our domestic hate groups. There are some laws singling out Communists, but I am not aware if IRS can discriminate against fascists.

    • Citizen
      May 17, 2013, 1:29 pm

      Tea Party originated as a grass roots movement against taxation without representation, hence the name. While I think it’s true GOP heavies took over much of the leadership to make fat cats fatter, your characterization of the Tea Party members as domestic haters is very misleading. The first Tea Party folks were the early Ron Paul supporters.

  3. DICKERSON3870
    May 17, 2013, 1:16 pm

    RE: “Lately Allison did a post on the rightwing Israeli youth group Im Tirtzu engaging in Nakba denial at Tel Aviv University. This group has a disruptive pro-settler track record. And it’s got American support– as a charity, with your tax-free subsidy.”

    ALSO SEE: “Houston Jewish Federation, Jewish Agency Fund Im Tirzu’s Assault on Israeli Universities” ~ by Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam, 3/17/10

    [EXCERPTS] What do the Houston Jewish federation, the Jewish Agency, John Hagee, and Im Tirzu have in common? They’re all either directly or indirectly funding a major assault on academic freedom on Israeli campuses…
    …The Israeli finance website, Calcalist, reports (Hebrew) that John Hagee donated $120,000 to Im Tirzu in 2009 through the Jewish Agency. The money had been transferred to the Agency by the Houston Jewish Federation as part of an overall $5-million gift. $3-million of that came from CUFI and went towards its largely pro-settler Israel philanthropy. Hagee passed the gift through the Agency in order to qualify for a U.S. tax deduction. The Israeli site also notes that the Central Fund of Israel, a pro-settler fund supported by American Jews, donated $35,000 as well. I reported some of this earlier in this post. But what I’m trying to discover is whether the funds reported on by the Calcalist are independent of the $200,000 in Hagee gifts I reported earlier. I suspect that they may be since there was no mention concerning the earlier gift that it was a pass-through via the Jewish Agency.
    The Israeli website notes that the Agency is only supposed to act as pass-through for donations to “non-political” Israeli groups. I wonder how they fudge this one concerning one of the most hardline political groups currently functioning in Israel? Further the Agency is only supposed to accept funds for projects that are directly connected to its work. So does this mean that Im Tirzu is a project under the official auspices of the Agency? Or has someone there fudged those inconvenient rules again? Further, the funds provided to the Zionist-Brut group were supposed to be used for “educational” purposes. Instead, they were used to support political activism. They went for salaries and covering other organizational expenses…

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to richardsilverstein.com

    • DICKERSON3870
      May 17, 2013, 1:20 pm

      P.S. AND SEE: “Im Tirzu Steals Confidential Documents from Lawyer’s Office”, by Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam, 1/19/13

      [EXCERPTS] In a deposition in a libel case brought by the far-right Israeli group, Im Tirzu, its director, Ronen Shoval, admitted that he hired private investigators who obtained confidential legal documents about the defendants and transferred the documents to two far right Israeli newspapers. Michael Sfard, the Israeli human rights attorney defending the suit noted that his law office had been burglarized and documents stolen related to the case. . .
      The libel suit was brought by the highly litigious Shoval against those Israeli activists who created a Facebook page, Im Tirzu–Fascist movement–So There! The group’s claim is that calling it fascist constitutes libel because it is false and damaging to its reputation. Apparently, the group doesn’t
      think much of democratic values like free speech unless the values are ones THEY are exercising.
      In a circumambulation through the miasma of Jewish ultra-nationalism, Sfard questioned Shoval for three hours. Among other pearls of wisdom emanating from him [Shoval of Im Tirzu] were these notions: western culture is decadent, materialist and egotistical, Am Yisrael (the Jewish people) is a metaphysical entity and an organic vision of nationality. . .
      . . . Shoval confessed that he didn’t believe in unfettered freedom of speech: the law should prevent human rights organization from publishing statements or materials that endangered the State.
      You can imagine how sweeping the definition would be. . .
      . . . Im Tirzu is poison and Israeli society has been infected with this poison by its far-right ultranationalist ideology. . .
      . . . Lest anyone argue that the Shovals of Israel are flukes or a minority–that simply isn’t so. He is a prince of contemporary Zionism.
      Like Naftali Bennett, who stands to win 15 Knesset seats in the upcoming election (running to the right of even Avigdor Lieberman’s Likud-Beitneu Party), Im Tirzu is Israel’s future (if not its present). . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to richardsilverstein.com

  4. notatall
    May 17, 2013, 2:12 pm

    “The United States-Israel Strategic partnership Act (S. 462) not only designates Israel ‘a major strategic partner,’ section nine of this legislation proposes to include Israel in the Visa Waiver Program while exempting it from the requirement to extend reciprocal privileges to all citizens and nationals of the United States. The exemption would allow Israel to arbitrarily deny entrance to U.S. citizens under the rubric of national security, effectively importing Israel’s apartheid laws into the U.S. immigration system.
    “Israel has a history of discriminating against Palestinian-, Arab-, and Muslim-American travelers and denying them entry. According to the U.S. State Department Travel Advisory for Israel, the West Bank and Gaza : ‘U.S. citizens are advised that all persons entering or departing…are subject to security screening and may be denied entry or exit without explanation… Those with extensive travel to Muslim countries or U.S. citizens whom Israeli authorities suspect of being of Arab, Middle Eastern, or Muslim origin may also face additional questioning by immigration and border authorities…’”

    The above was taken from a letter sent out by the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation asking people to call on their Senators to speak out publicly and vote against this bill, which is apparently before Congress, and to send letters and op-ed pieces to their local newspapers.

    Now, I am not in the habit of writing letters to my Senators (mainly because I do not wish to give the impression I care what they do, or legitimize a system I want no part of), and I have always regarded writing letters to the editor to be the ultimate confession of impotence. Moreover, I am not interested in defending my “rights” as a U.S. citizen, because I reject “the U.S.” “citizen” and “rights” as motivating categories, preferring to take my stand on the basis of my membership in the human race and my obligation to do right by it. Having made all these qualifications, I am not averse to drawing a lesson from history: This measure reminds me of the insistence of pre-Civil War southern officials on controlling mail delivered to southern states lest abolitionist propaganda make its way into hands where it might have some effect. That was one of a train of abuses, including the “Gag Rule,” the Mexican War, the Fugitive Slave Act and others, that made it clear that the slave system enslaved not only those forced to labor in the fields without wages but compelled all “citizens” to sacrifice what they naively thought of as their “rights.” The Civil War broke out because the people of the northern states could not accept the domination of the southern system over the entire country. This latest measure may well awaken some to the realization of what support for Israel costs them, and to the realization that so long as Zionism prevails we are all Palestinians.

  5. pjdude
    May 18, 2013, 2:32 am

    What a surprise these terrorist supporters get do donate to a terrorist supporting org and no taxes but legit Palestinian support groups are shut down

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