Rightwing Israeli group gets tax-deductible funds from US foundation

Israel/Palestine
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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.

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