Racist organizations have been masquerading as charities for too long.

We, the undersigned, call on the New York Attorney General’s Office to revoke the charitable status of the Central Fund of Israel, the Israel Independence Fund, Friends of Ir David, Friends of Aterat Cohanim, the Hebron Fund. These “charities” break US charitable law by acting as financial conduits for tax-deductible donations to fund an array of activities that directly contradict New York charitable regulations. These organization’s goals and policies also support Israeli violations of international law and US policy by propagating discriminatory housing and land policies including home demolitions, family displacement, and land dispossession.

Their political lobbying, litigation in Israeli courts, and intrusive surveillance techniques serve to strip the Palestinian population of their land rights and lead to the demolition of non-Jewish homes. [1][2] These organizations are openly invested in creating exclusive Jewish ethnic zones inside of the state of Israel.

These organizations routinely violate the property rights of Palestinian residence by trespassing and violently confronting Palestinians as part of their racially motivated “investigations,” aimed exclusively at finding justification to demand the demolition of Palestinian homes and other structures.[3] These demolitions are a violation of Article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits “the destruction of personal property of private persons living under occupation.”[4]

For example, Regavim, one organization that is financed by the Central Fund of Israel, has campaigned for the displacement of Palestinians in the village of Susiya and Khan al Ahmar by the Israeli military. [5] [6] [7] In both cases, US senators, as well as the US State Department, cautioned against these measures, and in the case of Khan al Ahmar, ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda warned that evictions of the community could constitute a war crime.[8] [9]

The use of charitable funds for such purposes is immoral and illegal. The Central Fund of Israel, the Israel Independence Fund, Friends of Ir David, Friends of Aterat Cohanim, the Hebron Fund funnel US-taxpayer dollars through tax-exempt donations as 501 (c)(3) status fiscal sponsors of Regavim. US Treasury and IRS regulations require the US grantor to ensure that any foreign entity who receives money uses them for “Charitable Purposes,” specifically to “lessen neighborhood tensions; eliminating prejudice and discrimination; defending human and civil rights secured by law, and combating community deterioration and juvenile delinquency”.[10] These organizations do the opposite.

These charities, in open defiance to their legal requirements, have not ensured their money is going to “Charitable Purposes,” as instead, they fund an illegal and discriminatory agenda.

Therefore, we urge the office of the New York Attorney General to revoke the charitable status of the Central Fund of Israel, the Israel Independence Fund, Friends of Ir David, Friends of Aterat Cohanim, the Hebron Fund on the basis of a failure to comply with their obligation to the national standards of charitable work, as well as the United States’ obligations to respect and ensure the proper implementation of international humanitarian law.

  1. https://www.regavim.org/welcome-to-regavim/activities/
  2. https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/israeli-right-wing-ngo-regavim-gets-millions-of-shekels-in-public-fund-1.5744933
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xEOjBOoGH0
  4. https://www.diakonia.se/en/IHL/where-we-work/Occupied-Palestinian-Territory/Administration-of-Occupation/House-Demolitions1/
  5. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/21/israel-demolition-palestinian-village-khirbet-susiya-eu-protest
  6. https://www.regavim.org/regavim-keep-pressure-government/
  7. https://www.regavim.org/khan-al-ahmar-high-court-rejects-palestinian-authority-petitions/
  8. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israel-palestine-west-bank-demolition-war-crime-susiya-settlements-children-homeless-winter-susya-a8091711.html
  9. https://www.timesofisrael.com/hague-prosecutor-issues-war-crime-warning-on-bedouin-village-demolition/
  10. https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/charitable-purposes

DEFUND
RACISM!

Stop US charities that finance violence. Make your voice heard. 

*You can read the full text of the petition here.