The main United States umbrella organization promoting the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign has financial ties to Middle East terrorist organizations, an investigative article published Friday in Tablet magazine charged.
The article written by Armin Rosen and Liel Leibovitz showed that the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, a non-profit that is based in Virginia and serves as an umbrella group for U.S.-based BDS organizations, has made donations to a Palestinian group “that includes Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and other groups the U.S. State Department designates as terror organizations.”
The ties emerge from financial support that the US Campaign gives to the West Bank and Gaza-based Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC). One of the constituent groups of BNC, according to its website, is the Council of National and Islamic Forces in Palestine, commonly known as PNIF. Among the groups making up PNIF are “five different groups designated by the US as terrorist organizations, including Hamas, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the Popular Front – General Command (PFLP-GC), the Palestine Liberation Front, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).”
Rosen and Leibovitz explained that the US Campaign has leveraged its own tax-exempt status for its fiscal sponsorship of BNC. The process of fiscal sponsorship allows an established non-profit to “temporarily collect donations on another organization’s behalf until the newer group is awarded nonprofit status of its own.” While U.S.-based charities have “broad discretion” in how they transfer money to foreign groups, the U.S. charity “is responsible for ensuring that the money doesn’t go to terrorist organizations.”
Although it isn’t clear if the money from US Campaign goes to the terrorist organizations that make up BNC, there appears to be no way to ascertain how that money is spent. Even if the money doesn’t go directly to any of the terror groups, US Campaign, which supports BDS, and BNC, five of whose members are designated terror groups, share a “financial relationship.”
That supporters of BDS have ties to terror organizations is not new.
Former Treasury Department official and current Senior Vice President of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies Jonathan Schanzer testified before Congress in April 2016 and said that the leadership of “three organizations that were designated or shut down, or held civilly liable for providing material support for the terrorist organization Hamas … appears to have pivoted to leadership positions within the American BDS campaign.”
[Photo: South African Jewish Board of Deputies / YouTube ]