US Treasury Sued over Donations for Israeli Squatter Settlements in Palestine

By IMEMC | – –

A lawsuit has been filed in a US court seeking to stop non-profit groups from sending billions of dollars worth of tax-exempt donations to support illegal Israeli settlements and the Israeli army.

A group of American citizens filed the suit on December 21 against the US Department of Treasury, claiming about 150 non-profits have sent an estimated $280bn to Israel over the past two decades.

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The lawsuit claims, according to Al Jazeera, that the donations were “pass-throughs” and “funnels” to support the Israeli army and the illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The lawsuit claims that certain non-profit groups (including the Falic Family Foundation, FIDF (Friends of the Israeli Defence Force), American Friends of Ariel, Gush Etzion Foundation, American Friends of Har Homa, and Hebron Fund) directly contributed, tax-exempt, to violations of US law and international law, subverted US foreign policy, and contributed to countless crimes and human rights abuses targeting Palestinians.

The Treasury Department, which has 60 days to respond to the lawsuit, declined to comment, stating in an email to Al Jazeera: “We don’t comment on pending litigation.”

6 Responses

  1. I really hope they include the Meron Memo as a supporting document in their lawsuit.

    In 1967, soon after the Six Day War, Israel’s Foreign Ministry asked their lawyer, Theodor Meron for his opinion on whether settling in the “administered territories” would violate international law. Meron was a Holocaust survivor who had graduated with a doctorate in international law from Harvard.

    Meron wrote a Top Secret memo that concluded that “civilian settlement in the administered territories contravenes the explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention.”

    Israel may claim that what it is doing in the West Bank is legal because it is not bound to follow Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. However, the U.S. IS (at least theoretically) committed to following it.

    By granting tax exempt status to organizations that are dedicated to violating the Geneva Convention, the U.S. is aiding and abetting those who would violate OUR commitment and obligation to international law– a law WHICH ISRAEL’S OWN LAWYER said was violated by the actions of these organizations.

    This tax-exempt status must fall.

    To read the Meron memo, see

    link to soas.ac.uk

    To read more about Theodor Meron and his memo, see

    link to themessinglink.com

    • Thanks, Robin. Let’s also not forget Yeshayahu Leibowitz, “the conscience of Israel,” who opposed occupation for prescient reasons. The money quote is below:

      Soon after Israel captured the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, Mr. Leibowitz began warning that the occupation of the territories would turn Israel into an agent of repression, whose citizens would be employed in growing numbers to police the Palestinians. Israel had to “liberate itself from this curse of dominating another people,” he said, arguing that prolonged Israeli rule over the Palestinians would “bring about a catastrophe for the Jewish people as a whole.”

      He supported Israeli Army resisters who refused to serve in the territories, and he warned that soldiers in the occupied areas risked becoming “Judeo-Nazis.” Israeli undercover units that tracked down and sometimes killed Palestinian fugitives there were no different from gunmen of the militant Islamic group Hamas, he asserted.

      Mr. Leibowitz warned darkly of a possible civil war in Israel over the future of the occupied territories and of a danger that the country would become a “fascist state” that would imprison political dissidents like himself in concentration camps.

      • Thanks, David. I was unaware of this and I find this information very useful. It’s interesting to see that President Ezer Weizman called him “one of the greatest figures in the life of the Jewish people and the State of Israel in recent generations” Unfortunately, today a significant number of Israelis would probably spit on his grave.

        link to nytimes.com

    • If it is handled and funded well this suit could be very important. I’ve been sending the url to likely interested organisations this evening.

      Israel seems to be in a turmoil. This is worth looking at:

      link to imemc.org

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