“Navigate the fine line between legal activism and material support for terrorism.”
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David Boim was just 17 years old when he was shot and killed while waiting at a bus stop north of Jerusalem. The American teenager’s parents, Stanley and Joyce, have spent a quarter of a century since trying to bring to justice the Islamic terror group Hamas and its financiers in the US behind the attacks. Their lawsuits targeted, among others, the Holy Land Foundation for providing “material support to Hamas” in federal court in what has become the largest terrorism financing case in the United States.
The Justice Department said, “From its inception, HLF existed to support Hamas. Before HLF was designated a Specially Designated Terrorist Organization by the Treasury Department and closed in December 2001, it was the largest US Muslim charity.”
It was also a 501(c)(3) nonprofit The IRS allowed money used to finance Islamic terrorists to be funneled through tax-deductible entities. And it wasn’t the first or last time.
Boims is still battling in court what he alleges are really ‘alter egos’ of the new nonprofit, which was set up after Hamas fundraisers lost criminal and civil cases.
One of these is Muslim Americans for Palestine.
The Boim family lawsuit alleges that “American Muslims for Palestine is just another name for the same terror-financing enterprise”. Last year, a federal judge in Illinois allowed the lawsuit against AMP to move forward.
But the grieving family is not the only one accusing AMP.
Jonathan Schanzer, vice president of research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee that many “high-level and mid-level figures” from terrorist charities “were attracted to a new organization called American Muslims for Palestine (AMP). .”
Schanzer, who previously worked as a terrorism finance analyst at the Treasury Department, then listed connections to Hamas and its front groups. He told Congress about the case of AMP board member Salah Sarsour, an alleged relative of anti-Semitic figure Linda Sarsour, who said Al Jazeera “The conference aimed at sustaining and supporting the continued intifada of the Palestinian people.” A 2001 FBI memo to the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) describes how Sarsour’s brother “told Israeli officials about HLFRD’s involvement and fundraising activities” after his arrest by Israel in 1998. [Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development]”
American Muslims officially deny everything for Palestine. In its events, that’s another matter.
A conference panel of American Muslims for Palestine titled, “Do Occupied Peoples Have the Right to Resist Their Occupancy?” asserted that “it is well recognized under international law that an occupied people has the right to resist its occupation by any means necessary.” “By any means” refers to support for terrorism. The panel also complained that “the United States has designated most Palestinian groups as terrorist organizations” and invited participants to “navigate the fine line between legal activism and material support for terrorism.”
The IRS must be navigating that fine line by maintaining AMP’s tax deductible status.
Like the disbanded Hamas fundraising groups, American Muslims for Palestine receives tax-deductible funding. It does this through Americans for Justice in Palestine
Educational Foundation (AJP). AJP got its tax-deductible status in 2010.
A year ago, Laurie Lowenthal Marcus, a journalist, applied for tax-exempt status for her pro-Israel group Z Street. The IRS informed him that it would “conduct a special investigation into entities connected to Israel.” The case, which grew out of the Z Street case, helped pull back the curtain on IRS bias against conservative and pro-Israel Jewish groups.
Lori Lowenthal Marcus reported Front Page Magazine That, “an excuse given to Z Street by an IRS official was that the IRS needed to make sure we were not ‘involved in terrorism’ because we mentioned ‘terrorism’ in our mission statement. Which part of Z Street is terror? ‘We will not engage, negotiate or appease terrorists.’ Yet Z Street’s application for 501(c)(3) status was shelved for seven years when Z Street sued us over the IRS’s unconstitutional application of viewpoint discrimination.”
Despite the connection between AMP and the country’s largest terror financing case, the IRS appears to have no such objections to anti-Israel groups.
Has AMP ever been asked by the IRS about his views on Islamic terrorism?
Due to the inaction of the IRS, AMP’s network and influence continued to expand.
AJP and AMP created AJP Action, a 501(c)(4), which lobbies on Capitol Hill and supports politicians: including Rep. Betty McCollum. In addition to its hostility toward Israel, it also opposes the Palestinian Authority, alleging that PA leader Mahmoud Abbas is supported by Israel and the United States, “unlike his Hamas rivals.”
An AJP action policy paper critical of Fatah’s Palestinian Authority laments that security “often represses members of Hamas to protect Fatah’s power”.
AMP was founded by Hatim Bazian, who once called for the genocide of the Jews. He still serves as Chairman of the National Board of AMP and Head of the AJP Educational Foundation. Bajian previously raised funds for a Hamas charity and tweeted an article claiming that “Europeans who fought Nazism with arms were labeled ‘terrorists’ by Hitler. Hamas is fighting the occupation of Palestinian land and is ‘ Termed as ‘terrorist’.
AMP’s National Policy Director Osama Aburshaid attended a conference with top Hamas officials in 2021. He tweeted, “Whether you love or hate Hamas, its opponents respect it. He stands up for his principles and negotiates from a position of strength.”
Taher Herzallah, AMP’s associate director of outreach and grassroots organizing, posted on Facebook that “Hamas’ rockets are the audible cry of the oppressed for help.”
At an AMP event in New Jersey this year, Harzallah complained that, “If we fight back, if we throw a rock or resist, they consider us terrorists. It is a God-given right.”
“Navigate the fine line between legal activism and material support for terrorism” indeed.
The problem with the IRS is not only that it maintains a ‘hands off’ policy toward nonprofits, but that it exhibits a clear political bias in selecting which organizations it goes after.
The IRS targeted Z Street and other pro-Israel groups even though there was no basis to suspect any illegal activity, but it has carefully distanced itself from American Muslim Advocacy for Palestine, despite ties to previous nonprofits that have faced criminal prosecution, including the families of terror victims. An extended case by and congressional testimony of a former Treasury Department expert on the sanctioning of terrorist fundraisers.
Americans deserve an IRS that enforces the law objectively instead of picking and choosing its targets for partisan political reasons. As long as the IRS continues to integrate with the Left, it will also integrate with Islamic terrorists who have integrated into the Left.
And that makes the IRS a national security threat.