WASHINGTON (JTA) – J Street has called for an investigation into American
charities that fund Israeli settlement activity.
J Street, the
self-proclaimed political home for “pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans,” launched a
campaign on Monday calling on the US Treasury Department to look into whether
organizations named in a July 6 New York Times report have broken the
The report identified more than 40 US organizations that have
collected over $200 million in tax-deductible contributions for schools,
synagogues and recreation centers in the West Bank and eastern
The organizations support Jewish settlements in the West Bank
and receive tax breaks from the US Treasury.
“With the explicit goal of
undermining a two-state solution, many of these groups raise
contributions from the United States to deepen the occupation in the
Territories,” read the J Street appeal to followers to petition the
investigate the funding. “Some even fund settlement outposts that the
government considers illegal.”
Treasury, White House and State Department
spokesmen did not return requests for comment on the status of the
named in the story, and whether the US government was considering
report revealed a
connection between one of the
organizations and Kahane Chai, a banned Israeli political party that was
a terrorist organization by the United States in 1994.
Friends of Zo
Artzeinu/Manhigut Yehudit, based in Cedarhurst, New York, was cofounded
Shmuel Sackett, former executive director of Kahane Chai.
settlement construction is diminishing the chances of a two-state
endangering Israel’s very future as a Jewish, democratic home,” J Street
director Jeremy Ben-Ami said in a statement. “Funding such activity is
irresponsible and provocative.”