Rep. Rashida Tlaib (Photo: Patrick Robertson/CBN News)
Aug. 15, 2021 CBN News
U.S. Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) joined with five of their Democratic colleagues to call on the U.S. Treasury to stop giving tax-exempt status to U.S. charitable organizations with operations in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem – Jewish areas that are known biblically as Judea and Samaria.
It’s the latest example of a global leftist strategy to Boycott, Sanction, and Divest (BDS) from any organization that helps or does business with Israel – an effort that many have deemed antisemitic.
The Algemeiner reports in a July 22 letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, the Democratic lawmakers expressed their “extreme concern that U.S. charities are funding and providing direct support to Israeli organizations that are working to expand and perpetuate” Jewish settlements. They claim the charities are “supporting the dispossession and forced displacement of Palestinians.”
“We are concerned that these policies violate US obligations under international law, as well as federal tax law,” the letter read.
Tlaib tweeted an image of the letter, claiming: “Did you know organizations funding illegal Israeli settlements currently get tax-exempt status, in clear violation of international law AND US federal tax law? Treasury Dept. @SecYellen must act to enforce US law and end these organizations 501(c)(3) status.”
Social media users’ reactions were mixed. One user wrote, “Someone should remind Rashida that her constituents live in Detroit not Ramallah.”
Another user responded, “What’s this week’s anti-Israel tweet count? 104?”
The letter was also signed by Ocasio-Cortez and U.S. Reps. Cori Bush (D-MO), André Carson (D-IN), Mark Pocan (D- WI), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Betty McCollum (D-MN).
The Democrats allege that the charity organizations’ non-profit tax-exempt status is like a “subsidy” by the federal government in order to fund “serious breaches of international law.”
The letter specifically listed the Central Fund of Israel (CFI) as among those groups it charged with “fueling the dispossession and displacement of Palestinians,” as well as American Friends of Beit El, according to The Algemeiner.
The Democrat lawmakers asked Yellen to provide House Foreign Affairs Committee members with a list of American charities operating in so-called “occupied territory,” and to respond to their questions by Aug. 22.
As CBN News reported last month, Palestinian activist and political analyst Bassem Eid challenged Tlaib and Ocasio-Cortez over their statements claiming Israel is an apartheid state.
“Politicians like Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spend a considerable amount of time attacking Israel for the supposed harm it inflicts on Palestinians,” he said. “If they truly care about the wellbeing of Palestinians, they ought to focus their attention elsewhere. These days, the vast majority of suffering Palestinians experience is the direct result of the corruption of the Palestinian Authority and the influence of the terrorist group Hamas… Calling for boycotts, sanctions, and the destruction of Israel does not create real positive change for Palestinians.”
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