Senators ask IRS to probe funding of anti-Israel campus protests

Organizations such as the National Students for Justice in Palestine should lose their nonprofit status, say the Republican legislators.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

A group of Republican senators have asked the IRS to probe groups funding anti-Israel campus protests with an eye to removing their nonprofit standing.

The main target of the 16 legislators, led by Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), is the antisemitic National Students for Justice in Palestine (NSJP), which has chapters in hundreds of universities across the USA.

About fifty of these colleges have been roiling in recent weeks with NSJP-led anti-Israel demonstrations and encampments. Chants for a cease-fire and accusations of Israel committing genocide in the Gaza Strip have often descended to calls for erasing the Jewish state and acts of verbal and physical acts of violence against Jewish students and faculty.

In many cases these illegal activities have not been quickly shut down by the administrations, leading to vociferous condemnation on Capitol Hill and sharp, if belated, criticism from the White House.

“We should not need to remind you of the heinous support NSJP chapters across the country have voiced for Hamas, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO),” the senators wrote to IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel last week.

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Within days of Hamas’ brutal surprise invasion of Israel on October 7 in which some 3,000 terrorists murdered 1,200 people and wounded thousands more, NSJP’s national leadership and many of its campus groups “explicitly endorsed the actions of Hamas and their armed attacks on Israeli civilians and voiced an increasingly radical call for confronting and ‘dismantling’ Zionism on U.S. college campuses,” they wrote.

They noted that the group’s financial backers include among others the WESPAC Foundation, which supports several pro-Palestinian groups, and the Americans for Justice in Palestine Educational Foundation (AJP).

According to Hamas victims currently suing AJP and NSJP in a U.S. court, the senators stated, AJP “serves as Hamas’s propaganda division in the United States” and established NSJP specifically to “control hundreds” of college chapters.

Since according to the plaintiffs the two groups already “disseminat[ed] a manifesto and plan of attack” to support Hamas on October 8, which suggests it had been prepared before the attack, “This … provides ample grounds for you to initiate your own investigation of these entities’ tax-exempt status,” they added.

“You would not be alone” in probing the group, the senators continued, because the attorney-general of Virginia has been investigating AJP for the last six and a half months on suspicion of using funds it raised in an “impermissible” fashion, by “providing support to terrorist organizations.

According to IRS rules quoted in the letter, organizations that “plan activities that violate laws,” engage in activities intended “to induce the commission of a crime,” or are “otherwise against public policy” even without violating the law, can be tossed off the approved charity list.

Among the more well-known senators who signed on the missive are Marco Rubio (FL), Ted Cruz (TX), Mitt Romney (UT), Lindsey Graham (SC) and Marsha Blackburn (TN).