Taxpayers helped fund Hamas-affiliated organizations
Yesterday, we wrote about the Marxist American millionaires who are residents of China and donated over $20 million to an organization that’s mobilized many of the biggest pro-Hamas marches across America. Today, we’ll take that report a bit further to discuss the Hamas-aligned non-profit organizations that have received hundreds of millions of dollars from corporate foundations, employee giving, and even taxpayers themselves.
Preliminarily, let’s review 501(c) organizations. As taxpayers, we all know that we get write-offs if we donate to a “501(c)(3)” organization. However, there are actually 29 types of 501(c) non-profit organizations. All of them are, in varying ways, exempt from paying some federal and state taxes. This means that they get a lot of bang for the donated buck.
I know that accountants are ripping their hair out over my generalized and probably inaccurate description of what’s going on here, but I just want you, the reader, to get the gist: Organizations under the 501(c) umbrella have tax benefits. This means that 501(c) organizations pay less to the government than they would if they were not 501(c) organizations.
To the extent our federal and state governments spend lots of money, these 501(c) organizations contribute less to these expenditures than non-501(c) regular organizations do. We, the taxpayers, take up the slack, and we’re okay with it for “widows and orphans” charities…but what if the entity is channeling money into terrorism? What then?
Image by Andrea Widburg using a photo from Freepik.
This is a legitimate question because Sam Westrop, writing at Focus on Western Islamism, describes how FWI has tracked over $260 million that has been poured into ostensible 501(c) charities that exist to support Hamas—and that’s not even counting money sent to those organizations directly from taxpayers:
An FWI investigation has uncovered over 260 million dollars sent through the 501(c) system to Hamas-aligned charities in the United States, provided by corporate foundations, employee-giving schemes, partisan community groups and a powerful array of Islamist grant-making foundations that make use of a largely-unregulated nonprofit sector.
FWI’s in-depth investigation has also uncovered new instances of charities seemingly belonging to Hamas’s infrastructure in North America, evidence of terrorism links, and instances of horrendously violently anti-Semitic rhetoric among the officials of leading 501(c) charities across America. Some of these charities and their activities are even funded through the taxpayer, with over $100 million of grants to these charities authorized by the federal government over the past decade.
The U.S. government recognizes Hamas as a terrorist organization, making it a criminal act to send funds directly to it. It has also long designated certain Hamas-affiliated people and entities as terrorist organizations themselves. However, there’s always the problem of apparent charities that donate to other charities that donate to Hamas or affiliated organizations. Writes Westrop,
Indeed, radical movements have long used charitable programs and promises of social welfare to build a base of support and help with recruitment. Crucially, as the U.S. government realizes, charities do not have to fund Hamas’s terrorist operations directly to benefit the terrorist organization financially or ideologically.
At a certain point, the chain is so attenuated that it’s not immediately apparent that monies donated in America are directly funding terrorism—although I’m willing to bet that most of the donors to the charities identified in the article are comfortable with indirectly funding Hamas-based terrorism.
The real problem is that the U.S. government has been incredibly lax when it comes to investigating ostensible charities that intertwine charity and terrorism:
Much of the charitable work is indeed real, but it still serves to benefit terror. In Gaza, for instance, decades ago, Hamas came to the fore by distinguishing itself, through its charitable work, from the incompetence and corruption of the PLO. While Palestinian nationalists embezzled millions, their Islamist rivals set up medical clinics, orphanages and summer camps for Palestinian youth, winning grassroots support. Decades earlier, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt pioneered a similar approach.
In the early 2000s, writes Westrop, the U.S. was aggressive about policing organizations that were effectively terrorists handing out largesse. Now, though, the government isn’t doing squat:
Today, however, the law is still simply not being enforced. The activities of terror-aligned charities are largely ignored by law enforcement and policy-makers. Sometimes, the taxpayer even funds these radical charities through a wide array of obscene government grant programs.
Moreover, the problem is probably worse than FWI has exposed to date. The Schedule F forms that are supposed to disclose 501(c)s’ foreign spending have improperly missing information that makes it impossible to figure out how much money really goes to these faux charities. Still, what information is available reveals staggering sums of money flowing to Hamas-aligned charities, which means flowing to Hamas itself.
If you go to the linked article, you can see the nature of these top “charities” benefitting from these funds. It makes for illuminating reading.