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Home SFSU TO HOST AL AWDA'S TAX DEDUCTIBLE WAR ON THE J

SFSU to host Al Awda's tax deductible war on the Jews

Anti-Israel forces are marshalling for another national conference in their war against the Jews and your taxes ultimately are helping to fund it.

By Lee Kaplan Stop the ISM
Saturday, June 17, 2006

A review of tax returns reveals that one of the biggest Palestinian organizations that refuses to stop the call to dismantle Israel is violating US tax laws as part of its non-profit status. And San Francisco State University is more than willing to help them do it.

The Palestine Right of Return Coalition (PRRC), also known as Al-Awda (the Return in Arabic), will hold another destroy-the Jews-and-starve Israel out of existence hate fest at the San Francisco State University campus on July 14th-16th. Past conferences were usually held on private property. By holding this conference on a University campus, Al- Awda utilizes property subsidized by American and Californian taxpayers to make war on Israel and against American troops in the Middle East.

Mazen Qumsiyeh, a former Yale geneticist, helped to found Al-Awda. Qumsiyeh, was sacked by Yale after it was found he was using the University’s email system to send out anti-Semitic comments on behalf of his organization. Qumsiyeh was later removed as the leadership of Al-Awda by the organization because he was deemed, of all things, too moderate.

SFSU is hosting this conference under the sponsorship of the General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS), a campus group. The GUPS pretty much rule the roost at SF State by both retaining control of the Student Union Building, as well as the student government and its assets. In the past, the GUPS have physically threatened and attacked not only Jewish students while they held a peace demonstration on the Bay Area campus, but on two occasions even attacked the College Republicans that included members of Students for Academic Freedom in their ranks. SF State, the alma mater of Yasser Arafat’s former second-in-command, Saeb Erekat, in the past also was behind the attempted expulsion of SAF member student Tatiana Menaker by administrators sympathetic to the GUPS because she confronted GUPS students about their unremitting attacks on Jews, Israel and the United States. Menaker was later reinstated after Front Page Magazine and SAF mounted a successful media campaign to have her reinstated so she could graduate.

In addition, the registration page for the Al Awda Conference states, "Note: Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition reserves the right to decline any reservation at its sole discretion for any reason." Since SFSU is a taxpayer-supported institution, Al Awda may not bar people from attending the conference on public university grounds. The restriction was set up by Al Awda to keep out Jews or other pro-Israel supporters who might want to discuss the issues at inside workshops and seminars. That’s called discrimination at a public facility. SFSU’s administration, the same one that refused to take action in the earlier attacks on College Republicans is giving its acceptance to an anti-Semitic hate fest on the Bay Area campus.

There are other reasons though that Al Awda itself and its conference deserve a hard look:

A review of the tax returns of Al-Awda, tax ID # EIN 25-1863915, a 501 (c) 3 tax deductible organization reveals Al-Awda has been concealing its mission statement from the IRS. In their Form 990, this is what they told the Internal Revenue Service:

The implication, of course is that they are a charity raising non-taxable donations for Palestinian refugees, a charity to fund allegedly poor people. However, their latest press release about the SFSU Conference lists their activities as follows:

  • Political assessment and identification of priorities in light of the escalating situation. Assessment of Zionist and US imperialist plans.
  • Assessment of the status of the PLO, The Palestinian Authority, and the return campaign, with emphasis on the unitary identity of the Palestinian people.
  • Assessment of the solidarity movement, with respect to advocacy for the Palestinian Right to Return.
  • Develop and extend plans for outreach to the Palestinian community and the adoption of the Right to Return campaigns as a central form of organizing in all related activism including but not limited to the media, congress, prisoner, and cultural awareness campaigns.
  • Develop a "Divestment from 'Israel' campaign" focused on the implementation of the Right to Return. Develop and extend the Palestinian Refugee Aid and Support programs.
  • Milestones in recruitment, divestment, refugee support, related the Right to Return activism, and organizational infrastructure over the next year.

    The reference above to "Zionist and US imperialist plans" is very telling. As America tries to broker a peace settlement for two democratic states side by side in peace, Al- Awda makes clear its goal is to roil the Middle East conflict by insisting that 5 million Arabs be allowed to go live inside Israel’s 1948 borders on the same exact spots where their dead ancestors may have lived. The purpose is to demographically overwhelm the Jewish population and dismantle the Jewish state. "US imperialist plans" refers to destabilizing US foreign policy in the Middle East; Al-Awda supported Saddam Hussein before both wars in Iraq and like the PLO is an avid supporter of the Iraqi resistance killing US soldiers and Iraqis. The reference to organizing "prisoners" is downright frightening. Not long ago, the FBI broke up a jihadist ring being developed inside California prisons and planning attacks in America.

    Al-Awda operates another website known as the Electronic Intifada. As shown by their press release, here is also what they mean by "media campaign on Palestinian Refugee rights."

    Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition, and the General Union of Palestine Students at SFSU are proud to announce the Fourth International Al-Awda Convention on July 14-16, 2006 in San Francisco, CA. It will be a strategic planning conference focused on adapting to shifting realities and rising to meet the challenges of our era. In working for return, we will highlight two main themes:

  • Political and material isolation of the State of Israel
  • Political and material support of the Palestinian refugee population.

    …Develop a "Divestment from 'Israel' campaign" focused on the implementation of the Right to Return.

    The divestment campaign is in fact a violation of US Trade Laws forbidding boycotting the State of Israel, a policy implemented by the Arab League after 1948 to starve the democratic Jewish state out of existence. In other words, Al Awda is violating US law and doing it all, tax free.

    The organization reported the following information on its fiscal 2004 Form 990, which is available from Guidestar.org. The statements that the organization did not engage in any lobbying activities or efforts to influence legislation, a reason for the IRS to pull an organization’s tax free status are also not accurate. The organization made very tangible efforts to influence legislation as proven by material on Al-Awda’s own Web site. Web pages there call for political lobbying, a violation of nonprofit status that included lobbying against a congressional bill to stop funding the terrorist group Hamas.

    Among violations are exhortations for Al-Awda members to call congressmen to lobby for bills and "Urgent Actions" to call Senators to oppose anti-terrorism legislation, or to affect political issues:

    1. http://www.al-awda.org/urgentcallnow/, states "Urgent: Call [your House Representative] Now"
    2. http://www.al-awda.org/thankcongressmemberswhorefused/, "Thank Congress Members who Refused to stop funding Hamas
    3. http://www.al-awda.org/urgentactioncallsenatenow/ "Urgent Action: Call Senate

    Now" to influence legislation.

    It is important to note all the above links were hidden by Al-Awda on their websites when attention was called to them, but all the links in the preceding paragraph are revealed through the Wayback Machine on the Web.


    In addition, Al Awda’s Form 990 report of the organization's activities are far from complete. They do not report to the IRS many controversial activities that have nothing to do with "Emergency relief to refugees" and "conferences, lectures, and media campaign on Palestinian Refugee rights" as stated here below:

    Still other violations include:

    1. http://www.al-awda.org/usetherightlanguage/ is a guide to writing anti-Israel propaganda for release to the media.
    2. http://www.al-awda.org/pointsofunity/ advocates divestment from Israel, and in fact a boycott of Israeli products (again, illegal by federal law).

    There are plenty of other self-reported activities on their own Web site that have nothing to do with what they told the IRS as shown above.

    As US taxpayers struggle with nearly $4 a gallon gas and how to meet living expenses, they would no doubt take umbrage at an organization that’s sole purpose is to roil the war between the Arab world and Israel and to support the Iraqi resistance against US troops and to do it all tax free. And a taxpayer-supported state University in California has no business abetting a group that defrauds the American taxpayer while seeking to roil endlessly the conflicts in the Middle East–tax free.

    Write the IRS and California Tax Boards and let them know how you feel:

    To: Internal Revenue Service
    Exempt Organizations Examination Division
    1100 Commerce Street
    ATTN: SE:T:EO:E
    Dallas, TX 75242

    Registry of Charitable Trusts
    P.O. Box 903447
    Sacramento, CA 94203-4470

    Al-Awda is a part of the International Solidarity Movement. If you’d like to volunteer to help Stop the ISM, please email us at StoptheISM@att.net .