(February 20, 2023 / JNS)
The Alliance for Global Justice (AfGJ), a U.S.-based NGO, announced on Tuesday that they have been blocked from receiving credit card donations. These sanctions were introduced by multiple credit card companies due to AfGJ’s financial support of the Israeli-designated terrorist group Samidoun.
As a result of these restrictions, “AfGJ cannot accept credit donations—and neither can the 140 organizations that rely on AfGJ to provide them with fiscal sponsorship,” according to the NGO.
The announcement comes after a year-long campaign by the Zachor Legal Institute focusing on shutting down the fundraising abilities of U.S. charities with ties to terror.
“We are delighted that the first of the major American charities fundraising for terrorist organizations is now unable to collect credit card donations. Money is the lifeblood of terror organizations, and drying up their resources will make it impossible for them to carry on business as usual,” said Zachor Legal Institute representative Ron Machol.
Samidoun was designated a terrorist organization by former Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz due to its links to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which is considered a terrorist organization in the United States, Canada, Israel and the European Union. According to the Israeli National Bureau for Counter-Terror Financing, Samidoun plays a leading role in the PFLP’s anti-Israel propaganda efforts, fundraising and recruiting activists. The organization has been engaging in delegitimization activities against Israel in the United States, Canada and Europe, and was behind the recent violent protest against Israel’s ambassador in Spain.
Samidoun advocates for the release of terrorists. The group organized a protest in Grand Central Station in New York City to demand the release of Palestinian terrorist Ahmad Sa’adat, who is currently serving a 30-year prison term in Israel for his involvement in the planning of the 2001 murder of Israeli Cabinet member Rehavam Ze’evi. The group also calls for the release of Ahmad Manasra, a Palestinian teenager serving a prison term in Israel for the attempted murder of an Israeli youth, as well as other convicted terrorists.
Several prominent members of Samidoun are also members of the PFLP. The chief coordinator of Samidoun, Khaled Barakat, is a senior member of the PFLP and the head of the PFLP abroad. The organization’s international coordinator, Charlotte Kates, is also a PFLP member.
According to Samidoun’s website, the organization demands the “liberation of Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.” Samidoun members have openly praised terrorists and their actions, and have openly called for terror attacks in Israel. Some members have also made anti-American and anti-European statements at demonstrations, calling for the “destruction of western colonialist world order.”
Samidoun’s funding strategy was originally based on direct donations. However, the slow exposure of their links to terror groups over the past few years caused major credit card companies to slowly restrict Samidoun’s activities. In 2019, Mastercard, VISA, American Express, Discovery, Paypal and Donorbox began limiting Samidoun’s financial services after learning of their connection to the PFLP. By 2020, Mastercard, Visa and American Express had fully removed the option to directly donate to Samidoun, forcing them to switch to a fundraising strategy based on donations from parent charity NGOs such as AfGJ.
According to the Zachor Legal Institute, since 2020, much of the funding for Samidoun has been going through AfGJ, a purportedly “anti-capitalist” and “progressive” charity. Furthermore, according to Zachor, the AfGJ recently facilitated a campaign for Barakat that intended to provide him with money for his lawsuit against Germany. The anti-Israel activist was barred by Germany from entering the country because of his alleged ties to terrorism. AfGJ has also fundraised for Collectif Palestine Vaincra (CPV), a French member group of Samidoun which notably coordinated with the PFLP in 2021 to raise money for an “indoctrination” camp for children in the Gaza Strip, according to NGO Monitor, an Israeli watchdog group.
In January 2023, Zachor Legal Institute submitted a complaint to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) against Samidoun and AfGJ. Zachor alleges that Samidoun is using the AFGJ platform for fundraising activities for PFLP operatives, as well as for their French affiliate CPV. Zachor claimed that these activities enable tax-deductible donations to designated foreign terrorist organizations. In its complaint, Zachor Legal Institute stated, “It is clear that Samidoun and CPV are each an alter ego of the designated terror organization PFLP, and AFGJ’s activities in support of PFLP violate 501(c)(3) rules on unlawful activity, including violations of 18 USC 2339B, for providing material support to a U.S. designated foreign terrorist organization.”
The complaint followed a letter that Zachor Legal Institute sent to the Department of Justice (DOJ) requesting an investigation into Samidoun and other non-profit organizations that solicit funds for terror organizations.
Many experts have commented that AfGJ’s affiliation with Samidoun puts it at serious legal risk. Anne Herzberg, a legal adviser to NGO monitor, said that AFGJ opens itself up to “liability and risk” by fundraising for CPV. Attorney and founder of Zachor Legal Institute Marc Greendorfer told JNS, “We further believe that under applicable U.S. law, AfGJ should be civilly liable for aiding and abetting foreign terror groups.”
Members of the U.S. Congress have also voiced their criticism as evidence of AfGJ’s terror affiliations came to light. Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.), a member of the Israel Allies Caucus, said that organizations working with the PFLP “should be ashamed of their malicious and antisemitic actions. Furthermore, any organization that is discovered to be providing aid and comfort to terrorist organizations should be held fully accountable and brought to justice.”
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