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Republican senators request IRS probe of 'Students for Justice in Palestine' fiscal sponsor

Columbia University students hold a banner that says "By Any Means Necessary" with a Palestinian flag in the shape of the geographical borders of Israel during the demonstration, in New York, Nov. 15, 2023. (Photo: Derek French/SOPA Images/Sipa USA)

A group of 16 Republican senators sent a letter to the Internal Revenue Service, calling on them to investigate the fiscal sponsor of National Students for Justice in Palestine (NSJP), as well as other organizations that financially support NSJP.

NSJP is the main activist organization that initiated the anti-Zionist – and in many cases pro-Hamas – protests taking place across American university campuses recently.

The senators’ letter urged the IRS “to initiate an investigation to determine whether financial supporters of NSJP, including but not limited to AJP, the WESPAC Foundation, and the Tides Foundation, have engaged in conduct warranting their tax-exempt status to be stripped.”

The lead signatory of the letter was Iowa Senator Joni Ernst, who has vocally condemned the protest movement.

“The antisemitism that has popped up on college campuses coast to coast is fundamentally un-American,” she stated. “It is clear these organizations should not receive any favors from our government to do Iran-backed Hamas’s bidding on our own shores.”

The letter was also signed by Republican senators, including Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, Mitt Romney and others.

The non-profit organization known as WESPAC sponsors National SJP, enabling it to operate with tax-exempt status. WESPAC is currently headed by Jewish activist Howard Horwitz.

Raised in Orthodox Judaism, Horwitz eventually left the faith, saying that he came to find “Zionism as a secular, socialist enterprise compelling.” He even spent “months at a time on a Kibbutz in the early 1970s, appreciating its form of socialism, and its Jewish secularism.”

Eventually, however, Horwitz said his “Zionists beliefs were shattered by historical facts,” citing “the Nakba, the ethnic cleansing of 750,000 Palestinians, the invasion and burning of 500 villages, and the denial of the Palestinian right of return.”

While being “horrified by the atrocities committed by Hamas” on October 7, he argued, “It is important to understand why these Palestinian fighters broke out from the ghetto wall.”

He also wrote that his “outrage at Hamas’s [sic] atrocities quickly gave way” to his “outrage” at Israel’s “implementation of genocide” against Palestinians.

While Horwitz may call Hamas’ actions “atrocities,” the organization that he sponsors has praised the Hamas attack as a “historic win” against the “Zionist enemy,” saying the Al-Aqsa Flood operation has “broken down the artificial barriers of the Zionist entity” and “disrupted the very foundation of Zionist settler society.”

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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