Center for Political Awareness

Pro-Israel Legislators have Concocted a Dangerous Ruse to Shut Down Nonprofits

Bipartisan legislation threatens the tax-exempt status of nonprofits that incur the disapproval of government officials.

Photo: Protesters hold a Palestinian flag while joining a demonstration near the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., on October 21, 2023. PROBAL RASHID / LIGHTROCKET VIA GETTY IMAGES

 

While campus demonstrators nationwide face police violence and repression for engaging in constitutionally protected speech and protest, nonprofit organizations that oppose Israel’s attack on Gaza are under a different kind of assault — a legislative one.

In April, the House of Representatives passed HR 6408 by a vote of 382-11. This legislation would grant the secretary of the treasury broad power to designate any charity as a “terrorist supporting organization” and remove its tax-exempt status within 90 days. The Senate introduced its companion measure, S 4136, shortly after.

This legislation is ominous given recent charges of terrorism disingenuously and inaccurately slapped on U.S.-based Palestinian organizations and student groups. In October 2023, for example, Jason Miyares, the Republican attorney general of Virginia, called for investigation of American Muslims for Palestine, and the Anti-Defamation League and the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law wrote a letter to presidents of nearly 200 universities, requesting that all chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine be investigated for potentially providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization.

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