American tax-exemptions may have been used by a nonprofit organization to commit violence against Arabs and Palestinians in Israel, alleges a complaint filed with the New York state Attorney General’s Office.
Honenu – an Israeli Zionist aid organization that offers legal assistance to convicted or on-trial Jews – has been accused of sponsoring Jewish extremism, following an exposé by an Israeli news program.
According to documents obtained by Israel's Channel 10, Honenu's budget was approximately $600,000 in 2013, of which one-quarter of the money went to lawyers defending Jewish convicts or suspects while $50,000 went directly to prisoners who killed or carried out attacks against Palestinians.
“Honenu is doing exactly what Hamas and the PLO have been criticized for – providing personal support, if not incentives, for those who commit terrorist acts against others,” says the complaint sent Monday by Jewish rights group T’ruah.
The Jerusalem Post reports Honenu has operated as a “New York-based fundraising arm” since 2003 and according to the most recent data available, it raised $233,700 in the U.S. in 2010.
Now the T’ruah wants American authorities to find out if the Israeli group has been using the collected funds to financially support Jewish extremists in Israel. The complaint has also called for an investigation into Honenu’s fiscal sponsor, the Central Fund of Israel, which is also based in New York.
“In the wake of the horrific terrorist bombing that killed an 18-month-old and his father, and left his mother and brother in critical condition, we in the U.S. Jewish community must examine our own responsibility for such crimes,” T’ruah’s executive director, Rabbi Jill Jacobs, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
“Just as we would be furious to learn of tax-exempt money going to Hamas or ISIS, we must not allow U.S. taxpayers to subsidize money that is given strings-free to members of our own people who are accused or convicted of terror.”
The filing comes almost a month after an 18-month-old Palestinian toddler was killed allegedly by Jewish extremists in the West Bank in an arson attack.