August 24, 2015
As a rabbinic organization committed to human rights and the pursuit of justice in both Israel and the United States, we are deeply concerned about the likelihood that U.S. tax exempt donations are being used to finance terrorism within Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.
Today, T'ruah filed a request to the Office of the New York State Attorney General to investigate the American fundraising arm of Honenu and its fiscal sponsor, the Central Fund of Israel, regarding their use of charitable funds to support of Israeli Jews who have engaged in terrorist activities.
Honenu declares its primary purpose as legal defense for Israeli Jews accused of terrorist activities. If this were Honenu's only activity, we would have no complaint. Everyone deserves a fair trial with a lawyer. But Honenu also admits to making cash payments to Israelis convicted of terrorist acts and to their families.
Our filing can be read by clicking here.
Read more about this issue in the JTA article here.
“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 JTA after the group sent its complaint to the attorney general.
“We have no complaint with the use of money for legal assistance; Honenu itself admits that the money also goes for general support of those accused or convicted of these horrific crimes,” she said. But, “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.”