Ever-vigilant for the integrity of our government, Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Anti-Semitic Dog Whistles) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Socialist Swag), and five of their henchmen have written to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, demanding that the Treasury Department stop granting tax-exempt status to American charities that work in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Because they’re aiding and abetting Israel’s “illegal settlement enterprise,” you see. True to form, however, the Squad duo has clearly not done its homework and betrays ignorance of the basic facts of the case.
The group, which also included the forgotten Muslim member of the House, Rep. André Carson of Indiana, and the forgotten member of the Squad, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, declared its “extreme concern that US charities are funding and providing direct support to Israeli organizations that are working to expand and perpetuate Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise in violation of international law, including supporting the dispossession and forced displacement of Palestinians from occupied East Jerusalem neighborhoods.”
The letter added: “We are concerned that these policies violate US obligations under international law, as well as federal tax law.” It claimed that the tax-exempt status of the groups concerned (which include Central Fund of Israel (CFI) and American Friends of Beit El) was essentially a “subsidy” from the U.S. government that was being used to pay for “serious breaches of international law and violations of internationally recognized human rights related to the expansion of the illegal Israeli settlement enterprise.” These groups were, said the Leftist legislators, “fueling the dispossession and displacement of Palestinians.”
Nor was its call limited to those two groups. The letter demands that Yellen provide a list of U.S. charities that are “operating directly or indirectly in any occupied territory.”
As is characteristic of the Left, this appeal is long on propagandistic plays on the emotions and short on facts. The falsehoods and distortions begin with the letter’s reference to “Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise.” The underlying assumption here is that Israel is illegally building homes for Israelis on land that doesn’t belong to Israel, but is “occupied.” Hordes of Leftists in America and elsewhere take this for granted as axiomatically true, but it isn’t. As The Palestinian Delusion explains, Israel did indeed take control of the “occupied” territory in question after the Six-Day War of 1967, during which the Muslim Arab states neighboring Israel launched an unprovoked attack upon it; Israel followed the practice of winners of defensive wars throughout world history in taking territory from the defeated aggressors to ensure there would be no repetition of the aggression.
Nor was the “occupied” territory previously part of a state of Palestine. There was no Palestinian state, then or ever. From 1948 to 1967, the West Bank was occupied by Jordan and Gaza by Egypt, yet nary a word was heard in those days about “occupation,” despite the fact that neither Jordan nor Egypt had any claim on the occupied territory. In fact, there is only one nation in the world that has any legal claim to that territory, and that nation is none other than Israel. The last nation before Israel to own the territory involved was the Ottoman Empire. As that empire was dissolving, it ceded these lands to the League of Nations, the precursor to the United Nations, which granted them to Britain for the express purpose of encouraging Jewish settlement for a Jewish national home. That national home is Israel; consequently, the land that Tlaib, Ocasio-Cortez, and the rest claim is “occupied” and now covered with “illegal settlements,” belongs—by the international law about which they make so much—to Israel, and Israel alone.
The claim that the groups Tlaib and AOC are targeting are “fueling the dispossession and displacement of Palestinians” is likewise false and misleading. The letter to Yellen is no doubt referring to the roiling controversy over the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem, where there are ongoing eviction proceedings against a group of Muslim Arab residents. Are they being illegally thrown out of their homes by rapacious apartheid-minded Israelis? No. Here is a summary of the legal issues involved, and the status of the disputed properties. It shows that the land in question has been owned by Jews since 1875, when it was lawfully purchased, and that two Israeli organizations registered ownership of this land in 1973. The Muslim Arabs living there do not own the land and have consistently refused to pay rent. Tlaib and AOC are demanding that the United States come to the aid of illegal squatters, which is consistent with their war on landlords in this country, but isn’t just in either one.
The letter to Yellen is yet another example of the Left’s utter indifference to truth. If reality doesn’t fit their agenda, so much the worse for reality. And Tlaib and AOC can count on the fact that no one in the establishment media is going to challenge them. After all, today’s “journalists” believe all the same nonsense. So what do our winsome Israel-hating congresswomen have to lose?