Investigative journalist and author Grant Smith‘s “Israel Lobby Archive” project gets a response from a Freedom of Information Act request filed in 2007, which asked for access to internal Treasury Department records on programs to stop or investigate charitable funds going to illegal Israeli settlements. (Read the Institute for Research: Middle East Policy statement on the response here.)
The department responded, in so many words, that they don’t do anything about it:
Unfortunately, we were unable to locate or identify any responsive records pertaining to: Internal reports about Treasury Department investigations triggered by public revelations that U.S. charitable funds flows used are used to illegally confiscate Palestinian lands and commit crimes overseas; Meeting minutes of key Treasury Department 0fficials charged with combating money laundering conducted in Israel and the U.S. dealing with the Sasson report money laundering issues especially those with a focus on U.S. divisions of Hadassah, B’nai B’rith and other U.S. organizations managing WZO money laundering.
While the Treasury Department says it has “responsive information pertaining to Treasury Department programs designed to combat U.S. charitable money laundering to the West Bank,” the documents don’t say anything substantive on that topic. The documents attached to the request consist of already online presidential orders, like the prohibition on transactions with organizations designated by the U.S. as “terrorist” organizations.
But the Treasury Department is doing nothing about the (at least) hundreds of millions of tax-exempt dollars that flow to illegal settlements on occupied land. It is doing nothing about the New York-based Hebron Fund, which openly raises money for racist, extremist Israeli settlers who make the lives of Palestinians in Hebron hell. It is doing nothing about Friends of the Ateret Cohanim and Friends of Ir David, who are actively engaged in the colonization of Palestinian land in occupied Jerusalem.
Nothing to see here.