A “Wespac Foundation,” apparently based in Westchester County north of New York City, is registered with the IRS as a 501(c)(3) entity. Not only does it conduct its affairs under federal and local tax exemptions, but it also hands out receipts to its contributors which these then use to claim income tax exemptions. Which makes Uncle Sam, and you and me, financial contributors to Wespac’s manifold anti-Israel activities. And these activities are largely devoted to demonizing Israel. ” In particular,” it says on its website, “we support the call by over 200 Palestinian civil society organizations for punitive measures including boycotts, divestment, and sanctions….”
One interesting aspect of Wespac is that it serves as the “501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor” for other anti-Israel action groups: it collects funds from donors, issues tax receipts, and then distributes the money to others who are like-minded. (In law, the “sponsor” and the recipient, in this kind of relationship, are held to be one legal entity, each being responsible for the actions of the other.)
One of these recipients is Adalah-New York, shown demonstrating in the picture above. A-NY advertises its financial relationship with Westpac on its website, where the visitor is invited to “Support Adalah-New York through our 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor, Wespac.”
On February 21, 2010, A-NY — some forty young folks, lily-white — demonstrated at Brooklyn College, urging the public to boycott the Israel Ballet. A-NY describes its demonstration:
Protesting ballerinas dressed in blue and white tutus (Israel’s national colors) and wearing masks performed a waltz that transformed into a military drill march. As the orchestra switched to a two-beat march, the dancers lifted their masks to reveal camouflage on their faces.
Another group for which Wespac acts as “fiscal sponsor” is “Israeli Apartheid Week,” whose aims and activities are similar to A-NY. IAW, too, advertises its relationship with Wespac on its site.
In its Form 990 submission to the IRS, Wespac describes its mission as follows:
HUMAN RIGHTS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS EDUCATION AND INFORMATION PROVIDED TO MANY HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE THROUGH PUBLIC MEETINGS EVENTS, CONFERENCES AND NEWSLETTERS
“Education” here is the key. The IRS Code does indeed grant tax exemptions and other privileges to entities devoted to “education.” But the IRS is also careful to delineate “education” from the kind of propaganda practiced by Wespac and the groups that it finances. Here are the relevant portions from the IRS guidelines (Rev.Procedures 86-43) that describe prohibited behavior by entities claiming to advance “education”:
1 The presentation of viewpoints or positions unsupported by facts is a significant portion of the organization’s communications.
2 The facts that purport to support the viewpoints or positions are distorted.
3 The organization’s presentations make substantial use of inflammatory and disparaging terms and express conclusions more on the basis of strong emotional feelings than of objective evaluations.
4 The approach used in the organization’s presentations is not aimed at developing an understanding on the part of the intended audience or readership because it does not consider their background or training in the subject matter.
Update, March 2: a Google search “Wespac, Fiscal Agent” reveals still a number of other anti-Israel entities for which Wepac acts as “fiscal agent.” Among these there is the Palestine Freedom Project
for my complaint to the IRS, please click HERE
READ: Lee Kaplan’s article on how anti-Israel terror groups defraud the IRS
READ: Gerald Steinberg’s up-to-date (7/11/10) op-ed piece on how anti-Israel groups receive funds through IRS-registered organizations.