US nonprofit being sued by rescued Israeli hostage over ties to Hamas operative who held him

Unchecked “material support” saw a nonprofit facing a lawsuit from a rescued Israeli hostage as the man’s former captor appeared to have been “ultimately subsidized…by U.S. taxpayers.”

After more than nine months, it would seem bad enough that President Joe Biden’s administration had so far failed to bring home eight American hostages reportedly still being held by Hamas. It got worse, according to a lawsuit filed in the Western District of Washington state Tuesday, as one of four Israeli hostages rescued in early June challenged the tax-exempt status of the organization allegedly funding his captivity.

It was reported on June 8 that along with Noa Argamani, Andrey Kozlov and Shlomi Ziv, Amlog Meir Jan had been rescued by the Israeli Defense Forces while he and the other men were held at the home of The Palestine Chronicle contributor Abdallah Aljamal.

The lawsuit filed by Jan’s counsel, National Jewish Advocacy Center Director Mark Goldfelder, called into question the 501(c)(3) status of the nonprofit People Media Project behind the Chronicle and asserted, “Under the leadership of Defendants [editor-in-chief] Ramzy Baroud and [People Media Project governor] John Harvey, Defendant Palestine Chronicle employed Hamas Operative Aljamal and offered him its U.S. platform to write and disseminate Hamas propaganda, ultimately subsidized, through its status as a tax-exempt charitable organization, by U.S. taxpayers.”

“Following the Hamas terror attacks of October 7, while Hamas Operative Aljamal imprisoned Plaintiff, Defendants permitted Hamas Operative Aljamal to use their platform to whitewash Hamas’s crimes and attract international support for its terrorist cause,” the filing detailed.

“By providing this platform to Hamas Operative Aljamal and compensating Hamas Operative Aljamal for his propaganda,” it continued, “Defendants aided, abetted, and materially supported both Hamas Operative Aljamal and Hamas itself in their acts of terrorism, including kidnapping and holding Plaintiff hostage for 246 days, in violation of international law.”

Previously, a letter sent by Goldfelder and law partner Jason Torchinsky to Attorney General Merrick Garland, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, and FBI Director Christopher Wray called for an investigation of The Palestine Chronicle.

They noted since People Media Project’s initial filing for tax-exempt status in 2012 they had filed “postcard returns” and therefore their “operations remain largely opaque to the public,” and reminded that the penalty for knowingly supporting terrorists included up to 20 years in prison, or up to life if a victim of a terrorist died.

“We filed this lawsuit against Palestine Chronicle and its directors because they knowingly supported a Hamas operative who held our client as a hostage in his home,” Goldfelder told Fox News Digital. “We look forward to seeking justice from the federal court for our client.”

In addition to the lawsuit, New York Rep. Mike Lawler (R) spoke with Fox News Digital after the rescue and remarked, “Obviously, it’s disturbing, but to find out that a ‘journalist’ was engaged in the holding of hostages is deeply troubling. And that’s why myself and my colleagues have called for the 501(c)(3) status to be revoked and to make sure that we certainly, as the United States, government and U.S. taxpayers are not giving benefits, in any way, to entities or organizations affiliated with terrorism.”

He openly called for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and the Biden administration to revoke the nonprofit’s tax-exempt status.

Meanwhile, Tuesday saw Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines admitting that Hamas sympathizing protests throughout the United States had in some instances received financial support from Iran.

“In recent weeks, Iranian government actors have sought to opportunistically take advantage of ongoing protests regarding the war in Gaza, using a playbook we’ve seen other actors use over the years,” said Haines. “We have observed actors tied to Iran’s government posing as activists online, seeking to encourage protests, and even providing financial support to protesters.”

“I want to be clear that I know Americans who participate in protests are, in good faith, expressing their views on the conflict in Gaza – this intelligence does not indicate otherwise. Moreover, the freedom to express diverse views, when done peacefully, is essential to our democracy, but it is also important to warn of foreign actors who seek to exploit our debate for their own purposes,” she continued. “Furthermore, Americans who are being targeted by this Iranian campaign may not be aware that they are interacting with or receiving support from a foreign government. We urge all Americans to remain vigilant as they engage online with accounts and actors they do not personally know.”

Kevin Haggerty


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