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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 2/24/13

Funding the Israel Lobby and Illegal Settlements

By       (Page 1 of 9 pages)   7 comments
Message Larry Toenjes

The illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem receive large amounts of financial support from US individuals and organizations.  These organizations have close links to the main components of the Israel Lobby.  Some of these links are depicted in the diagram below.  The construction of this diagram is described later in this paper.


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Israel's continuing development of the illegal settlements is widely considered to be the main obstacle to re-establishing meaningful negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. President Obama has raised the issue on numerous occasions, as have previous presidents.   But the settlement process rolls ahead, increasing what the Israelis call "facts on the ground."  


The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that many of the benefactors of organizations within the nexus of the Israel Lobby also provide funds to organizations that use those funds to support illegal settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.   The procedure used will examine actual grants made to nine organizations that are part of the Israel Lobby, and grants made to 16 organizations which pass on at least part of the funds they receive to illegal settlements, or to organizations in Israel or the occupied territories which in turn send the funds to the settlements.

Most of the information on grants was obtained from the Foundation Center Online. In addition, tax forms filed by non-profit organizations--IRS form 990--were accessed on the website of the Economic Research Institute.   Information on the funding of illegal settlements was obtained from the website at, as well as from various articles obtained on the Internet.



The establishment and occupation of residential communities in the lands occupied by Israel during the 1967 six-day war has continued unabated ever since.   The UN Human Rights Council recently issued an advanced unedited version of a report entitled "Report of the independent international fact-finding mission to investigate the implications of the Israeli settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), including East Jerusalem." Most relevant is paragraph 16 of that report:


16. Article 49(6) of the Fourth Geneva Convention also prohibits an occupying Power from transferring parts of its own civilian population into the territory that it occupies. This prohibition has attained the status of customary international law.   The Mission notes that the Israeli settlements in the OPT, including East Jerusalem, violates this provision and are, thus, illegal under international law. ettlements.pdf

A report prepared by Talia Sasson, commissioned by Prime Minister Sharon, and approved by the Israeli Cabinet on March 13, 2005, cited many examples where residential settlements in the West Bank were established illegally, based on the laws of Israel itself.   The following is an excerpt from Sasson's report:  

"The information I have so far shows that there are 105 unauthorized outposts (that I know of today). But this probably does not reflect the true number of outposts in the area. (As for the gap between this figure and data presented by the Ministry of Defense in the past -- see sec. 5.4 of the opinion.)

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Laurence A.Toenjes is retired from the University of Houston ?s Department of Sociology where he was a researcher with The Sociology of Education Research Group. Toenjes received his doctorate in economics from Southern Illinois University.
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