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Ernst Demands Investigation Into Organizations Behind Antisemitic Protests

Revoke tax-exempt status for groups enabling activity that violates law

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) led 15 of her colleagues in demanding the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) investigate if 501(c)(3) organizations that have backed the violent pro-Hamas protests on college campuses violated the terms of their tax-exempt status.

The senators wrote, “We write to demand you open an investigation to determine if the supporters of the National Students for Justice in Palestine (NSJP), including the AJP Educational Foundation (AJP), the Tides Foundation, the Westchester Peace Action Committee Foundation (WESPAC Foundation), and other benefactors of NSJP have engaged in conduct warranting revocation of their tax-exempt statuses on the basis of their financial support of NSJP.”

In the letter, the lawmakers note that victims of the October 7th attack have sued AJP and NSJP for being Hamas’s propaganda division in the United States and their “control” over Students for Justice in Palestine chapters, which have been protesting on college campuses. They also noted the organizations’ use of protest planning materials in the immediate aftermath of Hamas’s assault on Israel—which may have been created before the attack.

“It is long-established precedent that when 501(c)(3) organizations have ‘planned activities that violate laws’ or engage in activities designed ‘to induce the commission of a crime or if the accomplishment of the purpose is otherwise against public policy,’ the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has grounds to revoke their tax-exempt status. In fact, the IRS has set the precedent that ‘organizations have been held not to qualify for IRC 501(c)(3) on grounds that the activities of the organizations in question contravened public policy even though the organizations did not violate any federal statutes or state or local laws,’” they continued.

The senators also pointed out that these organizations are blatantly supporting Hamas, even though it is a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).

“In light of this abhorrent support for an FTO, we call on you to initiate an investigation to determine whether financial supporters of NSJP, including but not limited to AJP, the WESPAC Foundation, and the Tides Foundation, have engaged in conduct warranting their tax-exempt status to be stripped,” the senators concluded.

Read the full letter here.


After the October 7 attacks on Israel, Ernst led her colleagues in demanding the Department of Education uphold its legal obligations to ensure Jewish and Israeli students are not subjected to discrimination. She also sponsored the Stop Antisemitism on College Campuses Act to cut federal funding for any college or university that allows antisemitic events to occur on their campus.

As cases of antisemitism on campuses started to increase after the October 7 attack on Israel, Ernst introduced the Students’ Bill of Rights to protect the First Amendment rights of students and stem discrimination at its source.

In the face of these college mobs, Ernst joined her colleagues in calling on the Biden administration for its plan to restore order and protect Jewish students. Earlier this week, she spoke on the Senate floor, calling for the Senate to pass a resolution she led with Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) to condemn antisemitism on college campuses and the administrators who enabled attacks on Jewish students. Following her remarks, Senate Democrats doubled down on their support for pro-Hamas protests and blocked this effort.