WASHINGTON, Sept. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A complaint filed today with the IRS and Justice Department charges the American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF) is a "sham" charitable organization of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The AIEF, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation which reported $26.3 million in 2009 revenue, is housed in the same facilities as AIPAC. AIPAC was incorporated as a domestic lobby in 1963 by a former Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs employee, six weeks after the Justice Department ordered its parent organization, the American Zionist Council, to begin registering as an Israeli foreign agent.
AIEF recently paid expenses for more than 80 members of Congress to travel to Israel during recess, but does not disclose planned activities or educational curriculum. Rabbi Bruce Warshal called AIEF "an amazing organization of which no one has ever heard…It's amazing that someone hasn't filed suit to stop this charade."
According to the 29 page IRmep Center for Policy and Law Enforcement filing, AIEF meets the IRS definition of an AIPAC "sham corporation" because:
- AIEF is completely controlled by AIPAC, 66% of AIEF board members are AIPAC directors. 47% of AIPAC's board are also AIEF directors;
- AIEF lacks sufficient staff. According to IRS and Congressional Research Service benchmarks, a bona fide educational organization would have at least 271 employees. AIEF has none;
- AIEF's "educational" content and audiences are determined by AIPAC lobbying objectives. AIEF has no website. No AIEF funded material is made directly available to the public;
- AIEF files deceptive IRS Form 990 reports. Although AIEF has multiple foundation donors such as the Saban Family Foundation ($1 million), The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Inc. ($150,000) and The Marcus Foundation, Inc. ($500,000), it does not properly and individually report such large donors and amounts on its publicly auditable Schedule B. This deceptive practice was pioneered by AIPAC to hide the narrowing funding base of both organizations.
- AIEF makes improper transfers of tax-deductible funds to AIPAC. In 2009, AIEF transferred $13.5 million in tax deductible funding to AIPAC;
- AIEF Near East Research merger. Founded in 1957, the Near East Report laundered overseas funding to AIPAC's founder to publish disinformation about Israeli nuclear weapons and US peace initiatives.
This IRmep Center for Policy and Law Enforcement filing, which urges revocation retroactive to 1990, is available at: http://irmep.org/09092011AIEF.pdf.
SOURCE Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy