IRmep Congratulates IRS Fight to Stop Illegal West Bank Settlement Money Laundering

Jan 11, 2010, 13:20 ET from Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy

WASHINGTON, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- For the first time in history Commissioner Douglas Shulman today publicly committed the Internal Revenue Service to fighting US charities that launder tax exempt US donations into illegal Israeli West Bank settlement activities.

During an exchange broadcast over National Public Radio, Commissioner Shulman was unequivocal that all such violators would be prosecuted.

Host Susan Paige, USA Today: "I failed to get an answer to Grant [Smith's] question about if a charity that accepts tax deductible contributions is doing something that's illegal, do you go after them? The point that Grant was making was charities that may help fund West Bank settlements. What is the case with that? Is that illegal and would you go after a charity that was helping to fund that activity?"

Commissioner Doug Shulman, IRS: "I really don't know the specifics of the case that they [IRmep] brought up. But if I wasn't clear, if a charity is breaking the tax law, is engaged in activities that they are not supposed to be engaged in, we certainly will go after them. Every year we pull 501(c)(3) charity status from a number of charities. We've got thousands of audits going on regarding charities, and so we don't hesitate to administer the tax laws and make sure that people are following the rules."

Grant Smith, director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep) who appeared earlier on the show, congratulated Shulman. "Illegal settlements funded by US charitable donors not only thwart the Obama administration's recent Middle East peace initiatives, they've been a major catalyst for violence across the Middle East and attacks on America. I congratulate Shulman for stepping up to this overdue enforcement task."

The Diane Rehm Show is produced at WAMU 88.5 and distributed by National Public Radio, NPR Worldwide, and SIRIUS satellite radio. Each week, more than 2.2 million listeners across the country tune in to the program. The full interview will be available over the Internet at

The Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep) is a Washington-based nonprofit that studies US policy formulation toward the Middle East. IRmep's Center for Policy & Law Enforcement examines how balanced and vigorous law enforcement can improve trade, economic development and America's international standing. IRmep's website is .

SOURCE Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy