search

US federal court dismisses $110 million tax suit against New Israel Fund

Lawsuit filed by Zionist Advocacy Center said NIF violated its tax-exempt status by supporting Israelis who are vocal on political issues

Illustrative: An activist with Tag Meir, an Israeli group funded by the New Israel Fund, hands out flowers on a day to counter racism in Jerusalem on June 1, 2019. (NIF/Yossi Zamir via JTA)
Illustrative: An activist with Tag Meir, an Israeli group funded by the New Israel Fund, hands out flowers on a day to counter racism in Jerusalem on June 1, 2019. (NIF/Yossi Zamir via JTA)

JTA — A New York federal court has dismissed a $110 million lawsuit against the New Israel Fund that accused the liberal group of violating US tax laws in its funding for Israeli groups that advocate for social justice issues.

The plaintiff, the Zionist Advocacy Center, agreed to the ruling posted Thursday by the Manhattan District Court and pledged not to file further lawsuits.

Under New York state law, the center’s executive director, David Abrams, would have been entitled to as much as 30 percent of the damages as a whistleblower.

Jewish and civil liberties groups said the lawsuit, had it been successful, would have inhibited nonprofit work.

The lawsuit alleged that the nonprofit “electioneered” in violation of its tax-exempt status by supporting grantees in Israel who are vocal on political issues.

Neither side “admits any liability or wrongdoing” in respect to the suit’s allegations, the ruling said. It also said the New Israel Fund will take “reasonable steps” to ensure that it is complying with New York state, US and Israeli laws.

In statements, the New Israel Fund said it was “satisfied with this outcome” and Abrams said he was “pleased” with the settlement.

On the same day, Abrams was also defeated in a case he brought against UCLA. He sued to have the university reveal the names of presenters at a 2018 conference organized by Students for Justice in Palestine, but the judge rejected his argument that the names should be a matter of public record. Abrams can now file an appeal.

read more:
comments
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed