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Israel approved grant to anti-Muslim US Christian Zionist group: Report

Israel's Ministry of Strategic Affairs gave Tennessee-based group $40,000, according to documents obtained by the Forward
PJTN's annual revenue was $1 million in 2018, the latest year for which records are available.
Proclaiming Justice to the Nations's annual revenue was $1m in 2018, the latest year for which records are available (Facebook)

The Israeli government reportedly approved a grant to a Tennessee-based Christian Zionist organisation that is designated as an anti-Muslim hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Forward reported.

The Jewish American magazine reported on Monday that it had obtained an Israeli government spreadsheet showing that $40,000 had been transferred to Proclaiming Justice to the Nations (PJTN) in the first quarter of 2020.

PJTN was the driving force behind Tennessee becoming the first state in the US to pass a resolution condemning the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in 2015.

According to the Forward, the group has also successfully lobbied other states to pass anti-BDS laws.

Asked about the grant, PJTN denied that it had received any money from the Israeli government or from Concert, a company funded by Israel's Ministry of Strategic Affairs.

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"As a United States 501(c)(3) non-profit organisation, our financials are 100 percent transparent and available to the public," PJTN told the Forward.

"We remain steadfast in our mission to educate Christians worldwide of their Biblical responsibility to stand with Israel and the Jewish people in the face of global antisemitism."

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An Israeli ministry spokesperson told the Forward that the government's actions "are done in a legal and professional manner", but declined to speak about PJTN.

According to the Forward, the grant to PJTN was part of a broader push by the ministry to support pro-Israel groups fighting BDS in the US, which has raised questions about whether those groups properly disclosed the support they received from foreign entities.

The records reveal that the ministry, along with a partially governmental company called Concert, gave groups fighting BDS a combined total of more than $6.6m since 2018.

American advocacy groups receiving money or funding from foreign governments have to disclose those payments with the Department of Justice under a law called the Foreign Agents Registration Act (Fara). 

PJTN is not currently listed in the Fara registry and non-compliance with the registration rules is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The exception to this rule is if the money is spent on activities outside the US, which could be the case for the group, as it hosted events in November 2019 at churches in South Africa that matched the name in the grant the Israeli ministry document showed.

PJTN has not responded to MEE's request for comment.

Since 2017, the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated PJTN as an anti-Muslim hate group. Last year, Amazon removed the group from its charity donation programme as part of a purge of extremist groups.

Laurie Cardoza-Moore, the group's founder, has previously said said that 30 percent of American Muslims are terrorists, that Islam is a "political system of global domination", and that former President Barack Obama literally caused tornadoes when he announced his support for a Palestinian state.

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