Commentary: Big Money Behind the Astroturf Pro-Hamas Campus Riots

Pro-Palestine Protest
by Jeff Reynolds


Pro-terrorist occupations and protests have exploded across American college campuses—coincidentally, as final exams approached. Many have asked how these Hamas-loving protesters seemed so organized, coordinated, and well-supplied. The source of funding and strategy has been an open question as tent cities and occupations pop up simultaneously at universities across the country.

Reports have begun to emerge that indicate the usual suspects have coordinated everything from tents to strategies to direct cash payments to agitators. This echoes the paid, coordinated riots that occurred in 2020, another presidential election year, after the death of George Floyd and the rise of Black Lives Matter (BLM).

The networks extend further than that, however, and may include foreign governments and terrorist organizations intent on destabilizing the West.

Who’s Funding the pro-Hamas Protests?

Those usual suspects include George Soros’ Open Society Foundations (OSF), the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Tides Foundation, and other far-left nonprofits.

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R–NY) posted on X/Twitter: “George Soros is trying to fund the downfall of America by buying elections for radical Far Left politicians and corrupting the next generation to support terror groups.”

Independent journalist Ian Miles Cheong elaborated on X, noting that the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR) gets funding from not only OSF, but also the Rockefeller Brothers fund.

Other independent journalists report the Soros-backed pro-Hamas campus occupations have months’ worth of food and supplies. Outside agitators from off-campus, paid by Soros and aligned groups, have deliberately turned the occupations violent, like this example from Emory University:

Half of those arrested at the University of Texas at Austin were outside agitators.

Groups Organizing the “Organic” Protests

The Soros-centered galaxy of nonprofits has a long history of funding pro-Palestinian causes. The Tides Center and Tides Foundation, two “charities” that have spent over $4 billion on “social change” for decades, fund the Alliance for Global Justice (AFGJ). According to the Washington Examiner, this charity has ties to Palestinian terrorism:

Newly filed 2022 tax forms show the Tides Foundation and Tides Center combined to steer more than $303,000 to Alliance for Global Justice, a charity in Arizona revealed through a Washington Examiner investigation to maintain ties to Palestinian terrorism. And those grants add to the millions of dollars that have flowed in recent years from Tides to AFGJ, which, this year alone, saw a swath of payment processors and liberal foundations cut ties with the nonprofit group.

Legal experts have accused AFGJ of providing “material support to terrorism” in violation of federal law because it sponsors the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, an Israeli-designated terror group that has shared staffers with the PFLP [People for the Liberation of Palestine]. Another reason is that AFGJ recently raised money for Collectif Palestine Vaincra, a Samidoun coalition member described on its website as a partner of the PFLP.

On the heels of Oct. 7, Collectif Palestine Vaincra and Samidoun have been mobilizing protesters against Israel on social media and posting event flyers. Samidoun was banned in Germany in October after its activists reportedly passed out candy to people in celebration of terror, while German authorities last week raided four properties related to Samidoun, Reuters reported.

Tides also funds WESPAC Foundation, which sponsors anti-Israel demonstrations and campaigns on behalf of imprisoned terrorists.

WESPAC stands for Westchester People’s Action Coalition Foundation. They have lent their fiscal sponsorship to Within Our Lifetime and the U.S. Palestinian Community Network, which allows those organizations to skip federal tax filings:

Several of the pro-Palestinian organizations, including Within Our Lifetime and the U.S. Palestinian Community Network, do not have public tax filings. However, they and several other groups use a progressive nonprofit group based in New York called Westchester People’s Action Coalition Foundation, or WESPAC, as their fiscal sponsor to collect and process online donations. U.S. tax law allows nonprofit groups with 501(c)(3) status to collect money on behalf of smaller groups.

Like many of the radical leftist philanthropy organizations, Tides receives significant taxpayer funding. In a separate report, Washington Examiner notes Tides has received at least $81 million in federal subsidies, subawards, and other public grants since 2006.

WESPAC also funds Students for Justice in Palestine, one of the main groups organizing the pro-Hamas protests and occupations on college campuses.

An environmental nonprofit called Sunrise Movement has received funding from Tides as well. Sunrise dedicatates itself to building a “movement of young people to stop climate change.” Sunrise has also made demands for an Israeli ceasefire in Gaza. They even created a “toolkit” to stand in “solidarity with Palestinians and their allies.”

Big Philanthropy Teams Up With the NFL to Support Hamas

Big Philanthropy isn’t the only source of funds used by the pro-terrorist rioters. America’s most popular professional sports league, the National Football League (NFL), funds a wide network of social justice initiatives in its Inspire Change initiative. That network includes the Community Justice Exchange, which funds bail, court fees, fines, and legal defense for protesters arrested while blocking bridges and freeways during the pro-Hamas A15 protests, organized in cities all over the United States on April 15. The Community Justice Exchange, along with bailing out terrorist sympathizing protesters, works to end cash bail and pre-trial detention, as well as immigration detention. Not exactly the most patriotic of efforts for the NFL to support.

The Community Justice Exchange also gets funding from Tides and uses ActBlue for its online fundraising efforts.

The New York Post has reported extensively on the far-left funding sources and coordination of the campus protests. Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) is the major national organizer for these occupations. SJP gets much of its funding through Soros and OSF, as well as the Rockefeller Brothers fund. The other two radical pro-Palestinian groups receiving similar funding are Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and Within our Lifetime.

JVP came under fire in 2017 for having a convicted terrorist speak at one of its events.

According to the Post, all three groups also received funding from Felice Gelman. Gelman, a retired investment banker, dedicates her massive fortune to pro-Palestinian causes.

Foreign Governments and Terrorist Ties

The funding network extends far beyond just these examples and includes foreign governments. Qatar funded Human Rights Watch to the tune of $3.75 million, just in 2018.

The Associated Press (AP) reports all these groups have extensive ties to the movement known as BDS—the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divest, and Sanction of Israel campaign.

An organization called NGO Monitor released a report showing deep ties between radical non-profits, student groups, and terrorist organizations:

These organizations have maintained both influential and radical friends, NGO Monitor explained in its new report released on Thursday, noting that JVP — a fringe anti-Israel group that has often joined forces to coordinate events with SJP — has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Other donors to JVP include the Open Society Policy Center and the Kaphan Foundation, among others.
As for SJP, one of its founders, Hatem Bazian, is also a co-founder of American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), an advocacy group that, according to a landmark report last year by the National Association of Scholars (NAS), “retains ties to terrorist groups operating in the Palestinian Territories.” AMP is a growing power player in the US Democratic Party and has led several legislative initiatives aimed at eroding Democratic support for Israel.

The report states plainly, “Under the guise of human rights and justice, these NGOs work to undermine the economic, military, and other ties between the US and Israel, and to besiege and divide the US Jewish community.” They also cite non-transparent funding as a key to their ability to organize. This shields possible foreign funding—including from terrorist organizations.

The military wing of PFLP, the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, bragged about participating in the Oct. 7 atrocities and urged other Palestinians to join it.

According to NGO Monitor, the wife of the founder of Samidoun spoke to Columbia University activists during a “Resistance 101” event. There, she said, “Your work is so important to the resistance in Gaza. There is nothing wrong with being a member of Hamas, being a leader of Hamas, being a fighter in Hamas.”

Ripe for Lawsuits

At least one lawsuit has already resulted, after the Department of Education denied an open records request on foreign extremists agitating the campus occupations. America First Legal sued, after the Department of Education denied their request to know which and how many students in America on F-1 visas took part in the demonstrations.

America First Legal noted this in its thread on X. They said, “In some cases, Hamas terrorism was sanctioned and promoted by university staff and administrators.” They further observed that United States law prohibits advocacy and other material support for Hamas. Foreigners here on F-1 student visas who do so risk deportation:

The protests and occupation that have broken out since October 7 clearly have their foundations in organizations that wish to see America and the West defeated. Many of them explicitly state their support for terrorist acts and our defeat “by any means necessary.” It is time to deal with the financial network, material support, and advocacy for terrorism in the appropriate way. Sadly, though, it appears pro-Hamas and anti-Israel sentiments will fuel the next wave of nationwide riots in this presidential election year. Just like the BLM riots did in 2020.

– – –

Jeff Reynolds is a writer for Restoration of America.
Photo “Pro-Palestine Protest” by Becker1999. CC BY 2.0.





Reprinted with permission from Restoration of America

Related posts