Jewish groups demand Biden admin revoke IRS charity status of non-profit Palestine Chronicle after journalist found to be holding Israeli hostages in his home

"Furnishing terrorists, such as Mr. Aljamal, with the professional support they need to continue to commit war crimes is a breach of the US criminal code and grossly unacceptable."


Following revelations that a Palestinian journalist was holding three Israelis hostage when he was killed during an operation to rescue them Saturday, the National Jewish Advocacy Center (NJAC) urged Attorney General Merrick Garland, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, and FBI Director Christopher Wray to open an investigation into US-based Palestine Chronicle for "providing material support to terrorists."

Abdallah Aljamal was killed Saturday when soldiers raided his central Gaza home to rescue Almog Meir Jan, 21, Andri Kozlov, 27, and Shlomi Ziv, 41. Israel Defense Forces said that Aljamal and his family were holding the three hostages. Aljaman, who previously worked as a spokesman for the Hamas-run labor ministry, was a contributor to the Palestine Chronicle, covering Gaza during Israel’s offensive. 

"The Palestine Chronicle operates an online magazine that allegedly covers 'human rights, national struggles, freedom and democracy.' But in the wake of October 7, we believe that the organization has been providing direct material support to the Gaza-based terrorist organization Hamas," Mark Goldfeder, Director of NJAC, and Jason Torchinski, partner at Holtzman Vogel Baran Torchinsky & Josefiak, wrote in a letter obtained by The Post Millennial.

"While holding these three civilians hostage in his home, Mr. Aljamal continued to pen propaganda pieces for The Palestine Chronicle on the topic of the Gaza War that were regularly published on the US-based website, including coverage of the ongoing IDF operation in Nuseirat."

The letter stated that The Palestine Chronicle "appears to be sponsored by (or has some other financial arrangement with) People Media Project, a 501(c)(3) organization incorporated in the state of Washington."

The letter noted that People Media Project received nonprofit status in 2012 "and has exclusively filed Form 990-N returns ('postcard returns') since its inception, meaning that the organization’s operations remain largely opaque to the public."

NJAC noted that the president of The Palestine Chronicle is Ramzy Baroud, who is a non-resident scholar at the University of California-Santa Barbara’s Orfalea Center for Global & International Studies and a Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA). Baroud previously worked for the Middle East Eye and The Brunei Times, as well as Al Jazeera Online, which Aljamal had written a column for in 2019.

"Mr. Baroud and Mr. Aljamal have personally collaborated on anti-Israel propaganda pieces, and, in addition to providing a platform for Mr. Aljamal’s propaganda on The Palestine Chronicle, Mr. Baroud may have paid or provided other support to Mr. Aljamal for his work over the years—even when Aljamal became an official spokesman for Hamas working in Gaza’s Ministry of Labor."

The letter noted that US law prohibits American entities from knowingly providing material support to Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs), and could face fines or imprisonment as a result.

The law defines "material support" as "any property, tangible or intangible, or service, including currency or monetary instruments or financial services, lodging, training, expert advice or assistance, safehouses, false documentation or identification, communications equipment, facilities, weapons, lethal substances, explosives, personnel (one or more individuals who may be or include oneself), and transportation, except medicine or religious materials."

The letter noted that the Supreme Court had further clarified that "service" "training," and "expert advice or assistance" may encompass things like "material support meant to 'promote peaceable, lawful conduct,'" "instruction on 'how to use humanitarian and international law to peacefully resolve disputes,'" "teaching [group members] how to petition various representative bodies such as the United Nations for relief," and "advocacy performed in coordination with, or at the direction of, a foreign terrorist organization."

NJAC wrote that if The Palestine Chronicle paid Aljamal in exchange for his work despite his ties to Hamas, "The Palestine Chronicle, People Media Project, and Mr. Baroud unequivocally would be in violation of US counter-terrorism financing laws." The letter noted that Aljamal has appeared on Arab media as a spokesperson for the Hamas-run Ministry of Labor.

The letter noted that The Palestine Chronicle has altered its website in the wake of Aljamal’s death. When previously for comment by The Post Millennial, the Chronicle began altering its website to change Aljamal's bio from a "correspondent" to a freelance "contributor." Aljamal had submitted articles up until the day he was killed in the IDF raid.

Community Notes also began appearing on the outlet’s articles on X stating that Aljamal had been holding hostages. The outlet said in a statement, "He was neither a staff writer nor a contractor" and "contributed his services" on a "voluntary basis," also denying that he held hostages.

"Regardless of his employment status, it is indisputable that The Palestine Chronicle provided Mr. Aljamal with a US-based platform to publish Hamas propaganda and to pass the material off as an independent journalist," the letter stated. NJAC said that Hamas "relies on its propagandists around the world to do its bidding," adding that "global propaganda, particularly directed at the West and United States," is "Hamas’ grand strategy."

NJAC urged for The Palestine Chronicle and People Media Project to lose their tax-exempt non profit status, and both organizations and Baroud should be investigated. "Furnishing terrorists, such as Mr. Aljamal, with the professional support they need to continue to commit war crimes is a breach of the US criminal code and grossly unacceptable. For these reasons, it is incumbent upon the Executive Branch to further investigate this matter."

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