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American Muslims for Palestine (AMP)

Profile

Country/TerritoryUnited States
Websitehttp://www.ampalestine.org/
Founded2005 in Chicago, IL
In their own wordsSeeks to “educate the public about the just cause of Palestine and the rights of self-determination, liberty and justice”

Funding

  • Funding is channeled through the AJP Educational Foundation Inc.1  Hatem Bazian, head of AMP, is also AJP Educational Foundation’s principal officer. In 2015, total income was $903,065; total expenses were $819,883.

Activities

  • Chaired by Hatem Bazian, co-founder of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP).
  • Supports anti-Israel BDS, accuses Israel of “apartheid,” and advocates for a “right of return” and the elimination of Israel: “Palestinians are more determined than ever to fight on until total liberation, until every refugee can return, until the land of Palestine is free from the river to the sea!”
  • At its 2014 annual conference, Vice Chairman Munjed Ahmad moderated a panel discussion on “Do Occupied People Have the Right to Resist their Occupation?” which invited participants to “Come navigate the fine line between legal activism and material support for terrorism.” In his lecture he praised those who resisted occupation saying, “there will come a day where the Palestinian people…the martyrs of Palestine will become heroes. They are heroes to us already…we know that they are standing for justice and standing for what’s right.”
  • Additional panels at its 2014 annual conference discussed how the “Zionist network in the United States stifles criticism of Israeli policies by smearing activists as anti-Semites”; various “tools to try to end US military aid to Israel”; “everything you need to know to get busy with your own successful BDS effort.”
  • In March 2013, AMP launched a $38,000 billboard campaign on Metro stations in New York accusing Israel of “apartheid.” The ad featured the shadow of an Israeli soldier aiming a gun at a Palestinian child and called for an end to US aid to Israel.
  • Taher Herzallah, national campus coordinator of AMP, justified Hamas rocket fire aimed at Israeli civilians, saying that “in order for them [Israeli society] to feel any compulsion or urge to end the occupation, they need to feel that they are in an abnormal situation. In that regard, Hamas’ rockets are effective even though they don’t kill anyone. Hamas’ rockets are an oppressed people’s audible cry for help.”
  • The AMP board includes at least two members, Salah Sarsour and Osama Abu Irshaid, with ties to the Holy Land Foundation (HLF). The HLF had its assets frozen by the U.S. Treasury in 2001 after the discovery that it was funneling money to Hamas.
  • AMP also produces media and activism guidebooks, such as campus activism resources including fact-sheets, anti-normalization material, and Power Point presentations that parrot the Hamas narrative of the 2014 Israeli-Hamas conflict in Gaza, claiming that “Palestinian resistance was born out of the occupation and the siege, plain and simple.”
  • AMP offers significant support to SJP chapters by speaking at SJP campus events, reposting SJP statements on its website, organizing conferences and seminars for SJP chapters, and facilitating the SJP National Convention.
  • AMP’s own 2010 conference featured two “SJP workshops” titled “Israeli PR and Rebranding Campaign” and “The Normalization of Zionism on Campuses.”
  • Taher Herzallah was a member of SJP at the University of California, Riverside, as well as one of the “Irvine 11” students who were convicted for disrupting a speech by Ambassador Michael Oren.
  • On July 19, 2013, Taher Herzallah praised Israeli casualties of Hamas attacks. He posted photos of wounded Israeli soldiers on Facebook with the caption: “The most beautiful site in my eyes.” The post was later removed.
  • Partners with Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), a leader of anti-Israel BDS campaigns, which claims to be the Jewish wing of the Palestinian solidarity movement and seeks to “drive a wedge” within the American Jewish community over support for Israel.

Footnotes

  1. AMP is incorporated in the State of Illinois, but is not a 501(c) (3) tax-exempt organization. In order to receive tax-exemption donations, it uses an organization known as “Americans for Justice in Palestine Educational Foundation (AJP),” located at the same address, as its “fiscal sponsor.” It appears that AJP does not sponsor any other projects.

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