In three separate letters to federal officials dated December 1, 2009, Congressman Sherman expressed concern about whether an organization known as Viva Palestina, headed by George Galloway, may be soliciting funds for the terrorist group Hamas. The Congressman noted that Galloway is the leader of Viva Palestina convoys to
We are giving you now 100 vehicles and all of the contents and we make no apology for what I am about to say. We are giving them to the elected government of
The Congressman noted in his letters to federal officials that Viva Palestina itself is not a 501(c)(3) entity and that its legal status was not ascertainable. It apparently uses a 501(c)(3) conduit, the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organizations/Pastors for Peace (IFCO), to accept charitable donations . . . .
The Congressman also cited evidence that he received from the
The convoy is the first thing . . . If you cant come, then help those who are fundraising to send others. There are many ways that you can do it . . . Please take it. Its a small colored leaflet, Viva Palestina
In his letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Congressman Sherman urged the Attorney General to investigate Galloway, Viva Palestina
In his letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Congressman Sherman requested that the Secretary investigate . . . immediately to determine whether Mr. Galloway and his foreign associates should have any outstanding visas revoked and any future admittance into the
In his letter to IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman, Congressman Sherman called on the IRS to investigate . . . immediately to determine whether the Internal Revenue Service should revoke IFCOs 501(c)(3) status . . . . Congressman Sherman emphasized, The taxpayers of the United States should not and cannot support the activities of recognized terror organizations (italics in original).
In a letter to UC Irvine Chancellor Michael Drake, also dated December 1, 2009, Congressman Sherman noted that UC Irvine was already cooperating with local authorities and conducting an internal investigation into the Muslim Student Union event on May 21, 2009, at which
In the past we have discussed the actions of the MSU in the context of First Amendment rights; soliciting funds for terror organizations is a far different matter. Students using a public universitys resources to provide material assistance for terror are in clear violation of federal law.
The Congressman referred to the videotape evidence provided by the
I strongly urge you to review this evidence in your investigation. I believe your investigation will confirm that the UCI MSU [Muslim Student Union] has solicited funds for a terrorist organization (or knowingly aided and abetted such solicitation). After you confirm these facts, I believe you will, at a minimum, prevent the MSU from operating on campus unless and until its leadership is purged of those responsible.
Morton A. Klein, the
For years, students have complained to us that UC Irvine has not enforced the universitys own policies when it comes to the Muslim Student Union. In this current situation, the Muslim Student Union has itself publicly admitted that it violated the university policies on fundraising.
UC Irvine is looking into the conduct of not only the Muslim Student Union, but also that of university officials who were present at the Muslim Student Unions event on May 29th and knew or should have known that unauthorized and possibly illegal fundraising was taking place. These officials did nothing to stop the solicitation of funds for Viva Palestina. And when one official submitted a report about the event to the Vice Chancellor, he did not even mention that funds had been solicited there.
We are pleased that other groups and organizations have taken a strong stand in support of the federal government and UC Irvine investigating what occurred at the university on May 21, 2009. We thank Congressman Sherman for taking a leadership role on this serious matter, which could show that the UC Irvine campus was used as a base for fundraising for the terrorist group Hamas in violation of federal law. Hopefully, Attorney General Holder, Secretary of State Clinton, and IRS Commissioner Shulman will heed Congressman Shermans calls for an immediate investigation. And Congressman Shermans letter will hopefully reinforce the need for UC Irvine to conduct a thorough investigation which, when completed, holds wrongdoers fully accountable for their misconduct.