BY RYAN MAURO:
Michelle Nunn, the Democratic Party candidate for the Senate in Georgia, is on the defensive over revelations from a leaked campaign strategy memo that her charity assisted Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA).The Israeli government reportedly banned IRUSA’s parent group,Islamic Relief Worldwide, for financing Hamas but the organization says its operations have not been shut down.
The memo identifies potential vulnerabilities in Nunn’s campaign, such as “service award to inmates, terrorists” by the Points of Light charity when she was its CEO. The charity was originally founded by former President George H.W. Bush in 1987.
The memo does not state which “terrorists” the charity may be criticized for working with. However, National Review reported that the charity’s IRS Form 990s from 2008 and 2011 show Points of Light awarded a grant of over $33,000 to IRUSA.
Nunn’s campaign is downplaying her former charity’s links. It claims that there was no direct funding and the relationship was limited to vetting IRUSA for EBay. Points of Light had a program named MissionFish that approved charities for EBay so they could receive donations from auctioneers.
Notably, the Nunn campaign is not defending IRUSA. The documented extremist ties of the charity cannot be credibly disputed. And the evidence existed prior to her appointment as CEO of Points of Light.
In 2006, Israel arrested the project director of Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRUSA’s parent organization) for allegedly financing Hamas. The Israeli Defense Ministry says he admitted to working with Hamas operatives and entities in the Palestinian Territories and Jordan. Evidence on his laptop provided further evidence linking IRW to Hamas.
The Defense Ministry statement reads in part:
“The IRW provides support and assistance to Hamas’s infrastructure. The IRW’s activities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip are carried out by social welfare organizations controlled and staffed by Hamas operatives. The intensive activities of these associations are designed to further Hamas’s ideology among the Palestinian population.”
The Nunn campaign’s defense misses the point.
Under her helm from 2007 to 2013, Points of Light approved of a charity accused of financing Hamas. The issue of whether there was direct financing from Points of Light to IRUSA is secondary. The degree to which she was involved in approving of IRUSA is unknown, but she can be faulted for failing to set a standard that prohibited assistance to Islamist groups with links to Hamas.
Read more at Clarion Project
- Nunn’s validation of Islamic Relief USA reveals system wide failure (terrorfinance.org)