Atty. Lee Bender is the head of the Philadelphia based ISRAEL ADVOCACY COMMITTEE, which has perused documentation which shows that the government of Norway has allocated a new grant to “Peace Now” in the amount of 1.3 million Kroner, which is something over $200,000.
Since Peace Now is a legal entity in the US and NOT in Israel, Atty. Bender has asked the US Department of Justice as to why Peace Now has not registered itself as a foreign agent in the USA.
The consequences of Peace Now not registering itself as a foreign agent are that Peace Now runs the risk pf prosecution for functioning in DC as an unregistered foreign agent, since it has been receiving funds from foreign governments for many years.
Here is the letter filed by Atty. Lee Bender with the U.S. Justice Department:
Lee S. Bender, Esquire
1800 J.F.K. Blvd., 14th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103
November 23, 2009
U.S. Department of Justice
10th & Constitution Avenue, N.W.
National Security Division
Counterespionage Section/Registration Unit
Bond Building- Room 9300
Washington, D.C. 20530
Re: Americans for Peace Now
Potential Violation of Foreign Agents Registration Act
I write to request that the United States Department of Justice open an immediate investigation into a group known as Peace Now. Peace Now is a registered entity in the United States under the designation, Americans for Peace Now. Even though many of its members and events are in Israel, Peace Now is not a registered legal entity in Israel. However, Peace Now has received millions of kroner from the government of Norway since 2001, including approximately 1.35 million kroner this year, and appears not to have registered as a foreign agent, in accordance with the requirements of the Foreign Agent Registration Act. If this in fact is the case, it is a clear and serious violation of the statute, subject to criminal penalties.
Thank you for your prompt attention and consideration of this matter. I look forward to your response.
Lee S. Bender, Esquire
Translation of the article from Karmel Israel-Nytt,
a Norwegian newspaper published in Oslo, Norway
with its editorial offices in Jerusalem
By Vidar Norberg
Peace Now gets 1,35 million Kroner from Norway
Norway has the latest three years given a yearly amount of 1,35 million
Kroner to the Israeli movement Peace Now.
First secretary Annika Evensen at The Norwegian Embassy in Tel Aviv confirms
to Karmel Israel-Nytt that Norway in 2008 gave 1,35 million Kroner to
”We give the same amount in 2009…”. confirms Evensen.
The Norwegian support to Peace Now is not something new.
The Foreign Ministry has supported Peace Now Settlement Watch since 2001,
confirmed Embassy secretary Pål Klouman Bekken at Norway¹s Embassy in Tel
Aviv to Karmel Israel-Nytt No. 7 in April 2008.
Klouman Bekken, gave a view over the funds which have gone to
Peace Now Settlement Watch the latest years:
2007: 1,35 million Kroner.
2006: 1,2 million Kroner.
2005: No grants.
2004: 1,2 million Kroner.
2003: 1,2 million Kroner.
2002: No grants.
2001: Nearly 1,3 million Kroner.
Israel Resource Review
Knesset Committee Conducts Investigation of Alleged Espionage Activities of “Peace”
Mon May 16 2004
This week, the Israeli “Peace Now” organization revealed that it has been conducting aerial surveillance of Israeli Jewish communities in Judea, Jerusalem and Samaria, to determine the extent of settlement expansion. At the same time, the Israeli Knesset Parliamentary Interior Committee held a special session to discuss foreign government funding of Israeli left wing movements
Documents shared with the Knesset Interior Committee confirmed that the Peace Now organization received a budget in the amount of 50,000 Euros from the government of Finland to conduct intelligence activity in the Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria, the Golan, Gaza and Jerusalem. Peace Now is a political organization in Israel with an IRS tax deductible affiliate in the United States.
The Knesset Committee examined a Peace Now grant application to the government of Finland, that indicated how Peace Now intended to use the grant. This included regular bi-monthly ground surveys to be conducted with the purpose of documenting the numbers of empty houses in settlements and ongoing construction in settlements. This work engages tens of volunteers, who travel around the West Bank in cars (armored if possible) tracking developments. “Settlements” has come to be used in the press now as a euphemism for Jewish communities and towns, no matter how big or developed.
Also included was a provision for aerial photography: Twice a month a light plane is rented in order to allow “settlement” watch staff to ascertain the extent of ongoing physical expansion in existing “settlements.” Once a baseline survey is completed, subsequent surveys can be used to measure expansion using GIS satellite positioning overlays. The document stated that this “mechanism will yield tangible graphic and quantitative data for the public.”
Peace Now defined its objectives to the government of Finland in the following manner:
“To monitor settlement developments on the ground, accurately and reliably; To make this information available to the Israeli and international publics; To advance the fulfillment of the Road Map.”
Peace Now identifies the “target groups” for the government of Finland as the “Israeli public, The Israeli political leadership, International Diplomatic Corps and Israeli and international press.”
Peace Now defined the “final result of the activities” for the government of Finland as “Regular and reliable reports, in real time, disclosing the situation of settlement construction; Regular and reliable reports, in real times, monitoring the dismantlement of outposts and settlements according to requirements of the Road Map; Contacts with diplomats, leaders and press in order to convey reliable information on all aspect of settlement issues.”
Peace Now further informed the government of Finland that it would use the $50,000 grant in the following manner: “$17,000 Coordinator, $13,000 Jeep, $20,000 Aerial Surveys.” Peace Now informed the government of Finland that “funding is necessary to support the staff and rent the vehicles for aerial photography.
Peace Now defineed itself for the government of Finland as an “educational foundation”. Peace Now indicated in that grant request that it also received $100,000 from the Americans for Peace Now and 150,000 Euros from “European Foundations” for its “settlement watch project.”
A spokesperson for Peace Now indicated that the “European Foundations” mentioned in their grant request to the Finnish government were actually funds from the European Union. In other words, from other foreign European governments…Far from being an indigenous Israeli organization, Peace Now it is obvious actually acts as an agent for foreign governments.
The Israel Penal Code for Espionage was distributed to Knesset Interior Committees. Clause 3 of that code defines “photography of sensitive areas of Israel for any foreign power” as an act of espionage, punishable by ten years imprisonment if convicted.
Dr. Yuri Stern, Chairman of the Knesset Interior Committee, announced that he would ask his legal counsel to examine the matter and report back to the committee if there were indeed grounds for application of the Israel Penal Code’s special clauses on espionage against Peace Now.
While the Knesset interior committee members from across the political spectrum carefully listened and examined the documents relating to allegations of felonious activity by Peace Now, the Peace Now lobbyist in the Knesset, Behira Bardugo, screamed at Committee Chairman Dr. Stern and accused the committee of not investigating those who financed the campaign to defeat Ariel Sharon in the recent referendum campaign over the Prime Minister’s unilateral disengagement plan from Gaza.
When Stern explained that there is a difference between funding from a private individual and funding that is received from a government, Bardugo reacted with surprise, and simply said that there is no difference.
The Peace Now settlement expansion maps do not only wind up in the hands of European governments and they do not only include the civilian expansion. The Peace Now settlement expansion maps also include military installations and the maps are featured in all PLO offices…