Non-profit

American Task Force on Palestine

Location:

WASHINGTON, DC

Tax ID:

52-1929011

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2018):

Revenue: $400
Expenses: $4,874
Assets: $6,000

Founded:

2003

Founder:

Dr. Ziad Asail

The American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) was a nonprofit which advocated for American support of a peaceful two-state solution to the crisis between Palestine and Israel. [1] It was founded in 2003 by doctor and Palestinian advocate Ziad Asali to succeed his previous organization, the American Committee on Jerusalem (ACJ). [2] [3] An article from the Times of Israel called ATFP “the most prominent pro-Palestinian group in the US lobbying for a two-state solution,” and noted that the organization was defunct as of 2022. [4]

Mission

American Task Force on Palestine’s 2006 publication Vision for the State of Palestine outlined a plan for a Palestinian state which would exist alongside Israel by “mutual agreement.” It proposed that Jews, Christians, and Muslims find a way to share Jerusalem without any one party establishing “monopoly of sovereignty” over the city, while recommending that the United Nations recognize a sovereign Palestinian state in some portion of the city. It further recommended a secular governing state which would exist to foster a “genuinely pluralistic state” rather than an ethno-religious one. Finally, the publication emphasized that this solution must occur through the explicit agreement of all parties involved. [5]

History

American Task Force on Palestine began in 1995 as the American Committee on Jerusalem, which advocated to stop expanding Israeli housing settlements in Jerusalem. [6] ACJ sent 10,000 petitions to then-President Bill Clinton in 1997 to remove all Israeli settlements in Jerusalem and Gaza, calling them “unlawful.” [7] In 1999, ACJ sent a letter to then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright detailing research which alleged that 70 percent of the site of a planned U.S. embassy in Jerusalem was privately owned by Palestinians. [8]

ACJ changed its name to ATFP in late 2003 and shifted its emphasis to a two-state solution from the dispute over Jerusalem. [9] [10] The organization is primarily known for bringing awareness of the two-state solution through conferences, speeches, and university outreach. ATFP president Ziad Asali advocated for the two-state solution before prominent groups such as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and in foreign policy magazine The National Interest. [11] [12]

ATFP claimed to play “a major role” in securing U.S. funding for the Palestinian Authority and loans for small Palestinian businesses. It founded a Palestine Humanitarian Fund which donated at least $155,000 to Palestinian hospitals, refugees, and charities between 2006 and 2007. Along with USAID and other international organizations, ATFP partnered on a $400,000 multi-year infrastructure development project for a Palestinian village. [13]

ATFP’s other activities included an annual autumn gala which began in 2006. [14] The gala featured prominent speakers such as then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2010 and Walter Isaacson, the then-president and CEO of the think tank Aspen Institute, at the third gala. [15] [16] Skepticism that ATFP could successfully promote a two-state solution led to the cancellation of its 2014 gala, a heavy blow to the organization’s finances as the gala provided 50 percent of ATFP’s fundraising. [17]

Criticism

ATFP received criticism from Palestinian activists who claimed the organization did not support Palestinian interests. Commentator Osamah Khalil accused ATFP of having only a “slim record of ‘achievements’” including “sponsoring polo matches” and presenting speeches. [18] Ahmed Moor, a Soros Fellow and Palestinian activist, criticized ATFP president Ziad Asali for associating with Israel’s U.S. ambassador and celebrating Israel’s independence, claiming that it showed disrespect for Palestinians undergoing mistreatment in Israeli prisons. [19]

Leadership

Ziad Asali formerly served as the president and founder of ATFP. He previously practiced medicine in Jerusalem and the U.S. before retiring in 2000. Asali has been involved with multiple organizations supporting Arab Americans, including the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC). He co-founded the nonprofit American Charities for Palestine (ACP) in 2007 to support the development of health and education initiatives in Palestine. Asali also served on several official U.S. delegations to Palestine, including as an observer of Palestinian elections. [20]

Lawyer George Salem formerly served as a board member for ATFP. [21] He is known for his extensive experience with high-profile labor cases and Middle Eastern clients, as well as his support of Arab American organizations. Salem currently is the chairman of the left-of-center Arab American Institute, which he co-founded in 1985, and also as treasurer of United Palestinian Appeal, an organization which promotes the development of Palestinian healthcare, community, culture, and education. Prior to his private practice work, Salem was U.S. Solicitor of Labor in the second term of President Ronald Reagan. He was also involved in several successful Republican presidential campaigns from the 1980s to 2000. [22]

Funding

ATFP’s year-to-year revenues steadily rose from just over $300,000 in 2003 to over $1 million in 2013, then sharply declined in 2014 to $400,000 due to the cancellation of the annual gala. [23] [24] [25] From 2015 until the last available financial data in 2018, the organization’s revenues dropped from $50,000 to only $400. [26] [27]

References

  1. The American Task Force on Palestine. “About Us.” Accessed October 2, 2022. http://www.americantaskforce.org/about_us ^
  2. American Task Force on Palestine. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax, 2002 Form 990. Accessed October 2, 2022. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/521929011/2004_03_EO%2F52-1929011_990_200212 ^
  3. American Task Force on Palestine. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax, 2003 Form 990. Accessed October 2, 2022. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/521929011/2004_12_EO%2F52-1929011_990_200312 ^
  4. Jacob Magid. “US fills board that’ll dish out $250m for Israel-Palestine peace-building projects.” The Times of Israel. February 4, 2022. Accessed October 2, 2022. https://www.timesofisrael.com/us-fills-board-thatll-dish-out-250m-for-israel-palestine-peace-building-projects/ ^
  5. The American Task Force on Palestine. “Vision for the State of Palestine.” February 2, 2006. Accessed October 10, 2022. http://www.americantaskforce.org/position/vision_state_palestine ^
  6. Michael Lewis. “Israel’s American Detractors – Back Again.” Middle East Quarterly. Reprinted in Middle East Forum. December 1997. Accessed October 2, 2022. https://www.meforum.org/372/israels-american-detractors-back-again ^
  7. The American Committee on Jerusalem. “ACJ Delivers 10,000 Petitions Protesting Israeli Settlements to President Clinton.” April 23, 1997. Accessed October 2, 2022. Archived at archive.org. https://web.archive.org/web/19980201234330/http://www.acj.org/pr02.htm ^
  8. Walid Khalidi. “The Ownership of the U.S. Embassy Site in Jerusalem.” Journal of Palestine Studies. Reprinted by JSTOR. 2000. Accessed October 2, 2022. https://www.jstor.org/stable/2676563 ^
  9. American Task Force on Palestine. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax, 2002 Form 990. Accessed October 2, 2022. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/521929011/2004_03_EO%2F52-1929011_990_200212 ^
  10. American Task Force on Palestine. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax, 2003 Form 990. Accessed October 2, 2022. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/521929011/2004_12_EO%2F52-1929011_990_200312 ^
  11. U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. “Remarks of Ziad Asali, MD.” Accessed October 2, 2022. https://www.eeoc.gov/meetings/employment-discrimination-aftermath-september-11/asali ^
  12. Ziad J. Asali. “Does a Two-State Solution Still Exist?” National Interest. September 24, 2017. Accessed October 2, 2022. https://nationalinterest.org/feature/does-two-state-solution-still-exist-22444 ^
  13. The American Task Force on Palestine. “Q: If ATFP cannot get into the details of much of its impact on policy, what accomplishments can the organization point to?” Accessed October 2, 2022. http://www.americantaskforce.org/q_if_atfp_cannot_get_details_much_its_impact_policy_what_accomplishments_can_organization_point ^
  14. Scoop Independent News. “Rice Helping Palestinians Build a Better Future.” October 20, 2006. Accessed October 2, 2022. https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO0610/S00430.htm ^
  15. The American Task Force on Palestine. “ATFP’s Fifth Annual Gala 2010: Building Palestine, the Indispensable State for Peace.” October 21, 2010. Accessed October 2, 2022. http://www.americantaskforce.org/gala_2010 ^
  16. The American Task Force on Palestine. “Remarks by Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson at ATFP Third Annual Gala.” Accessed October 2, 2022. http://www.americantaskforce.org/remarks_aspen_institute_president_and_ceo_walter_isaacson_atfp_third_annual_gala ^
  17. JTA. “American Task Force on Palestine downsizes amid stalled peace process.” The Jerusalem Post. November 21, 2014. Accessed October 2, 2022. https://www.jpost.com/Breaking-News/American-Task-Force-on-Palestine-downsizes-amid-stalled-peace-process-382469 ^
  18. Osamah Khalil. “Reclaiming Palestine.” The Electronic Intifada. July 30, 2007. Accessed October 2, 2022. https://electronicintifada.net/content/reclaiming-palestine/7078 ^
  19. Ahmed Moor. “Have you heard of the American Task Force on Palestine?” Al Jazeera. June 9, 2012. Accessed October 2, 2022. https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2012/6/9/have-you-heard-of-the-american-task-force-on-palestine ^
  20. The American Task Force on Palestine. “Ziad Asali.” Accessed October 2, 2022. http://www.americantaskforce.org/staff/ziad_asali ^
  21. Jacob Magid. “US fills board that’ll dish out $250m for Israel-Palestine peace-building projects.” The Times of Israel. February 4, 2022. Accessed October 2, 2022. https://www.timesofisrael.com/us-fills-board-thatll-dish-out-250m-for-israel-palestine-peace-building-projects/ ^
  22. Law Offices of George R. Salem. “Biography.” Accessed October 2, 2022. http://www.georgesalem.com/about.html ^
  23. American Task Force on Palestine. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax, 2003 Form 990. Accessed October 2, 2022. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/521929011/2004_12_EO%2F52-1929011_990_200312 ^
  24. American Task Force on Palestine. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax, 2013 Form 990. Accessed October 2, 2022. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/521929011/2014_12_EO%2F52-1929011_990_201312 ^
  25. American Task Force on Palestine. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax, 2014 Form 990. Accessed October 2, 2022. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/521929011/2016_01_EO%2F13-141265_20007-1050_521929011 ^
  26. American Task Force on Palestine. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax, 2015 Form 990. Accessed October 2, 2022. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/521929011/2016_12_EO%2F52-1929011_990_201512 ^
  27. ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: May 1, 1996

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2018 Dec Form 990 $400 $4,874 $6,000 $0 N $400 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2017 Dec Form 990 $30,000 $32,041 $10,474 $0 N $30,000 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990 $25,161 $48,192 $12,515 $0 N $32,152 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2015 Dec Form 990 $49,320 $70,571 $37,401 $1,855 N $49,320 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $396,567 $665,505 $101,152 $44,355 N $395,332 $1,200 $35 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $1,003,143 $720,079 $337,950 $12,215 N $902,504 $97,710 $165 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $301,193 $398,155 $55,081 $12,410 N $300,960 $181 $52 $0 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $469,118 $695,425 $156,566 $17,706 N $406,195 $51,701 $467 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    American Task Force on Palestine

    1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725
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