Non-profit

Palestinian Youth Movement USA

Website:

www.pymusa.com/

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Project of:

WESPAC Foundation

The Palestinian Youth Movement, USA (PYM) is an anti-Israel activist group made up of Palestinian youths who believe they are kept from their homeland by Israel. The group’s U.S. chapter organizes protests, an annual Capitol Hill gathering in Washington, and backs the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement to delegitimize the State of Israel. [1] [2]

PYM’s financials are not public in part because it is a fiscally sponsored project of the Westchester People’s Action Coalition (WESPAC). Based out of Westchester, New York, WESPAC supports a variety of anti-Israel initiatives.

Mission

The Palestinian Youth Movement, USA primarily engages in protests against Israel’s existence and the alleged “Zionist occupation” of territory viewed by the group as belonging to Palestinians. [3] Its 2019 annual report highlighted a trip to South Africa, where PYM members studied how anti-apartheid activists succeeded in overturning that nation’s racist laws. PYM and other anti-Israel groups believe that Israel engages in actions similar to those of apartheid-era South Africa. [4]

There are four PYM chapters in the U.S. They are located in Michigan, San Diego, New York, and San Francisco. While the groups are not particularly active, based on activity listed on PYM’s site, two of the chapters have engaged in protests against alleged U.S. racism and U.S. military action since 2015. [5] [6]

PYM has sent multiple groups to protest the Keystone XL Pipeline, comparing Native American protesters to Palestinians. According to PYM, Native Americans have faced “settler colonialism, genocide, displacement, relocation, and environmental destruction” similar to that which the group claims has been done to Palestinians. [7]

PYM’s 2019 Palestine Advocacy Day brought 500 people from 32 states to Washington, D.C. to have meetings with 191 Members of Congress’ offices. [8] It was the fifth annual gathering. U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), a staunch critic of Israel who has  spoke to the activists. [9]

Like other Palestinian support groups in the U.S., PYM has been accused of supporting anti-Israel terrorism. [10] In 2017, the group honored one of the leaders of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) who was killed by Israeli intelligence after the PFLP was implicated in a terrorist shooting, raising money for a scholarship in honor of the deceased leader. [11] [12] PFLP has been designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. government. [13] [14]

Funding

Because of WESPAC’s fiscal sponsorship, PYM is not required to independently disclose its financial information. The group does receive some outside grants; over $23,000 was received for its 2015 and 2017 summer school programs by the Violet Jabara Charitable Trust. [15] The Sparkplug Foundation sent WESPAC $12,000 for PYM to use to create its first summer school program in 2015. [16]

References

  1. Anti-Defamation League, “Anti-Israel activity & BDS.” Accessed March 11, 2020. https://www.adl.org/what-we-do/israel/anti-israel-activity-bds ^
  2. Palestinian Youth Movement, Main Website Page. Accessed March 11, 2020. https://www.pymusa.com/ ^
  3. Palestinian Youth Movement, Main Website Page. Accessed March 11, 2020. https://www.pymusa.com/ ^
  4. Palestinian Youth Movement, PYM’s 2019 Year in Review. Accessed March 11, 2020. https://www.pymusa.com/year-in-review/ ^
  5. Palestinian Youth Movement, “Transnational & transcommunity activism: San Diego in joint-struggle – Wednesday, April 20, 2016,” April 30, 2016. Accessed March 11, 2020. https://www.pymusa.com/new-blog-2 ^
  6. Palestinian Youth Movement, “Ghassan Kanafani anthology release party,” March 31, 2017. Accessed March 11, 2020. https://www.pymusa.com/sf-bay-area ^
  7. Palestinian Youth Movement, “Palestinians stand with Standing Rock.” Accessed March 11, 2020. https://www.pymusa.com/from-standing-rock-to-palestine ^
  8. American Muslims for Palestine, “500 strong turn out for largest Palestine Advocacy Day yet!,” April 09, 2019. Accessed March 11, 2020. https://www.ampalestine.org/newsroom/500-strong-turn-out-for-largest-palestine-advocacy-day-yet ^
  9. American Muslims for Palestine, “500 strong turn out for largest Palestine Advocacy Day yet!,” April 09, 2019. Accessed March 11, 2020. https://www.ampalestine.org/newsroom/500-strong-turn-out-for-largest-palestine-advocacy-day-yet ^
  10. Kate Havard, “Congress should be wary of Palestinian youth group,” April 22, 2017. Accessed March 11, 2020. https://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/international/329822-congress-should-be-wary-of-palestinian-youth-group ^
  11. Yves Engler, “United Church suppresses Palestinian youth cultural event,” July 14, 2019. Accessed March 11, 2020. http://www.palestinechronicle.com/united-church-suppresses-palestinian-youth-cultural-event/ ^
  12. Palestinian Youth Movement, Ghassan Kanafani Writing Scholarship. Accessed March 11, 2020. https://us12.campaign-archive.com/?u=2cd9b0d17516e9604ebd07478&id=475e0ee556&e=0ec90a8e50 ^
  13. Anti-Defamation League, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command (2). Accessed March 11, 2020. https://www.adl.org/sites/default/files/documents/mobilehatesymbols/t-symbol-29.html ^
  14. BBC News, “Profile: Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP),” November 18, 2014. Accessed March 11, 2020. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-30099510 ^
  15. The Violet Jabara Charitable Trust, Recent Grants. Accessed March 11, 2020. http://fdnweb.org/jabara/recent-grants/ ^
  16. ProPublica, Sparkplug Foundation 2015 990-PF. Accessed March 11, 2020. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/331033952/201601769349100400/IRS990PF ^
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