Non-profit

U.S. Palestinian Community Network

Website:

uspcn.org/

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Project of:

WESPAC Foundation

The U.S. Palestinian Community Network is a network of American Palestinians who work to promote Palestinian independence and consider Israel to be an occupying force in the Arab world. Created in 2006, it hosted the 2008 Palestinian Popular Conference. It has chapters in eight states and Washington, D.C. [1]

The Network is a fiscally sponsored project of the WESPAC Foundation, also known as the Westchester Peace Action Committee Foundation. [2] It has expressed the view that Israel engages in a “racist occupation” of Palestinian territories and that Jerusalem is the capital of an Arab Palestinian state, not Israel, while endorsing the purported “right of return” of Palestinians to territory in Israel. [3]

Mission and Initiatives

The U.S. Palestinian Community Network’s mission is to oppose Israel’s presence in what Palestinians consider their territory and land in modern-day Israel. The group claims credit for the National Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) initiative which was created in 2010. [4] SJP is considered to be the leading pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel college group in America by the Anti-Defamation League. [5]

While it is regularly cited in media outlets, the Network’s impact on U.S. political and cultural views about Israeli and Palestinian affairs is questionable. It has no organizations listed on its sponsor page. [6] It sent what it described as a “historic educational delegation” to Jerusalem and surrounding geographic areas in 2018 made up of six people. A few hundred people attended several events on its four-state tour after the visit. [7] It was part of a radical, pro-Palestinian coalition which successfully urged Airbnb to stop offering approximately 200 homes in contested areas of the West Bank as Airbnb-affiliated rentals. [8]

The group protested 2010 negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel in Washington, D.C., claiming that the Authority had not acted in the best interests of Palestinians during the negotiations. [9] It and other groups conducted a sit-in at the office of Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) in November 2019, bringing a handful of protestors who urged the congresswoman to support anti-Israel legislation. [10]

The Network organized a protest against U.S.-Iran tensions in early 2020, calling for an end to sanctions against Iran. [11] The dozens of protestors appeared to blame U.S. President Donald Trump for increased tensions against Iran after Trump ordered the assassination of Iran’s second-most senior military leader Qasem Soleimani. Soleimani was a lead organizer of Iran-sponsored terrorism against the U.S. in the Middle East. [12]

The Network also organized an Arab-American dance group’s tour to honor National Arab American Heritage Month, an unofficial holiday. The dance group’s director described Palestinians as living under an “occupation.” [13]

Funding

No financial information is listed on the U.S. Palestinian Community Network’s website. Its fiscal sponsor, WESPAC Foundation raised over $423,000 in 2017, spent nearly $350,000 that year, and had assets of nearly $655,000. [14]

The Network received a $10,000 grant from the SparkPlug Foundation in 2018 for its Youth Development Leadership Initiative. [15] The Benjamin Fund donated $100 in 2015. [16]

Leadership

Hatem Abudayyeh is a co-founder of the U.S. Palestinian Community Network. [17]

In 2018, he was formally the group’s National Coordinating Committee member. [18]

References

  1. US Palestinian Community Network, About. Accessed February 16, 2020. https://uspcn.org/about/ ^
  2. US Palestinian Community Network, Support USPCN. Accessed February 16, 2020. https://uspcn.org/donate-to-support-uspcn/ ^
  3. Twitter, US Palestinian Community Network profile, May 10, 2018. Accessed February 16, 2020. https://twitter.com/uspcn/status/994766553462771713 ^
  4. US Palestinian Community Network, USPCN Students. Accessed February 16, 2020. https://uspcn.org/uspcn-students/ ^
  5. Anti-Defamation League, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). Accessed February 16, 2020. https://www.adl.org/resources/backgrounders/students-for-justice-in-palestine-sjp#_edn1 ^
  6. US Palestinian Community Network, USPCN Sponsors. Accessed February 16, 2020. https://uspcn.org/uspcn-sponsors/ ^
  7. US Palestinian Community Network, “Join & support USPCN today! Read about our U.S. tour!,” December 28, 2018. Accessed February 16, 2020. https://uspcn.org/2018/12/28/support-uspcn-today/ ^
  8. Wisconsin Muslim Journal, “Airbnb to remove rental listings from illegitimate settlements in the West Bank,” November 23, 2018. Accessed February 16, 2020. https://wisconsinmuslimjournal.org/airbnb-to-removing-rental-listings-from-illegitimate-settlements-in-the-west-bank/ ^
  9. WESPAC Foundation, Palestinian Community Rejects Negotiations. Accessed February 16, 2020. https://wespac.org/2010/09/01/palestinian-community-rejects-negotiations/ ^
  10. H.R. 2407, U.S. Congress, Introduced April 30, 2019. Accessed February 16, 2020. https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/2407 ^
  11. Nancy Harty, “Protestors march through Chicago calling for de-escalation between U.S., Iran,” January 09, 2020. Accessed February 16, 2020. https://wbbm780.radio.com/articles/protesters-call-for-de-escalation-between-us-iran ^
  12. Jessie Yeung, Fernando Alfonso III, Tara John, Julia Hollingsworth, Rob Picheta, and Mike Hayes, “Iran’s top general Soleimani killed in US strike,” January 04, 2020. Accessed February 16, 2020. https://www.cnn.com/middleeast/live-news/baghdad-airport-strike-live-intl-hnk/h_02d5a17ad0eebe80128bda0388b8be36 ^
  13. The Arab American News, “Fordson High School hosts Palestinian folk dance troupe performance,” March 15, 2019. Accessed February 16, 2020. https://www.arabamericannews.com/2019/03/15/fordson-high-school-hosts-palestinian-folk-dance-troupe-performance/ ^
  14. ProPublica, WESPAC Foundation Inc, 2017 990. Accessed February 16, 2020. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/133109400/05_2019_prefixes_06-13%2F133109400_201808_990_2019050316267925 ^
  15. The Sparkplug Foundation, Grants, 2018 Fall. Accessed February 16, 2020. https://sparkplugfoundation.org/grant-cycle/2018-Fall ^
  16. ProPublica, The Benjamin Fund Inc, 2015 990-PF. Accessed February 16, 2020. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/841618483/201633209349102858/full ^
  17. Ali Harb, “Top 2020 Democrats skipping AIPAC as US ‘discourse shifts’ on Palestine,” March 22, 2019. Accessed February 16, 2020. https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/top-2020-democrats-skipping-aipac-us-discourse-shifts-palestine ^
  18. Wisconsin Muslim Journal, “Airbnb to remove rental listings from illegitimate settlements in the West Bank,” November 23, 2018. Accessed February 16, 2020. https://wisconsinmuslimjournal.org/airbnb-to-removing-rental-listings-from-illegitimate-settlements-in-the-west-bank/ ^
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