Israel tech site pays “interns” to covertly plant stories in social media

Israel21c

Israel21c is registered in the US as a 501(c)(3) — a tax-exempt non-profit organization. Its information returns filed with the Internal Revenue Service show it to be registered in San Francisco, in an office only a five minute walk away from the Israeli consulate. The forms also show they have an office in Israel, with registered operating expenses of $131,307 in 2010 and $129,484 in 2011. Between 2008 and 2012, Israel21c raised a total of $3.2 million in revenue. The forms disclose that between 2010 and 2012, $347,099 of this was in “government grants.” Israel21c did not reply to an email asking which government departments had given this cash.

An analysis by The Electronic Intifada of information returns mentioning Israel21c reveals that one of their biggest seed donors in 2001 was The Feldman Foundation based in Dallas, Texas. This group donated $120,000 to Israeli21c between 2002 and 2004.

In the same years it was funding Israel21c, the foundation also gave tens of thousands of dollars to other Zionist organizations, including The Israel Project, Project Interchange (which sends influential Americans, especially policy chiefs, on trips to Israel) and the New Israel Fund. It also gave $33,000 to The Jerusalem Foundation to support Pisgat Ze’ev, an illegal Israeli settlement in east Jerusalem.

The biggest donor to Israel21c has been the Jewish Communal Fund, which manages $1.2 billion for its various philanthropic clients. Donations to Israel21c via the fund totaled $220,160 between 2008 and 2010.

Read the story here.

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