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On Tax Day, Your Check Goes to Israel, Activist Group Claims

April 16, 2003
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Anti-Israel activists made hay on tax day.

At post offices around the country, members of the national group SUSTAIN — Stop U.S. Tax-funded Aid to Israel Now — circulated mock tax forms itemizing American financial support of Israel.

To get attention, activists hawking the handouts shouted, “Budget breakdown!” outside New York’s central post office.

The mock 1040 form was intended to personalize the consequences of government spending, activist Gabriel Ash explained.

The form’s final line, mirroring the signature line on tax returns, reads, “Under penalty of perjury, I declare that I know and approve of my taxes being used to kill, maim & destroy innocent lives.”

According to the group’s press release, “This form illustrates how a huge portion of our taxes is used to pay for an outrageous military in the U.S. and Israel, and for oppression in Palestine.”

“Clearly it’s duplicitous, but it gets attention,” said Ken Jacobson, associate national director of the Anti- Defamation League.

But, he added, “Nothing is very new here.” It’s “part of the ongoing campaign against Israel.”

Ash described SUSTAIN, which was formed two years ago, as a “non-hierarchical” grassroots group with “dozens” of members in New York City.

Jacobson called it an “extremist group.”

It advocates cutting off U.S. aid to Israel and endorses a “right of return” to Israel for millions of Palestinian refugees and their descendants, Jacobson said.

Still, handing out mock tax forms on April 15 is a clever publicity stunt for SUSTAIN. Ash and fellow activist Zaid Khalil said the move was intended to reveal America’s alleged warmongering, but Israel clearly was the focal point.

According to Khalil, “Israel is just a conduit” through which America promotes violence and destruction.

Mock tax forms also were being handed out in San Francisco, Boston, Memphis, and Connecticut, members said.

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