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IRS Pressed to Revoke CUNY’s Tax-Exempt Status Following Antisemitic Hate Speech

Fatima Mousa Mohammed (Twitter/@SAFECUNY)
Fatima Mousa Mohammed (Twitter/@SAFECUNY)

A legal advocacy group is calling on the IRS to revoke the City University of New York’s (CUNY) tax-exempt status following an anti-Semitic commencement speech that drew widespread condemnation from city officials and Jewish advocacy groups.

The International Legal Forum and National Jewish Advocacy Center say that CUNY’s promotion of anti-Semitism and support for Israel boycotts violates federal regulations that bar tax-exempt organizations from promoting political ideologies.

"CUNY's repeated engagement in activities that institutionally promote a specific political viewpoint against Israel, including hosting multiple speakers, attempting to remove Jewish educators from senior leadership, and unwavering support of the [Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions] movement, constitutes excessive lobbying and potentially jeopardizes its tax-exempt status," the groups wrote in a letter sent Friday to IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel and obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

CUNY’s public law school came under fire last month for hosting a commencement speaker who accused Israel of sending "lynch mobs" after Palestinians and called on students to protest "Zionism around the world." The speech drew widespread condemnation from Jewish leaders, who accused the speaker, graduating student Fatima Mousa Mohammed, of "trading in anti-Semitic tropes." CUNY's Board of Trustees and chancellor also condemned the speech.

Related Story: ‘Propaganda’: CUNY College to Give Students Credit for Attending Anti-Israel Film Event

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