Donate Now
Become A Member

Bi-weekly News & Opinion - April 25, 2024

New from C&SN

Update: C&SN Opposes Legislation that Targets Charities

On Nov. 14, 2023, Congressman David Kustoff (R-TN) and Congressman Brad Schnieder (D-IL) introduced H.R. 6408, bipartisan legislation that would “revoke the tax-exempt status for any organization that provides financial support or resources to designated terrorist groups.” On Apr. 15, 2024, H.R. 6408 passed the House of Representatives with broad bipartisan support. On Apr. 17, a companion bill, S. 4136, was introduced in the Senate. C&SN emphasizes that the prohibition on material support to foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs) already exists and is applicable to U.S. nonprofits. This legislation is overbroad and may be weaponized against civil society. Read the full update at C&SN. (Apr. 25)


C&SN Opportunity Spotlight

Consider registering as a C&SN Member (no financial commitment required) to receive our weekly Opportunity Spotlight Newsletter. There we share exclusive opportunities for civil society input, webinars, events, and working groups on key issue areas such as sanctions, material support, financial access, lawfare, and more.

Featured Resources

This Bill Would Give the Treasury Nearly Unlimited Power To Destroy Nonprofits

A bipartisan bill would give the U.S. secretary of the treasury unilateral power to classify any charity as a terrorist-supporting organization, automatically stripping away its nonprofit status. C&SN highlighted the bill in November 2023 as having “dangerous potential as a weapon to be used against civil society in the context of Gaza and beyond.” Matthew Petti writes at Reason. (Apr. 24)

Israel Has Yet to Provide Evidence of UNRWA Staff Terrorist Links, Colonna Report Says

An independent review, commissioned by the UN in the wake of Israeli allegations that UNRWA employees were tied to the Oct. 7 attacks, found that UNRWA had regularly supplied Israel with lists of its employees for vetting, and that “the Israeli government has not informed UNRWA of any concerns relating to any UNRWA staff based on these staff lists since 2011”. Julian Borger reports for The Guardian. (Apr. 22)

NSM-20 Independent Task Force Report

The Independent Task Force on the Application of National Security Memorandum-20 to Israel issued a report to the U.S. Departments of State and Defense following allegations that Israel had violated NSM-20 obligations as a recipient of U.S. military assistance by denying humanitarian access to Gaza. The Task Force reviewed several thousand incidents gathered from several dozen organizations and found that there is credible evidence the Israel Defense Forces have violated international humanitarian law under the period of review. Read the Task Force’s report here. (Apr. 18)


Administrative Measures, Human Rights, and Democracy in Turbulent Times 

A new paper by the International Center for Counter-Terrorism argues that the broadening of perspective of a perceived terrorist threat, as it coincides with escalating social and political tensions in many democracies, contributes to obscuring the boundaries between activism, disorder, extremism (violent or not), and terrorism, increasing the risk of misuse as part of attempts to protect the public order. (Mar. 2024)

Foreign Agents

Foreign Agents Everywhere | A Conversation with Galina Starovoitova Fellow Maxim Krupskiy

“I hope that my research will give a broader audience a better understanding of how modern authoritarian regimes, such as the one in Russia, use legislation consonant with that of democracies for their political purposes and justify repression of civil society on the grounds of national security and sovereignty.” Read the full Q&A at the Wilson Center. (Apr. 23)

U.S. Slams Georgia’s ‘Kremlin-inspired’ Foreign Agent Bill

The law would require NGOs, campaign groups, and media outlets operating in Georgia that receive more than 20 percent of their funding from abroad to register as agents of “foreign influence.” U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said the measure, if implemented, would undermine civil society and damage Georgia’s efforts to join the EU. Gabriel Gavin reports at POLITICO. (Apr. 18)

Financial Access

Banks Say AML Regulations Not Clear, Do Not Address Realities of Modern AFC Operations

According to a PwC’s 2024 survey, almost half of financial firms across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, do not believe current anti-money laundering (AML) regulations are clear, highlighting lack of regulatory uniformity across jurisdictions and industries. Read more at AML Intelligence (Apr. 24)

FATF Ministers Commit to Stepping Up Efforts to Fight Money Laundering, Terrorist and Proliferation Financing

During a biennial meeting held in Washington D.C., the Ministers of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) reaffirmed their commitment to combating financial crime, noting that despite progress being made, there continue to be gaps in the effective implementation of FATF Standards. Read the full Ministerial Declaration at the FATF. (Apr. 18)

Terrorist Financing Risk of NPOs in South Africa Assessed as Medium

A group of South African government and private sector partners compiled a report to help get South Africa off the FATF greylist, with a focus placed on the financial regulation of nonprofit organizations. “The assessment will augment our understanding of the risks of terrorist financing non-profit organisations face in South Africa and the findings will help us formulate measures to prevent or mitigate the abuse of NPOs for terrorist financing purposes,” said Pieter Smit, acting director of the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), a stakeholder in the report. Ina Opperman reports at The Citizen. (Apr. 18)

The Bank Secrecy Act Is a Bigger Threat than FISA

The Bank Secrecy Act, which allows warrantless searches of financial records, is an even bigger threat to Fourth Amendment rights than the recently reauthorized Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Read Norbert Michel’s op-ed in Forbes. (Apr. 17)

Humanitarian Access

Israel Improved Aid Flow to Gaza but Famine Risk Remains, Biden Admin Says

David Satterfield, President Biden’s special envoy for humanitarian issues in the Middle East, said that the amount of aid entering Gaza "dramatically increased" in recent weeks, with up to 400 aid trucks crossing into Gaza some days. Barak Ravid reports for Axios. (Apr. 23)

UN Health Agency Head Calls for Safe Passage of Humanitarian Aid in Gaza

UN agencies and aid groups say the ongoing hostilities, Israeli military restrictions on goods, and the breakdown of order inside Gaza make it increasingly difficult to bring vital aid to much of the coastal enclave. Read more at PBS NewsHour. (Apr. 22)


They Criticized Israel. StopAntisemitism’s Twitter Upended Their Lives

Since Oct. 7, pro-Israel groups have channeled resources into identifying people with opposing political beliefs, sometimes deploying aggressive publicity campaigns that have resulted in deplatforming, employment termination, and other consequences. Pranshu VErma reports for The Washington Post. (Apr. 16)

The Supreme Court Just Dealt a Massive Blow to the Right to Protest

The Supreme Court decided not to hear Mckesson v. Doe, leaving in place a decision by a lower court that punishes protest organizers with extreme financial consequences if even one participant commits an illegal act. Ellie Quinlan Houghtaling reports for The New Republic. (Apr. 15)


America’s Sanctions Habit is Hurting Peacemaking

There are too many cases of U.S. sanctions outliving the circumstances that prompted them, with damaging consequences for the implementation of peace deals. Delaney Simon writes at Just Security. (Apr. 24)

Senator Cardin Must Help End the Blockade of Cuba

For the first time in history, the Cuban government has asked the UN for food aid. Over 30 Maryland-based organizations and dozens of community leaders sent a letter urging U.S. Congress to end sanctions of Cuba, which have exacerbated one of the worst humanitarian crises in Cuba’s history. Rev. Deborah McEachran and Rev. Dr. Eliezer Valentin-Castanon write at Counter Punch. (Apr. 19)

Blinken Has Not Sanctioned Israeli Units Linked to Killings, Rapes Despite Staff Recommendations

A special State Department panel recommended months ago that Secretary of State Antony Blinken disqualify multiple Israeli military and police units from receiving U.S. aid under the Leahy Laws, after reviewing allegations that they committed serious human rights abuses. Brett Murphy reports at ProPublica. (Apr. 17)

700 12th Street NW Suite 700
Washington, DC 20005
Phone Number: (202) 481-6927
Contact Charity & Security
Facebook  Twitter  Linkedin