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Patagonia, the outdoor apparel retailer with offices around the world, has launched an internal review of its grants of tens of thousands of dollars to a group connected to Palestinian terrorism.

Alliance for Global Justice (AFGJ), an Arizona-based organization, is linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a terrorist group. Patagonia has sent more than $139,000 to AFGJ through its tax-exempt private foundation in California since 2016, according to tax records. 

The Washington Examiner found the link between AFGJ and the terrorist group. The link caused donors and payment processors like PayPal to stop working with AFGJ as the terrorist group came under scrutiny from Congress.

Patagonia’s funding of AFGJ is a window into how major corporations operating in the United States financially boost groups taking aim at the Jewish state of Israel, including AFGJ, which has said it sponsors 140 projects and reported holding $11 million in assets on its most recent tax forms filed with the IRS. One project under AFGJ is Samidoun, an Israeli-designated terrorist coalition that has shared staffers with the PFLP. AFGJ also fundraised in the past for the France-based Collectif Palestine Vaincra, a partner of the PFLP that, along with Samidoun, is protesting in support of Hamas after it killed 1,200 people last year in Israel on Oct. 7.

Patagonia is known for its climate change activism. For example, in 2019 the company implemented a new policy that it no longer would accept orders from companies who do not have the same support for climate change measures. Patagonia’s puffer vests were very popular among corporate buyers. Instead of trying to increase sales, Patagonia was limiting business orders to only fellow travelers. 

In 2020, Patagonia joined a boycott of advertising on Facebook and Twitter which supported the push to take Donald Trump off of social media. The company is proudly woke. 

In 2023, the total amount of grants to AFGJ from Patagonia was $30,000. The projects included climate-focused ones for the charity working on “community cleanup around a defunct oil refinery site” and “building activism among Black TLGBQIA+ individuals through climate advocacy and community gardening.” That information came from a statement by Hans Cole, Patagonia’s vice president of environmental activism.

Now the company is evaluating continued funding of  AFGJ. In Patagonia’s publicly available grantmaking policies, the corporation says it doesn’t support groups that promote “discrimination based on ethnicity, race, religion, color, sexual orientation,” and other factors. Donations can be earmarked by groups to AFGJ for initiatives under the 501(c)(3) public charity. Projects under AFGJ are legally indistinct from the charity.

Now that Patagonia knows what is happening here, it has an obligation to stop funding terrorism, even indirectly. It’s the law. Terrorism financing analyst and attorney Marc Greendorfer said his think tank, Zachor Legal Institute, requested that the IRS investigate AFGJ’s tax-exempt status. “If Patagonia is truly committed to not sponsoring or otherwise supporting terror, it will carefully assess its relationship with AFGJ, an organization that has done nothing but increase its activities in support of terrorism since the Oct. 7 massacre.”

Fiscal sponsorship is a legal arrangement allowing charities like AFGJ to manage projects under no obligation to file separate financial disclosures with the IRS. This presents transparency issues. It makes it very difficult to trace tax-exempt donations. It is considered a dark money loophole for wealthy philanthropists. 

This is how Palestinian terror groups fundraise in the United States using unofficial proxies. Republicans are working in Congress to identify Hamas-linked charities in the United States. Republicans are looking into more oversight of a few entities under fire for anti-Israel activities after October 7, 2023. This includes Students for Justice in Palestine.

Patagonia’s tax forms claim that its grants to AFGJ were to support environmental projects. Since 2022, when the company restructured – its founder and his family transferred ownership to a trust and nonprofit group – the network of Patagonia-affiliated nonprofits has given $71M to environmental causes and Democrat-aligned groups. 

Political activism is their brand. The question is whether or not the company is operating legally in its grants. A complaint has been issued to the Federal Election Commission.

AFGJ, the Patagonia-backed nonprofit organization, is advising donors on its website to mail checks to AFGJ’s office in Tucson, Arizona, a result of payment processors kicking the charity off their digital fundraising platforms. Recent corporate donors to AFGJ have included Pepsi, Lyft, and IAC Holdings, the parent group for the left-wing Daily Beast website.

Consumers interested in the terror activities of Hamas may want to consider this story as they purchase outdoor wear. At least until this gets cleared up. 

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