Extreme Israeli group takes root in US with fundraising bid

JERUSALEM (AP) — An Israeli group raising funds for Jewish extremists convicted in some of the country’s most notorious hate crimes is collecting tax-exempt donations from

Americans, according to findings by The Associated Press and the Israeli investigative platform Shomrim. The records in the case suggest that Israel’s far right is gaining a

new foothold in the United States. The amount of money raised through a U.S. nonprofit is not known. But the AP and Shomrim have documented the money trail from New Jersey

to imprisoned Israeli radicals who include Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's assassin and people convicted in deadly attacks on Palestinians. This overseas fundraising

arrangement has made it easier for the Israeli group, Shlom Asiraich, to collect money from Americans, who can make their contributions through the U.S. nonprofit with a credit

card and claim a tax deduction. Many Israeli causes, from hospitals to universities to charities, raise money through U.S.-based arms. But having the strategy adopted by a

group assisting Jewish radicals raises legal and moral questions. It also comes against the backdrop of a new, far-right government in Israel led by Prime Minister Benjamin

Netanyahu, where ultranationalists and extremist lawmakers have gained unprecedented power.