An Associated Press (AP) investigation released on Monday, July 1, reveals that the Jewish American Falic family, owners of the chain of more than 180 Duty Free Americas (DFA) shops in the United States and Latin America, funds a generous racist philanthropic empire in Israel that runs through the corridors of power and stretches deep into the occupied West Bank.
The report details how the Falic’s have donated at least $5.6 million to settler organizations in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem over the past decade, funding synagogues, schools and social services as well as far-right and racist causes considered extreme even in Israel.
Communist MK Touma-Sliman (Hadash) reacted to exposé about the Falic family contributions, saying: “The Falics donate to racist organizations preserving the ‘purity of the Jewish race’ and to the most violent segregationists settling in Hebron and East Jerusalem.” She added “The settlements cannot exist without the support of extremist capitalists from the US; these donors must be exposed.”
The Falics support the racist settlers’ community in the Palestinian city of Hebron, whose members include several prominent followers of the late Rabbi Meir Kanaha banned from Israeli politics for his racist views, and whose movement the US outlawed as a terrorist organization. They back Jewish groups that covertly buy up Palestinian properties in East Jerusalem, and they helped develop an unauthorized settlement outpost in the West Bank. The outpost was later retroactively legalized.
The Falics have supported groups that are pushing for the establishment of a “Third Temple” for Jews at the holiest and most contested site in the Holy Land. They also have given more money than any other US capitalist donor for far-right Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a strong supporter of settlements, and have donated to other leaders of his Likud party.
Three Falic brothers, Simon, Jerome and Leon own, the chain Duty Free Americas, which operates over 180 stores at airports and border crossings in the US and Latin America. Leon Falic told the trade publication TRBusiness that the privately held company last year posted over $1.65 billion in sales.
The family has two main charitable organizations, the US-based Falic Family Private Foundation and the Segal Foundation in Israel. During the decade ending in 2017, the US foundation distributed about $20 million to “various worldwide Jewish organizations,” according to tax reports filed by the groups.
The Israeli foundation gave away roughly $15 million over that time. Financial reports do not outline recipients, but an AP analysis of the tax records of more than two dozen settlement organizations identified at least $5.6 million in donations.
According to AP, “Perhaps the Falics’ most controversial activity is in Hebron, a city where several hundred ultranationalist settlers live in heavily guarded enclaves amid some 200,000 Palestinians.” According to the AP analysis, the Falics donated roughly $600,000 to “Hachnasat Orchim Hebron,” a group that hosts visitors to the Jewish community. Baruch Marzel, a former aide to the racist firebrand Meir Kahane, is deeply involved.