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| Press Release

Response from "Our Soldiers Speak" to False Allegations

NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / February 11, 2019 / Our Soldiers Speak (OSS) is a nonprofit 501(C)(3), charitable organization in the United States, dedicated to engaging and educating students and academics across the globe about Israel and its essential security requirements. OSS arranges for senior officers of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and the Israeli National Police to speak personally with students and faculty at OSS seminars around the world. As an outgrowth of those activities, several security experts (inactive and retired) have worked to help formulate a conflict-ending alternative to the status quo between Israelis and Palestinians - the New State Solution (, which offers a practical alternative to the current gridlocked peace process.

On February 6, 2019, the Middle East Forum (MEF) hosted an invitation-only conference entitled, Qatar: U.S. Ally or Global Menace? One of the featured speakers, Gregg Roman, Director of the MEF, in coordination with the MEF's president, Dr. Daniel Pipes, made a false claim that Our Soldiers Speak, or its representatives, had traveled to Doha.

Gregg Roman also repeated his prior false assertion that OSS received a contribution from Qatar and that OSS staff had traveled to Qatar as a result of that contribution.

OSS unequivocally recognizes and condemns Qatar as a malignant actor in the Middle East for its support of Hamas and other terrorist organizations. We state for the record that at no point has any official of OSS ever visited Qatar nor has there ever been any formal or informal contact between OSS and any representatives of the Qatari government or any individuals claiming to be acting on behalf of the Qatari government.

Moreover, OSS has had no involvement in any effort to "torpedo" passage of H.R.2712, the Palestinian International Support Prevention Act. OSS is not a lobbying organization and does not engage in lobbying activities.

The facts are as follows: On November 2, 2017, OSS held its annual gala dinner in New York City. The featured speaker for the event was the Honorable Mike Pompeo, who served at the time as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and is now Secretary of State.

As the event was a fundraiser, charitable contributions were made to OSS. One such donation was a $100,000 contribution made by check in the name of Lexington Strategies LLC. The check indicated that Lexington Strategies had a New York City address and was drawn on a U.S. bank account. The check was signed October 30, 2017, by Lauren Allaham, the wife of Joseph Allaham.

At the time it received the contribution, OSS had no knowledge of Lexington Strategies, or of Mr. or Mrs. Allaham. No member of OSS had any contact with the Allahams, either before, during, or after the gala dinner. The funds that were donated were expended by OSS on day-to-day operations and organizational programming in the normal course not later than April 2018.

The funds were not earmarked for any particular project or purpose and were not used for any work involving Qatar or Qatar-U.S. or Qatar-Israeli relations. OSS never received any indication from anyone that the funds were connected in any way to Qatar. There are no funds to be returned, and no reason to do so.

More than eight months after receiving the donation - well after the contribution had been deposited and the funds were entirely disbursed - Mr. Allaham filed a FARA registration and termination statement with the U.S. Department of Justice, which indicated that his company, Lexington Strategies, had done business with the State of Qatar. OSS was neither informed nor consulted about the FARA filing when it was made and learned of it only well after the donated funds had been spent.

In sworn testimony, Mr. Allaham confirmed under penalty of perjury that he made his contribution in support of a philanthropist who was to be honored at the OSS gala, and that he never spoke to anyone at OSS about the contribution or its purpose. He also testified that he never informed OSS about any connection between himself or his contribution and Qatar, stated that it was entirely his decision to make the contribution without any coordination with Qatar, and confirmed that he made no request of OSS in connection with his donation or linked it to any action.

No member of OSS has ever had any contact with Mr. or Mrs. Allaham beyond the mailed issuance of a form letter of thanks and a receipt of tax deductibility.

Benjamin Anthony, Founder and Director of OSS, commented, "Our Soldiers Speak yields to no one when it comes to condemning malign activities against Israel, whether such activities are perpetrated by State or non-State actors. Our organization, is comprised of several individuals who have placed the best of their intellect, talents, energies, resources, bodies and very lives on the line in the defense of the Jewish State and the Jewish people. Our record is well documented and unimpeachable.

"We look forward to continuing our work of direct engagement with the international academic community about the many challenges Israel and its soldiers face, and to a constructive debate about rational policy choices in the Middle East with partners who share OSS's goal of helping to secure a prosperous and peaceful future for the State of Israel. We welcome debate on the policy merits of the New State Solution. Such debate should focus upon the substance of the proposal, not baseless ad-hominem attacks."

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Media Contact

Adam Friedman

SOURCE: Our Soldiers Speak

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