Earlier this year, avowed communist James “Fergie” Chambers secured “multiple hundreds of millions of dollars” from his family, which controls the Cox Enterprises empire. Now, he’s using his inheritance to bankroll a far-left activist group that’s harassing Jews across the country.
Chambers, whose billionaire father James Cox Chambers co-owns the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks, in July revealed that he cut ties with his family, securing a significant payout from Cox Enterprises in the process. Months later, following Hamas’s Oct. 7 terrorist assault on Israel, Chambers began using that money to pay the legal fees for members of Palestine Action U.S., a radical group that is targeting Israeli businesses and other friends of the Jewish state with vandalism and harassment. Those actions, Chambers says, are part of a broader effort to popularize coordinated attacks against Jews and their allies.
“We need to start making people who support Israel actually afraid to go out in public,” Chambers said in a Friday Instagram post. “We need to make all of white America afraid that everything they have stolen is going to be burned to the ground. That’s what makes them listen.”
Anti-Israel groups have long received financial backing from liberal megadonors—one of America’s loudest Hamas apologists, for example, is a subsidiary of left-wing dark money giant the Tides Center. Still, Chambers’s spending and stated mission reflect a troubling new era of fringe activism, one in which well-funded militant demonstrators are eager to break the law and immune to the subsequent financial repercussions.
Palestine Action U.S. members have in particular targeted Elbit Systems, an Israeli defense company that provides the Jewish state with counterterrorism equipment. The group’s members last month clashed with police outside of the company’s Boston office, a demonstration that the group boasted “completely halted” Elbit’s business and led to “multiple arrests.” Within hours of the ordeal, Palestine Action U.S. members were back on the street, having been released from jail thanks to Chambers’s funding.
Our comrades are freed!
We will never stop until we #ShutElbitDown!
Long live Palestine!https://t.co/geQ3UxJQHB
— Palestine Action US (@Pal_ActionUS) October 31, 2023
Palestine Action U.S.—which has referred to Israelis as “genocidal maniacs” and “scum”—also targeted an Elbit office in Arlington, Va., where members on Nov. 6 smeared red paint on the doors to the company’s building and spray painted “War Criminals Work Here” on the ground. The group said its northern Virginia vandalism was part of a coordinated attack on Elbit, with members also targeting company offices in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. Chambers himself was arrested in early November for vandalizing a McDonald’s restaurant near the White House after the company’s Israeli branch donated free meals to the Jewish state’s soldiers, Washington, D.C., police confirmed.
Those demonstrations have already caught the attention of law enforcement officials, who argue that Palestine Action U.S.’s militant tactics and Chambers’s deep pockets could lead to serious violence. Two such officials told Los Angeles Magazine that federal agencies have “received intelligence” that Palestine Action U.S. could threaten homeland security and heed calls from Hamas to carry out attacks in America.
Chambers, who did not respond to a request for comment, has dismissed those concerns by saying his “comrades” are “not violent” and merely “break things.”
“We have made absolutely zero threats to anyone’s well being or personal safety.”
But Elbit employees disagree, saying Palestine Action U.S. members have followed them home from work. Chambers has also disparaged “Jews in New York or L.A.” who “make themselves out to be the victims” and said he wants to “up the stakes.”
“Going out and marching doesn’t do very much,” Chambers said in his Los Angeles Magazine interview.
Palestine Action U.S. did not return a request for comment.
Chambers, who serves as Palestine Action U.S.’s spokesman in addition to his role as the group’s benefactor, has long espoused radical beliefs.
He serves as general secretary and founder of the Berkshire Communists, a Massachusetts-based group that uses “agitational methods” to combat “the structural oppression of bourgeois fascism and its protectors.” He opened a martial arts gym in New Hampshire that he describes as a “free, anti-fascist training space, where cops, active military, landlords, and Zionists are not welcome.” And he claims he sent a grant to an Israeli-designated terror organization, the Samidoun Network, to support Palestinian “political prisoners.”
“No faction of the Palestinian resistance, Hamas or other, has done *anything* wrong,” Chambers wrote days after the terror group’s attack on Israel, which included the slaughter of innocent women and children.
Stop calling it “collective punishment”
There’s nothing to be “punished” for
No faction of the Palestinian resistance, Hamas or other, has done *anything* wrong
It’s simply genocide
Like it has been
— Fergie Chambers #StopCopCity 🇵🇸🇷🇺 (@jccfergie) October 14, 2023
Elbit, meanwhile, is far from the only entity to face Chambers’s wrath. Palestine Action U.S. has also taken credit for spray painting anti-Semitic graffiti on the Israeli embassy and American Enterprise Institute office in Washington, D.C. The institute’s president, Robert Doar, told the Washington Free Beacon the attack will not deter the conservative think tank’s support for the Jewish state, emphasizing the need to “be brave.”
“Don’t be persuaded to stand down,” Doar said.
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