Whitney Museum of American Art
Whitney Museum of American ArtiStock

A former Nazi hunter has asked the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to strip the Whitney Museum of American Art of its tax-exempt status over its handling of protests connected to Israel.

Neal Sher, who had headed the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations in the 1980s and ’90s, requested the change in a letter he sent the IRS earlier this month about the New York museum’s response to pressure that eventually forced the resignation of its former board member, a producer of tear gas who sells to Israel’s Defense Ministry, among other clients.

In the letter, Sher argued that the museum had “orchestrated and acquiesced in a concerted smear campaign against Warren Kanders,” the law enforcement supplier’s owner, who is Jewish.

Activists for months have protested Kanders’ involvement in the museum, citing how his products have been used to disperse migrants attempting to cross the US-Mexican border and by Israel in the Palestinian Authority, the Financial Times reported Monday. Kanders resigned last year over the protests.

Spokesmen for the Whitney and Kanders declined to comment when approached by the Financial Times for a reaction.