Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Settlements and the American Tax Code

The New York Times has an interesting and troubling article about American tax-exempt charities used to strengthen settlement building in the West Bank. These right-wingers successfully circumvent both Israeli and American law: Israel-based charities are not allowed to finance activity in settlements that are illegal under Israeli law; donations to foreign charities aren't tax-exempt in the United States; and US-based charities aren't allowed to serve as front groups for foreign charities. Yet, even though these organizations seem to be violating all these things, they are free to operate and not pay a dime to the United States Treasury.

If the United States Congress really cares about Israel, it should change the tax code so that groups would not be allowed to promote illegal settlement building, or at the very least will have to pay taxes, thereby reducing their available money. These outposts are an obstacle to peace, and are not only unjust to Palestinians, but their existence is also against Israel's interests.

Unfortunately, I don't see Congress acting, especially not before the mid-term elections.

1 comment:

  1. Nice post.

    As long as these Conservatives conflate all kinds of things (re. Israel, religion, Zionism and US patriotism) and have the numbers to matter, little will change in the US's attitude to settlements.