Ministers to debate tax cuts for settlement donors

Bill would allow people to receive 35% tax exemption donations to non-profit organizations promoting settlement activity.

February 12, 2012 04:30
1 minute read.
Israeli flag over settlements (illustrative).

Israeli flag flutters over settlement of Ofra 311 R. (photo credit: Laszlo Balogh / Reuters)

The Ministerial Committee on Legislation is due to debate a bill today that would allow people to receive a 35 percent tax exemption for donations to non-profit organizations that promote settlement activity.

The bill was proposed by two Likud MKs, Ze’ev Elkin and Tzion Pinyan. It amends the list of nonprofits whose donors can receive the exemption, by including groups and institutions that “encourage settlement.”

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Elkin told The Jerusalem Post that the word “settlement” in this context was meant to be applied broadly to any development activity across Israel, including new communities in the Negev and Beduin villages.

Initially, Elkin said, he wanted to use the language “Zionist settlement,” but he has since removed it from it from the proposed amendment.

Still, the language exists in the background explanation attached to the bill.

But Yariv Oppenheimer, director of left-wing NGO Peace Now, said that there is only one way to interpret the word “settlement” in the bill.

“This is an attempt to give tax breaks to people who support West Bank settlement activity,” he said. “It’s outrageous.”

“This is part of a wave of anti-democratic legislation that attempts to discriminate against citizens based on their political beliefs,” Oppenheimer added.

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