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.”
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
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
“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.