The left-wing Gush Shalom organization called on American lawyers Tuesday to stop US non-governmental organizations funding settlements through tax-exempt donations.
In a letter to the National Lawyers Guild, Gush Shalom urged the New York-based organization to urge American tax authorities to strip the NGOs of the tax-exempt status given to donations to the settlements.
"Friends of settlers are registering themselves" as NGOs, Gush Shalom said, adding, "They should be deprived of their tax-exempt status."
The group said the letter was part of a broader campaign against tax-exempt donations to West Bank settlements. In particular, they cited the case of Irving Moskowitz and his son, David Moskowitz, who made headlines earlier this year for developing an apartment building in east Jerusalem.
"It turns out that there are dozens of such organizations, some supporting all the settlers but most of them affiliated with one particular settlement and energetically collecting donations on its behalf," said Gush Shalom. "They register with the federal tax authorities as 'charities,' 'educational institutes' and the like. Of course none of these organizations see fit to mention that their activity is of a clearly political character."
They added that "money flowing overseas through a US tax-exempt status is tantamount to aid from the United States government," which has "expressed its opposition in the clearest and strongest terms, and at the highest level."
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