Friday, July 31, 2009

There Goes (?) A Tax-Exempt Status

I have pointed out the signs that something is underway on the issue of the tax-exempt status of monies donated to charitable enterprises located in Jewish communities beyond the Green Line. Especially the David Ignatius article in the WashPost and another by Ronit Avni

Back in late March, I was quoted in a JTA article on the subject. And see this.

Well, now this:

Israeli NGO battles settlements in US

The left-wing organization Gush Shalom is launching a campaign against organizations soliciting donations in the United States, particularly those receiving US federal tax exemptions for settlements and illegal outposts, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

The timing of the campaign has been stepped up from September to August because the Foreign Ministry recently launched its own campaign to block governments of foreign countries from donating money to human rights organizations in Israel.

...According to Gush Shalom, which refused to comment on this report, "while the public launch of the campaign, through publication of the first reports and legal actions, was originally planned for September of this year, recent events have prompted us to accelerate the timetable.

"The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs under Avigdor Lieberman, in a grossly undemocratic move and in close coordination with a number of purportedly independent organizations such as NGO Monitor, has decided to actively target the operations of Israeli human rights organizations active in the Occupied Territories by pressuring the government of friendly nations to cease critical financial support for them."

According to Gush Shalom, in criticizing the Dutch embassy in Israel for giving a grant of almost €20,000 to Breaking the Silence for its controversial report on alleged IDF human rights and war crime violations during Operation Cast Lead, the government acknowledged that the organization's actions were legal and legitimate but allegedly said they were politically incorrect.

On the other hand, "many of the activities of the organizations targeted by our campaign are illegitimate and/or illegal under international, US and EU law." In the first phase of its campaign, Gush Shalom will pressure the US to halt tax exemptions to Israeli organizations and NGOs which "directly and openly support the development and operation of illegal outposts.

...Gush Shalom said that in the second stage of the campaign, it will focus on the financing mechanisms of mainstream organizations such as Nefesh B'Nefesh, Christian Zionist philanthropies, the Jewish National Fund and the World Zionist Organization, which are also active in the West Bank.



Division 54 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 provides an income tax exemption for annuities and deferred lump sums made under structured settlements

relates to a situation in Australia.

No comments: