Israel News

Knessest Member Smotrich Calls to Remove Amnesty International’s Special Tax Status

MK Bezalel Smotrich (Jewish Home) called on Knesset Finance Committee chairman Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) to remove Amnesty International from the list of non-profits and human rights organizations recognized by Israel as charities receiving special tax benefits, due to its reports accusing Israel of war crimes during Operation Protective Edge.

It also recently issued a mendacious accusation that Israel carried out “summary executions” of innocent Arabs during the so-called “Stabbing Intifada.”

“What chutzpa this NGO has, to make these accusations and then claim tax benefits from the State of Israel.” Smotrich said. 

The Finance Committee is expected on Thursday to approve a list of 76 organizations, including Amnesty international, which seek to be recognized as a charity for deductions under Paragraph 46 of the Israeli income tax code.

MK Mickey Zohar (Likud), a member of the Finance Committee, explained, “Every few months we discuss which organizations should receive this benefit. We have to make sure that the organizations that receive this benefit really deserve it. This classification is intended for organizations which work to better the State of Israel and work with Israel's values.’

He said about Amnesty International “I believe that this organization is working to harm the State of Israel and is taking any opportunity to limit the state's power to defend itself. We should not be encouraging donors to give to this kind of organization.”

As usual, the government MKs wake up a few years late and most of their efforts are invested in half-measures. Where were they when Amnesty International issued their defamatory report in 2014? If this organization is limiting the state’s power to defend itself, why is it not put beyond the pale of law instead of just removing its tax exempt charity status? And is this the only international group that has been defaming or damaging Israel? The government needs to do a serious cleaning out of the international human rights industry active in Israel.


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