A new bill seeks to cancel the property tax discount provided by the Israeli government to organizations that receive the majority of their funding from foreign governments.
The bill, proposed in the closing days of the Knesset’s winter session by Internal Affairs Committee Chairman MK David Amsalem (Likud), seeks to end the phenomenon in which organizations that act against the state by means of foreign government funding receive government benefits.
According to the bill, the exemption of property tax is a benefit that the state grants to organizations that work in service of the public, and these organizations “clearly represent foreign interests that are contrary to Israel’s interests.”
There are some 25 organizations registered in Israel that receive the majority of their funding from foreign governments, including the far-Left NGOs Breaking the Silence and B’Tselem, which accuse the IDF of committing war crimes and call for international pressure on Israel.
Other such NGOs include Zochrot, which accuses Israel of “ethnic cleansing” and works to eliminate the Jewish character of the State Israel by promoting the resettlement of millions of Palestinians in Israel, and Israel Social TV, which provides a platform for the BDS movement.
The bill was drafted in cooperation with the Zionist organization Im Tirtzu, which has been one of the leading voices opposing the intervention of foreign governments in Israel’s internal affairs.
Should the bill pass, the State of Israel is expected to save millions of shekels, which according to Im Tirtzu could be used for worthy causes that would benefit the Israeli public.
MK Amsalem said that “it is inconceivable that organizations acting deliberately against the State of Israel should receive gifts from the state that are then used to harm it.”
“If they want someone to pay their property taxes, they can turn to the foreign governments that funnel them enormous sums of money. We will use the tens of millions of shekels that will be saved to assist the weak sectors of society.”
Im Tirtzu CEO Matan Peleg, who was involved in promoting the bill, welcomed the proposal and said that it is absurd for the Israeli taxpayer to subsidize the property taxes of anti-Israel NGOs that serve the interests of foreign governments.
“This bill conveys an important message to those seeking to harm the Jewish and democratic identity of the State of Israel by means of foreign government funding,” said Peleg. “We will work to see to it that the State of Israel will not fund or subsidize those seeking its destruction.”