Tlaib denounces tax status of entities supporting illegal settlements – Middle East Monitor
US House Representative Rashida Tlaib caused a stir after pointing out on Twitter that illegal Israeli settlements currently enjoy tax-exempt status in America, a violation of international law. In an open letter, she called on U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to examine the legitimacy of the status of U.S.-based entities supporting settlements that perpetuate the forced displacement of Palestinians from their lands.
Did you know that organizations that fund illegal Israeli settlements currently enjoy tax-exempt status, in blatant violation of international law AND US federal tax law? Treasury Department @SecYellen must act to uphold U.S. law and end the 501 (c) (3) status of these organizations. pic.twitter.com/WVfv5bx2mE
– Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (@RepRashida) July 22, 2021
Tlaib is the first and only Palestinian American member of the United States Congress. Throughout her tenure as a congressman, she consistently spoke about Israel’s racist policies and human rights violations against Palestinians.
This “501 (c) (3)” status refers to the section of the US Internal Revenue Code that allows federal tax exemption for nonprofit organizations, especially public charities, private foundations or private foundations in operation. Tlaib’s letter expressed concerns that US charities are financially supporting illegal Israeli organizations.
“Since Israeli forces occupied the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, in 1967,” she wrote, “Israeli authorities have carried out an illegal settlement enterprise in occupied territory – a policy aggressive seizure of land either privately or collectively. used by Palestinians, and allocating them for the use and enjoyment of Jewish Israelis. “
She underlined the impact that such funding has had on the Palestinians. “The Israeli authorities use discriminatory housing, land and property legal regimes and impermissible military justifications to dispossess Palestinians of their land, or destroy Palestinian homes, property and critical civilian infrastructure. “
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The letter also underscored the US government’s obligation to recognize and work to eliminate illegality and violations of international law. “The government… has a duty not to encourage or recognize violations of international humanitarian law… and must also act to end violations of international humanitarian law.
Several Twitter users questioned the member’s relevance in the matter:
Stick to the problems in your own country. I think you have some.
– Renie (@exypgal) July 23, 2021
Pls can you focus more on the people who voted you and your constituency …… .. America put food on your table, not Israel or Palestine….
– Sola Olayemi (@ SolaOlayemi1) July 23, 2021
Someone should remind Rashida that her constituents live in Detroit, not Ramallah.
– REYNA (@ZenReyna) July 23, 2021
However, the representative of the United States made it clear the reason for her intervention in her letter. “The Israel Central Fund (CFI), a US-based 501 (c) (3) entity registered in New York State, is one of several US-based groups that fuel the dispossession and displacement of Palestinians to make way for Jewish Israeli settlers. The group’s tax-exempt nonprofit status means that its donors receive some valuable form of support from the U.S. government in their efforts to support the settlement movement. “
His supporters hit back at those who condemn his focus on the issue:
These organizations are subsidized by his constituents against their will. This is what the nonprofit status offers them. Tax revenues that could build local schools and hospitals. They also have a direct impact on the families of his constituents who may live in Palestine.
– raf (@rafaelshimunov) July 23, 2021
Ali Abunimah, the director of electronicintifada.net, a Chicago-based publication covering Israel and Palestine, also responded to the thread highlighting the crucial U.S. position:
As an American, I want Congress to focus on ending the American funding of the Israeli terrorist regime
– Ali Abunimah (@AliAbunimah) July 23, 2021
Tlaib pointed out that CFI has distributed at least $ 75 million in donations since 2015 to support illegal Israeli settlements. “[This illegal enterprise includes] international crimes such as forcible transfer, illegal appropriation and destruction of property, and Israel’s discriminatory military and housing, land and property legal regimes, among other violations.
While some Twitter users have expressed support for Tlaib, pro-Israel account holders have taken a less sympathetic approach:
Your loyalty to the Palestinian is appreciated
– Dona (@ Dona73962699) July 24, 2021
Thank you Rashida for revealing the true face of Israel.
– Raghad 🇵🇸 #Palestinian (@MarayRagh) July 24, 2021
You are amazing, thank you for being with us and we hope the United States ends its support for the Israeli occupation of apartheid which commits all crimes against Palestinians every day, and Palestine is free 🇵🇸 ❤️
– أَريج🌻 (@areejabdalnaby) July 24, 2021
Thank you for your courage to show the truth
And don’t doubt for a second that your voice will make the difference#Free Palestine ??
– Eslam 𓂆🇵🇸 (@ eslam_dw20) July 25, 2021
– Shai DeLuca דלוקה 🇮🇱 (@ShaiDeLuca) July 23, 2021
The representative’s post comes two months after the occupation state bombed Gaza for 11 days, which left 250 Palestinians dead, including 65 children. The bombing followed protests in occupied Jerusalem as Palestinians anticipated the decision of the Israeli Supreme Court to evict four Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.
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