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.

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. “

READ: US lawmakers submit bill to prevent Israel from using taxpayer money to target children

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:

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:

Ali Abunimah, the director of, a Chicago-based publication covering Israel and Palestine, also responded to the thread highlighting the crucial U.S. position:

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:

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.

READ: Palestinians in Chicago overthrow extremist pro-Israel candidate in election

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