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July 28, 2017 3:16 pm

Israeli Finance Minister Targets Amnesty International Over Anti-Settlements Campaign

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Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon. Photo: Marc Israel Sellem / Pool. – Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu) is exploring the possibility of denying tax benefits to individuals or organizations that donate funds to the human rights group Amnesty International due to its recent campaign against Israel’s settlements.

The group’s “50 Years of Occupation” campaign calls on the international community to boycott Israeli products manufactured in the West Bank, as well as impose an arms embargo on Israel, claiming that the Jewish state’s settlement enterprise constitutes a war crime.

An official in Kahlon’s office said on Thursday the move was in line with Israel’s “Prevention of Damage to the State of Israel through Boycott Law.”

As a nongovernmental organization, charitable contributions to Amnesty International afford donors a tax deduction. Denying this benefit could significantly hinder funds the organization is able to raise, the official explained.

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Likud MK Miki Zohar had sent Kahlon a letter on Wednesday, saying Amnesty International “relentlessly persecutes and maligns IDF soldiers, and has even claimed in the past that IDF soldiers starve Palestinian children. Amnesty supports conscientious draft objectors and [illegal foreign] infiltrators and spares no effort to undermine the state of Israel.”

Zohar asked Kahlon to “implement the Boycott Law, which authorizes you to immediately revoke the recognition of donations for tax purposes to a group calling for a boycott against Israel.”

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