Private U.S. donors are massively funding Israeli settlements by using a network of tax-exempt nonprofits, which funnelled more than $220 million to West Bank settlements in 2009-2013 alone, a Haaretz investigation has found.
The funding is being used for anything from buying air conditioners to supporting the families of convicted Jewish terrorists, and comes from tax-deductible donations made to around 50 US-based groups.
Nearly 80 percent of this income (about $224 million) was transferred to the occupied territories as grants, mostly through Israeli nonprofits. In 2013 alone, these organisations raised $73 million and allotted $54 million in grants.
The investigation stated: “Thanks to their status as nonprofits, these organisations are not taxed on their income and donations made to them are tax deductible – meaning the U.S. government is incentivising and indirectly supporting the Israeli settlement movement, even though it has been consistently opposed by every U.S. administration for the past 48 years.”
A senior White House official told Haaretz that “the policy of every administration since 1967, Democrat and Republican alike, has been to object to Israeli settlement beyond the 1967 borders.
“The present administration is no different,” the official continued. “Concordant with permanent U.S. policies, this administration never defended or supported any activity associated with the settlements. It doesn’t support or advance any activity that will legitimize them.”