The Knesset Finance Committee is discussing the tax-exempt status of dozens of local and international organizations this week, and one organization that committee member MK Betzalel Smotrich (Jewish Home) is determined to get off the tax-exempt list is the international group Doctors Without Borders. While its charter defines the group as one which seeks to ensure that patients get proper care regardless of political or other circumstances, the group, said Smotrich, is clearly anti-Israel, and does not deserve the favor of being allowed to take donations from Israelis tax-free.
Besides acting against IDF soldiers and provoking Arabs to violence, charges Smotrich, the group is very active against Israel in international forums – and is at this very moment, involved in an anti-Israel event in London,where it is sponsoring a photography event that portrays the IDF as shooting innocent Palestinians randomly.
Smotrich said that providing tax relief – in essence helping the organization financially – has to stop. “Israel provides assistance and exemptions to organizations that contribute to Israeli society and build better citizens. But the Chelm-like reality under which those benefits go to groups which seek to harm us can no longer continue. Perhaps we cannot stop this group from operating as it does, but at least we can stop giving it gifts,” said Smotrich.
Smotrich added that he had discussed the matter with other members of the committee, and that there was a clear consensus on pulling the group’s tax-exempt status.