Kahlon to Remove Tax, Other Benefits From BDS Advocates

YERUSHALAYIM -
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon is set in the coming days to sign into law new rules that would remove tax benefits and other benefits from organizations and individuals who support the BDS movement, a report in Haaretz said. The sanctions will apply to organizations, as well as employees, partners or associates of such groups, and will include Israeli citizens.

The law will apply to groups and individuals who advocate boycotting Israel, or boycotting individuals or businesses in Yehudah and Shomron. Under the law, tax deductions for donations to such organizations will not be honored, and they will not be able to bid on tenders or government contracts.

The decision on banning a group or individual from such tenders will be made by a committee made of representatives from the Finance Ministry, the State Attorney’s Office, the Strategic Affairs Ministry, and the Foreign Ministry. The finance minister will have the final say on determining which organizations will not be eligible for tax deductions, based on the decision of the committee.

An official in the Strategic Affairs Ministry said that the organizations and individuals to be targeted “are not those that have legitimate criticism of Israel, but the main groups that have made a career out of advocating BDS. The decisions will be made based on investigative work and evidence gathered about the groups.”

Last July Kahlon advocated lifting tax deductions for donations to Amnesty International, based on an international campaign that the organization had embarked upon calling for boycotts of Israeli products made in Yehudah and Shomron. “We will use all the tools that we have to combat this, including removing tax benefits from all organizations that advocate harming Israel or IDF soldiers,” Kahlon was quoted as saying by Yisrael Hayom.