Israel increases tax breaks to settlements

settlement contruction
Settlement construction. (Photo:B’tselem)

Last weekend a bill was passed giving a 35% tax break to organizations “strengthening Zionism and encouraging Zionist settlement.” Though the legislation does not state the specifics of what constitutes a Zionist settlement, Haaretz’s Jonathan Lis finds, “in practice it most likely means giving assistance to organizations that promote settlement beyond the Green Line.”

The sponsor’s of the bill state:

‘In these days of constantly eroding values in general, particularly the values of Zionism and settlement, it is appropriate to return to these values their precedence and restore them to their proper place.’

Individual settlers already receive a number of government subsidies through the states “Investment Incentives and Benefits”[PDF] program. Listed as National Priorities Areas, these incentives include:

[I]n housing, by enabling settlers to purchase quality, inexpensive apartments, with an automatic grant of a subsidized mortgage; wide-ranging benefits in education, such as free education from age three, extended school days, free transportation to schools, and higher teachers’ salaries; for industry and agriculture, by grants and subsidies, and indemnification for the taxes imposed on their produce by the European Union; in taxation, by imposing taxes significantly lower than in communities inside the Green Line, and by providing larger balancing grants to the settlements, to aid in covering deficits.

The new legislation differs from the existing benefits by offering tax breaks to organizations, or settlement community associations, rather than individuals; it’s a small kick to help speed up and funnel Israelis into settlements. 

About Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Mondoweiss.net. Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.
Posted in Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Occupation, Settlers/Colonists

{ 12 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. seafoid says:

    Tax breaks for settlers are like work exemptions for Haredim. They pander to political lobbies, fly in the face of all economic logic and pass the cost of Israel’s inevitable failure onto the next generation.

  2. Bumblebye says:

    I think it is, or should be, abundantly clear that Israel is gradually implementing its own preferred ‘solution’ to the I/P situation – that of powerless bantustans, which, due to their tiny size, will in effect be only open air prisons for the unwanted Palestinians. All their policies seem aimed to this end. So we’ll see, within a few years, the appearance of Gaza 2 thru’ however many.

    • seafoid says:

      The settler machine is remorseless. It is like cancer- growth for the sake of growth . The machine breathes the oxygen of Jewish donor money and foreign trade with Israel. As long as the machine grows it supports other life forms such as the orthodox and the Army. Lives are built around the certainties it provides. There is nobody in Israel under 60 who remembers life as an adult without the machine.
      There is nobody in Israel , no institution with the power to stop it. Any property bubble is like this. What Israel is doing to itself is tragic.

      It will end like all delusions and bubbles do. Someone is going to take a look at it one day and say that doesn’t make any sense. She will also say you should have stopped this years ago. What were you thinking at the time? It probably won’t be an Israeli. Most likely a foreign investor.

    • Charon says:

      What I think is strange is that for making such a big deal for over four decades, the settler population statistics (not counting EJ) are only 300k people today. A decade ago it was less than 200k. When the Oslo Accords were signed it was a little over 100k.

      This is hardly any people for making such a big fuss about the land. The land is really all they care about. WB land without Palestinians living on it. Bibi made it very clear after Obama’s ME speech last May that bantustans are the only Palestinian state they have in mind. Basically a legalized occupation.

  3. HarryLaw says:

    Jabotinsky said zionist colonisation must be carried out in the face of Palestinian resistance with an iron wall which the native population cannot break through, he also said either zionism is moral and just or immoral and unjust, but that is a question we should have asked ourselves before we became zionists, he claimed that zionism is moral and just and since it is moral and just, justice must be done whatever anybody says, there is no other morality. Rather like the exceptionalism of the first American settlers in their attitude to the Indians, ” if we have to kill and ethnically cleanse them, well we don’t want to do it, but its Gods will”. Confronting these people is not going to be easy, but it must be undertaken.

    • seafoid says:

      “Confronting these people is not going to be easy, but it must be undertaken.”

      It’s much easier to see Israel’s future collapse when the economy is based on vapid consumerism. The 1% are already taking too much out and then throw in the orthodox and the settlers and their claims .

      Modern consumer economies are very vulnerable to supply chain breakdowns. Israeli consumers are rich by comparison with the neighbours they have cut themselves away from and it all looks very slick and “modern” but Israelis feed off a very long imperial supply chain and once American power in the region is broken- as it will be – as all imperial power is broken (the Yanks won’t get the longevity of the Byzantines either) Israel will be left alone. By then they will be begging for inclusion.

  4. radii says:

    now can we say it?

    israel is a state-sponsor of terrorism

  5. I think the juxtaposition is interesting: organizations supporting BDS-may lose tax-exempt status, while organizations organizations supporting ‘Zionist settlement’ will get a tax break.

    The U.S. version would be something like: Veterans for Peace lose tax-exempt status, while Swift Boat Veterans for Truth get a tax break.

  6. seafoid says:

    Giving tax cuts to settlers makes no sense. There are 1 million Orthodox and 750,000 settlers and each is growing at 3% a year. Over 10 years they will add another 600.000 tax avoiders
    Who is going to pay tax in Israel ? The dwindling secular schmuck community ?
    How does the balance sheet work ?

  7. ravendxpac says:

    Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that link documenting the %s of benefits is old, around 6 years to be exact. The Ministry has an updated version that you get on their website.

  8. “Last weekend a bill was passed giving a 35% tax break to organizations ‘strengthening Zionism and encouraging Zionist settlement.’”

    QED – Israel is not a state of all its citizens. What if Germany gave tax breaks to ethnic German developers?