Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Breaking News

J Street Demands End to Tax Breaks for Pro-Settlement Groups

— J Street has called on the U.S Treasury Department to review the tax-deductibility status of groups that support settlement activity in the West Bank.

The liberal Jewish Middle East policy group in a statement posted on its website and sent to journalists pointed out that the United States has “consistently opposed the construction and expansion of settlements under each and every president—Democratic and Republican—since Israel started building on territories captured in the 1967 war,” and a legal determination that the settlements are illegal under international law remains in place.

“A sophisticated private network has sprung up in the United States, funded by tax-deductible donations, that has channeled millions of dollars to strengthen the settlements and weaken the Palestinians’ presence in the West Bank,” J Street charged in the statement.

The statement singled out the Regavim organization, which monitors and pursues legal action against construction lacking Israeli permits undertaken by Palestinians or Bedouins in Israel and in the West Bank; Elad, which helps Jewish families move into Arab neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem; and The Hebron Fund, which helps Jews move to the largely Palestinian-populated West Bank city of Hebron.

Internal Revenue Service requirements are clear about the criteria organizations must meet to benefit from tax-deductible, charitable donations, J Street pointed out, citing the tax code as saying the groups’ activities must not be “illegal [or] contrary to a clearly defined and established public policy.”

“Clearly the United States has not effectively put real weight behind its opposition to Israeli settlements,” said J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami. “It must do more to maintain the viability of a two-state solution. At the very least, it should not reward with a tax deduction those funding organizations whose activities could well be illegal and whose goals and activities are in direct opposition to long-standing, bipartisan US policy.”

The statement called on American supporters to contact the U.S. Treasury and call for a review of the tax-exempt organizations working in the settlements.

J Street points out on its website that contributions to the organization, which is a 501C4 organization and is permitted to lobby and support lawmakers, are not tax deductible.

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.