May 24, 2023

ALLMEP on proposed legislation that would tax NGOs receiving foreign funding

ALLMEP on proposed legislation that would tax NGOs receiving foreign funding

As the largest network of Israeli/Palestinian peacebuilding NGOs, with over 160 member organizations working for peace and equality in the region, ALLMEP is concerned about the continued consideration of legislation introduced by MK Kallner, set to be reviewed on Sunday, May 28th by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation. 

This legislation would impose a 65% tax on donations from “foreign state entities” and could also see a further 23% tax imposed on the total income of NGOs who receive support from foreign governments or affiliated bodies. As currently drafted, this legislation could devastate many ALLMEP members in receipt of overseas support, as well as those organizations in receipt of grants from USAID’s Nita M. Lowey Middle East Partnership for Peace Act (MEPPA).  If enacted, even in amended form, such measures would represent the most substantial challenge to date toward Israeli civil society, and a direct assault on our community of peacebuilders.

Israel’s mosaic of NGOs, amutot, and associations are a core component of Israeli society. And those bringing Israelis and Palestinians together through peacebuilding initiatives are at the forefront of improving people’s lives through cooperation and finding non-violent ways out of a bloody, inter-generational conflict. They should be embraced, celebrated, and amplified– not deterred. 

We urge that this legislation proceed no further, and hope that Israel’s friends around the world who have so generously invested in organizations advancing Israeli civil society will do the same. All of us should amplify the vital work of these NGOs as we simultaneously call to protect them from attacks, delegitimization and taxation. This moment also underscores the role and opportunity that the international community has to ramp up both support and coordination for civil society and for peacebuilders, so that their work can be protected, scaled and can fulfill its full potential for the benefit of all.

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