U.S. Provides Millions in Bulletproof Vests, Rifle Scopes to West Bank Settlers
PALESTINE / ISRAEL, 19 July 2010
by AlterNet Staff – TRANSCEND Media Service
Some good ol’ fashioned American hypocrisy, exposed by the NYTimes:
… As the American government seeks to end the four-decade Jewish settlement enterprise and foster a Palestinian state in the West Bank, the American Treasury helps sustain the settlements through tax breaks on donations to support them.A New York Times examination of public records in the United States and Israel identified at least 40 American groups that have collected more than $200 million in tax-deductible gifts for Jewish settlement in the West Bank and East Jerusalem over the last decade. The money goes mostly to schools, synagogues, recreation centers and the like, legitimate expenditures under the tax law. But it has also paid for more legally questionable commodities: housing as well as guard dogs, bulletproof vests, rifle scopes and vehicles to secure outposts deep in occupied areas.
Cue the weak-kneed response from administration officials:
“It’s a problem,” a senior State Department official said, adding, “It’s unhelpful to the efforts that we’re trying to make.”
Daniel C. Kurtzer, the United States ambassador to Israel from 2001 to 2005, called the issue politically delicate. “It drove us crazy,” he said. But “it was a thing you didn’t talk about in polite company.”
He added that while the private donations could not sustain the settler enterprise on their own, “a couple of hundred million dollars makes a huge difference,” and if carefully focused, “creates a new reality on the ground.”
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