Settlements in Palestine

The website is dedicated to building understanding of Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). Its main task was to collect and publish data about American funding of the settlement enterprise through tax-exempt donations and organizations with tax-exempt status.

The owners and researchers of the website suspended operations in 2013. This page is a snapshop of their latest datebase showing American tax exempt funding of the settlements. It starts with the introductory remarks from the webpage.

Michael Several;; 323-254-1487
Jeff Warner;; 213-221-7607

Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT, the West Bank and the area annexed to Jerusalem after the Six Day War) have consequences for American national interests and security. Whether driven by Israelis who claim they are the descendants of a late Iron Age people who heard voices they thought was God telling them that the land is theirs, or created by Israelis who argue the settlements are necessary for their country’s security, or resided in by Israelis who seek an inexpensive suburban life, the consequence are the same. Settlements:
  • violate international law
  • prevent the creation of a viable Palestinian state
  • undermine America’s interests in the region
  • damage America’s security
  • create resentment and anger that threatens the lives of Americans who are bravely serving in the area.
In order to draw attention to the settlements because of their detrimental impact on America and its citizens, this site was created to:
  1. Explain why the international legal community believes the settlements are in violation of international law (for these essays, contact owners);
  2. Outline why the settlements undermine the peace process and prevent the creation of a viable Palestinian state (for these essays, contact owners);
  3. Present the reasons why the settlements damage America’s regional interest (for these essays, contact owners);
  4. Inform people about the funding of the settlement enterprise through tax-exempt donations and organizations with tax-exempt status (pale blue box, below, has links to data tables and a few relevant articles);
  5. Keep people informed about current issues and events relating to the settlements by posting daily links to articles from various news sources;
  6. Maintain a bibliography of books focused on settlements (contact owners for list), and
  7. Provide links to reports about the settlements from NGOs and international organizations (contact owners).

Roll of Shame
American Funding of Illegal Israeli Settlements
The United States tax code enables Americans to make tax-exempt donations to organizations engaged in settlement activities that:
  • entrench the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territory and thereby strengthen the obstacles and barriers to creating a viable Palestinian state;
  • damage the peace process;
  • undermine our nation’s vital national interest by making it more difficult to resolve the conflict on the basis of a two-state solution;
  • posse a security threat to the United States and its citizens by creating a reservoir of resentment and anger that strengthens Hamas, Hezbollah, and other extremist organizations committed to armed struggle;
  • strengthen Iranian influence in the region by exploiting the continuation of the occupation;
  • encourage resistance to Israeli security forces that enforce government orders to stop settlement construction;
  • promote violence against Palestinians; and
  • weaken Israeli leaders attempting to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the basis of a two state solution; has compiled data from the public record to illustrate the magnitude of these activities. The data is presented in two tables: While some donors to these organizations may have known that their contributions would strengthen the occupation and prevent the creation of a viable Palestinian state, there are probably many others who intended that their money be used for humanitarian services but have unwittingly perpetuated the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and thereby have undermined American’s vital national interests. In order to support the peace process, strengthen the ability of the Israelis to take the actions they must take, eliminate the existential threat to creating a viable Palestinian state, and promote America’s interests, the 501(c)(3) status of these organization should be questioned.

A few essays directly addressing the problem of American tax-exempt funding of Israeli settlements

  • Report on 2009 American Non-Profit Funding of Settlements. From 2002 through 2009 (the last year complete returns are available), 183 non-profit organizations (129 private foundations, 54 corporations) in the United States raised and spent approximately $274,000,000 in direct support of the Israeli settlement enterprise. Even in the recession yesr of 2009 the amount was just over $35 million.

    Develops a Table showing the web of foundations donating tax-exempt funds in 2009, and the non-profit agencies spending the money on settlements. Includes six charts detailing deficiencies in IRS form-990s submitted by the foundations and agencies that may be in violation of IRS rules.

  • Tax-Exempt Funds Aid Settlements in West Bank. A NY Times extensive review of the funding of the settlement enterprise. The article pointed out that the recipients of the funding are shrouded in secrecy, the purpose of the funding is obscured by deception, the lack of transparency is protected by lax enforcement by the Internal Revenue Service, and the consequences of the funding subverts America's policy and goals in the region. (July 5, 2010)

  • Can Tax-Free Donations Fund Settlements?. A Forward article by Josh Nathan-Kazis discusses claim raised by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee that funding settlement activities is contrary to American foreign policy and therefore should not be allowed to have tax-exempt status. Legal experts, according to The articlesays legal experts are divided. (Jan. 6, 2010)

  • The US cash behind extremist settlers. A Guardian article by Andrew Kadi and Aaron Levitt says that The Hebron Fund is raising vast sums for Israeli settlements that violate the Geneva convention, with little scrutiny. (Dec. 8, 2009)

  • Tax-exempt contribution support Israeli settlements. A Washington Post article by David Ignatius. (March 26, 2009)