Entry into Israel Law (amendment no. 28), 2017

This amendment would allow the Israeli government to deny a visa to an individual who promotes, or represents an organization that promotes, boycott campaigns against Israel.

Translated by NGO Monitor. Click here to read the original Hebrew on the Knesset website.

Amendment to section 2 1. In the Entry into Israel Law – 1952, in Section 2, after Subsection (c) the following will be added:
“(d) A visa and permit of residence of any kind shall not be granted to a person other than an Israeli national or a person with permanent residence, if the person, or the organization or body that the person represents, has knowingly publicized a call to boycott the state of Israel, as defined in the 2011 Law to Prevent Harming the State of Israel through Boycott, or has pledged to participate in such a boycott.”
(e) Notwithstanding subsection (d), the Minister of Interior may grant a visa and permit of residence as noted, for special circumstances which will be documented.”

This bill has been tabled by the Knesset on January 16, 2017 and is awaiting its second and third reading.

The bill was passed on March 6, 2017.

Proposed amendment to the Income Tax Ordinance (An institution acting for the benefit of Israel), 2017

Translated by NGO Monitor. Click here to read the original Hebrew from the Knesset website.

Amendment to paragraph 9 1 In the income tax ordinance, paragraph 9(2)(b) –
(1) In the definition of “public institution,” after the words “for public objectives” will come the words “provided that the public institution does not act against the state of Israel abroad; for these purposes, a public institution that publishes reports accusing Israel of war crimes and a public institution that participates in a call to boycott Israel or an Israeli citizen is considered as if it acts against Israel abroad”;
(2) In the definition of “public objectives,” after the words “public objectives” will come the words “provided that it has a direct affinity to Israeli citizens or diaspora Jewry;”

“Explanatory notes

Paragraph 46(a) in the income tax ordinance (hereafter “the ordinance”) provides tax deductions for donations made to public institutions. This provides a tax deduction of up to 35% of the donation towards the donor’s payment of income tax, subject to the conditions and limits set in “the ordinance.”

A public institution is defined in paragraph 9(2) as “a group of people…working and acting for a public objective…” In the same paragraph, a “public objective” is defined as “an objective related to religion, culture, education, settlement, science, health, welfare or sports, and any objectives recognized by the treasury minister as a public objective.”

Until two years ago, the condition set for receiving tax deductible status was that most of the organization’s activity was for the benefit of the residents of Israel. This condition was set in a regulation by the Minister of Treasury. However, during the tenure of the previous minister, the definition was changed to an organization acting “with an affinity to the state of Israel,” allowing nonprofit organizations that do not act for the benefit of Israeli citizens to get deductible status.

Logic dictates precisely the previous regulation – a tax deduction on these donations embodies a type of funding by Israeli citizens for organizations that act for public objectives, and should be given to those who act for the benefit of Israeli citizens. Israeli citizens should not be paying for activity that is not for their benefit. They of course can do so of their own volition, but should not be coerced into doing so through the public tax system.

We therefore propose that the law be amended to reflect the demand that the public objective promoted by the public institution will have a direct affinity to the citizens of Israel or Diaspora Jewry. Through this, Israel will again demonstrate its obligations to Diaspora Jewry around the world.

We further propose that an oganization that acts against Israel abroad and participates in delegitimization and boycott campaigns against Israel will not receive the status. In a democratic state, one cannot forbid an association from acting, but the state is not obligated to assist it in acting against it or to fund the group through tax deductible donations.”

Note: this bill was approved by the Minister’s Legislation Committee on March 1, 2017 and is awaiting its first reading.