HEBRON — Goldman Sachs is a financial supporter of one of Israel’s most violent, racist illegal settlements in occupied Palestine.
Documents published last week by Haaretz, one of Israel’s most liberal mainstream newspapers, revealed that the controversial investment banking giant made an $18,000 tax-deductible donation to the Brooklyn-based Hebron Fund, via the Goldman Sachs Charitable Gift Fund.
All Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories are believed to be in violation of international law. And while settlements are known for the violent actions of their residents, Hebron in particular has achieved a reputation for settlers’ extreme actions against indigenous Palestinian residents.
“Hebron is a perpetual nightmare,” wrote Maya Haber, director of programming and strategy for Partners for Progressive Israel, in Haaretz. ”About 700 Jews live in tiny fortified urban settlements at the center of a city inhabited by 180,000 Palestinians.”
“The settlers of Hebron are known for violence. … Their children rampage through Palestinian markets, kick over tables with goods, and wreak havoc. Hebron settlers are also known to attack Israeli soldiers on the rare occasions they’ve attempt to curb the settlers’ violent activities.
In parts of downtown Hebron Palestinian residents installed nets and metal grates over the streets to catch the garbage that settlers routinely throw from their windows.”
Hebron is the showcase city for human rights organizations to bring tourists to when they want demonstrate the worst of the Israeli occupation.”
The donation to Hebron isn’t Goldman Sachs’ first sign of support for Israeli extremism, though. Haber wrote that there was “a clear pattern in the Fund’s giving to Israel rightwing (sic) groups or their American fronts,” including “a 2012 donation of $708,000 to the American-Israel Education Foundation, AIPAC’s educational arm,” and donations to right-wing causes like a group that opposes the United Nations for its support of Palestine.
Goldman Sachs’ donations are just a small portion of the overall foreign support settlements receive. In a March 2015 MintPress News investigation, Joe Catron reported that U.S. charities send millions to Israel every year, most of it tax deductible, though the exact amount that goes into settlements is unknown.
“[U]nder normal circumstances, identifying the overseas recipients of these grants can prove impossible, as U.S. organizations have no obligations to release them,” Catron reported. “Only if most charities choose to publicize their foreign projects will the taxpaying public have the opportunity to know what projects they’re subsidizing.”
Last month, the National Lawyers Guild asked the IRS to revoke the tax-deductible status of the Jewish National Fund, one of the major foreign sources of funding for illegal Israeli settlements and the owner of thousands of acres of stolen land.
Nonprofits like JNF enable “the forced population transfer of Palestinians throughout Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT); destruction and confiscation of Palestinian agricultural land; and settler violence against Palestinian populations,” the NLG wrote in their challenge.
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