US donors generously support illegal Israeli settlement construction

Israeli settlements were built on stolen Palestinian land, its residents ethnically cleansed for exclusive Jewish development.

They exist and expand illegally, greatly aided by private US donors, besides billions of dollars of military and other aid Washington provides annually.

One rogue state aids another, both guilty of horrendous high crimes against peace. A Haaretz investigation learned private US sources donated over $220 million to settlement construction from 2009-2013 alone—“using a network of (about 50) tax-exempt” US-based NGOs working with Israeli ones.

By allowing this to continue, Washington is complicit in supporting illegal settlement construction—while duplicitously arguing against it, notably by Obama and John Kerry, their public statements and policies entirely different, both officials notorious serial liars, saying one thing, doing another.

Sources outside America also provide considerable amounts of aid—all donors complicit with Israeli land theft.

According to Haaretz, “[1]ow transparency requirements in both the United States and Israel make it difficult to gather comprehensive information on all of the donors, but some of the benefactors are known and include major donors to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.”

A good many are Republican Party donors. Haaretz’s investigation was conducted over the past year, examining “thousands of documents” from US and Israeli NGOs.

At least 50 US-based groups alone are involved in funding illegal settlement construction, transferring millions of dollars annually through tax-free grants—working “mostly through Israeli nonprofits.”

Initial 2014 data indicates settlement funding will exceed the $54 million donated in 2013 alone. Part of what’s sent goes toward “providing legal aid to Jews accused or convicted of terrorism, and supporting their families, through an Israeli nonprofit called Honenu.”

The group raised funds for Yigal Amir, former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassin, imprisoned for life for his crime. It claims to operate legally, despite supporting perpetrators of heinous crimes, mostly against Palestinians.

Brooklyn-based Hebron Fund is one of the largest donors. “It transferred $5.7 million to the Jewish settlement in Hebron from 2009-2014,” said Haaretz—benefitting Jews at the expense of displaced and persecuted Palestinians.

Executive director Dan Rosenstein “declined to answer questions about the fund’s activities or discuss its donors and beneficiaries,” Haaretz explained, suggesting it’s hiding very dirty linen.

All NGOs, other groups and private donors operate disreputably, mindless of how their donations harm fundamental Palestinian rights, letting Israel keep stealing their land for exclusive Jewish development.

The Manhattan-based Central Fund of Israel is another major donor source, providing $23 million for settlement construction in 2014.

It supports the West Bank Yitzhar settlement Od Yosef Chai yeshiva. Its rabbinical heads Yitzhak Shapira and Yosef Elitzur co-wrote the book, titled “The King’s Torah (Torat Hamelech),” explaining conditions under which it’s OK to kill non-Jews, they claim.

They’ve been questioned but never prosecuted for openly supporting cold-blooded murder, typical of how Israel operates, no crimes too heinous to commit against Palestinians unaccountably.

Most settlement funding is supplied by Israel and its taxpayers, Haaretz explained. It’s unknown how much may be diverted from the billions of dollars in annual aid Washington provides—mostly for military purposes, easily diverted for whatever Israel wishes.

Haaretz asked a senior White House official if funding by US NGOs and private donors contradicted Washington’s longstanding public opposition to settlement construction.

The reply was “[i]t doesn’t support or advance any activity that will legitimize them”—while at minimum turning a blind eye to their development, generously supporting Israel’s killing machine.

According to Haaretz, its investigation shows Washington “tacitly support[s], through tax-exempt contributions, the [development and] growth of the settlements—a process that its [officials] strongly” condemn—one of many US double standards.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at His new book as editor and contributor is “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” Visit his blog at . Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

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