President Barack Obama shakes hands with Palestinian children during a visit to the Church of the Nativity in the occupied West Bank town of Bethlehem, March 22, 2013. (ATEF SAFADI-POOL/GETTY IMAGES)
Lebanese Kurds wave the Kurdish flag and a flag picturing Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan during Persian New Year, or Noruz, celebrations in Beirut, March 21, 2013. (JOSEPH EID/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lipid (c) with former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who resigned his position after being indicted on charges of fraud and breach of trust, at the Feb. 5 swearing in of the 19th Knesset. (URIEL SINAI/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
Israeli soldiers take pictures of each other in front of Israel’s illegal apartheid wall near the Qalandia checkpoint outside Ramallah, March 30, 2013. Israeli troops earlier had clashed with Palestinian demonstrators commemorating the 37th anniversary of “Land Day.” (ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
Clay, Babylon, Mesopotamia, after 539 BCE D x H: 7.8-10 x 21.9-22.8 cm British Museum, London, ME 90920 Photo: ©The Trustees of the British Museum
Prosthetic legs for wounded American soldiers at the Center for Intrepid rehabilitation gym at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, TX, Aug. 7, 2012. (JOHN MOORE/GETTY IMAGES)
October 2003 Postcard
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DEAR SENATOR or REPRESENTATIVE:
The future of Augusta Victoria Hospital in Jerusalem is in jeopardy. Other non-governmental Christian organizations in Israel are facing the same threat of losing their tax-exempt status.
Prime Minister Sharon pressured the White House to close U.S. Muslim relief organizations in December 2001. Muslim charity funds were frozen and their offices raided.
At a time when Palestinians are facing severe hardships, Israel is making it impossible for Christian or Muslim charitable organizations to accomplish their missions.
By contrast, American Jewish tax-free donations have long helped close the funding gap in Israel’s social services, caused by that nation’s heavy spending on military and defense. From 2001-2002, Israel Now’s campaign raised $400 million, tax-free, to purchase armored vehicles, bullet-proof glass for houses in illegal settlements and support services for Israel Defense Forces soldiers.
Please put an end to tax-exempt status for Jewish agencies collecting billions of dollars each year for Israel if the Jewish State will not end its persecution of non-Jewish humanitarian agencies.