How Does the U.S. Help Fund Pro-settler IDF Troops?

Task Force to Save the Nation and the Land has offered NIS 1,000 a day to any soldier who fights evacuation.

The Task Force to Save the Nation and the Land, the organization that offered every soldier refusing to evacuate a settlement, and the Kfir Brigade soldiers who publicly demonstrated their opposition to evacuation, NIS 1,000 for every day they spend in military prison, is a registered non-profit organization and has a license to operate.

The group receives donations from a U.S. based group that are tax exempt. No comment was available from the organization.

The Global Task Force to Save the Nation and the Land, established in 2003 and rising to fame during the disengagement from the Gaza Strip, melds positions of the extreme right wing and the messianic Hassidic Chabad sect. The group is headed by Rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpe, a Chabad Hassid of the messianic stream, who lives in Kiryat Gat. In recent years the group began offering monetary rewards to soldiers and civilians.

Among the rewards it has given was NIS 20,000 to each soldier who lifted a sign of "The Shimshon Battalion does not evict from Homesh" at the Western Wall a month ago, and gave NIS 1,800 to the soldier Tzach Kortz, who shot a terrorist in Kiryat Arba last week.

In response to a question by Haaretz, regarding the role of the registrar of NGOs not taking any action to disband the group for operating illegally, a Justice Ministry spokesman said that "a review of the file [of the organization] does not reveal any documents that support this argument. We will be able to examine this claim if information available to the person making the claim [against the group] is given to us. Moreover, so long as there is suspicion of illegal conduct, the authorized body to examine the matter is the police."

Like many of the extreme right-wing organizations receiving money from U.S. supporters, the funding for the group enjoys tax-free status. Peace groups and Palestinians have complained to U.S. authorities, but there has been no change in the status of the organizations supporting the right wing.

The bureau of Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Haaretz that it had instructed the legal authorities to initiate an immediate investigation into the role of various elements that encourage soldiers to carry out protest actions against orders.

"The Defense Minister places supreme significance in the immediate and quick handling of these elements in order to stress the determination to deal with this unacceptable behavior," the statement read.

A "clean management record" authorization is an administrative document of approval that is granted to every non-profit organization that presents orderly documents to the authorities. This authorization grants the group the right to benefit from public funding through tax breaks, direct funding by the government as well as returns from providing the government with services.

According to Yaron Keidar, former registrar of NGOs, and now a partner in a law firm offering legal services to non-profit organizations, the filing of a substantive complaint against such a group, with the police or at the Registrar's Office, may result in the canceling of the group's license.

"If a complaint is filed I am certain that the registrar of NGOs and the attorney general will examine the matter. The possibility does exist that the attorney general, if he deems it necessary, will not only cancel the license of the group but may consider further sanctions. This may result in sanctions against the heads of the organization, as these are determined by law," Keidar said.

The Knesset will hold a discussion on the subject of transparency of contributions that non-profit organizations receive from abroad. The event, which will be hosted by Improvement of Government Services Minister Michael Eitan, is being organized by the NGO Monitor organization, which is based in Jerusalem.