"The Israel Project" Or the Shnorrers and the Shmocks

Wouldn’t it be great if you could get your enemies, let alone your friends and the rest of the “Shmocks” –” A Yiddish term meaning self made fool –” to finance your war for you?

The founders of “The Israel Project” www.theisraelproject.org have succeeded in doing just that. Under the slogan, “Winning Hearts and Minds for Israel,” they have created an American non-profit organisation that issues tax deductible receipts for its donors.

Of course, The Israel Project is not the only enterprise to do that; there are hosts of organisations, corporations and “charities” who are selling Israel for profit, through non-profit organisations, and they are getting the “Shmocks” –” that is us –” to pay for it. If you think we are exaggerating, take a look at ECONenergy http://www.energyforisrael.com/navah/ that offers you the opportunity to “Benefit Israel every time you turn your lights on.”

How do we pay for this? When money escapes the tax system through tax-deductions, the taxpayer ends up footing the bill.(1) Society at large has accepted that donors to charitable organisations deserve a tax break since their activities could be viewed as complementing social programs aimed at combating poverty, or promoting education or medical research, to name a few. But to get charitable status and to issue tax-deductible receipts for waging a propaganda war for a foreign State, is stretching it too far.

According to the Jewish Virtual Library,(2) from 1971 through 2005, the USA will have given Israel close to US$94,000,000,000.00, yes that is 94 billion dollars! Or close to 3 billion dollars a year. Of special interest in those figures are those under the column of “Refugees.” Since 1974, Israel has received 1.4 billion dollars to settle refugees. The bulk of this money began in 1992, (80 million dollars a year) mostly to settle Soviet immigrants to Israel.

All this money, taken out of the US tax system – and the Canadian one for that matter – does not include non-governmental assistance, like the tax deductible donations to “The Israel Project” or through ECONenergy. It does not include the huge amounts collected through charitable organisations, such as the United Jewish Communities, which boasts “Advocating for Israel by harnessing the power of talk radio to deliver pro-Israel news and commentaries” among its “Charitable activities.”(3)

We support true charitable work, but we are opposed to billons of dollars funnelled through the tax system to fund a State whose army is engaged in “unpardonable activities” according to its own Justice Minister. This tax scheme bonanza must stop.

We spoke about the Shmocks; what about the Shnorrers? A Shnorrer(4) –” also Yiddish –” means a brash beggar. It is time that the Shmocks, stop the Shnorrers.


(1) For more details please visit: http://www.wrmea.com/us_aid_to_israel/index.htm

(2) http://www.us-israel.org/jsource/US-Israel/U.S._Assistance_to_Israel1.html

(3) http://www.ujc.org/ Annual report, page 17.

(4) A beggar who makes pretensions to respectability; who gets money from others as though it’s his right. (Fred Gogos, A dictionary of Yiddish Slang & Idioms, Castle Books, 1966.)