18 thoughts on “American Jews Donate $33 Million for Settlements – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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    1. Marilyn,

      Able Muslims are commanded by Allah to give only 2.5% of their income towards charity or Zakat as it is known in Islam. Beyond that which is prescribed, is merely optional.

      And as to the purpose of what the collected zakat is used for, it is important to note that their are 8 categories of persons who are entitled to receive them:

      “1. Fakir – One who has neither material possessions nor means of livelihood.

      2. Miskin – One with insufficient means of livelihood to meet basic needs.

      3. Amil – One who is appointed to collect zakat.

      4. Muallaf – One who converts to Islam.

      5. Riqab – One who wants to free himself from bondage or the shackles of slavery. (In Singapore, zakat due to this category of recipients is spent on those who need help to pursue education or to improve their standard of living).

      6. Gharmin – One who is in debt (money borrowed to meet basic, halal expenditure).

      7. Fisabillillah – One who fights for the cause of Allah.

      8. Ibnus Sabil – One who is stranded in journey.”

      Source: http://www.zpub.com/aaa/zakat-def.html

  1. In Islam, our version of tzedakah is zakat. Being one of the five pillars of Islam, zakat – giving a portion of one’s wealth to charity – is mandatory on all muslims. The reason being that wealth is considered haram (forbidden), and in order to purify it (make it halal) one must give a portion of it to the poor and/or orphans. Incidentally, giving to charity voluntarily (going beyond zakat) is known as sadaqah – sadaqah / tzedakah same thing (and the words sound the same too!). We are not so different after all!

    Anyway, there are very strict rules as to who and what is eligible to receive zakat and sadaqah money. If Muslims were occupying Israel, it would be considered haram for them to request and recieve donations in the form of zakat or sadaqah in order to build settlements, because the need to build settlements is purely superficial – they are not a necessity and they are illegal. Saying that, what are the rules in Judaism for giving and receiving tzedakah money? Can tzedakah be used to build settlements? This question needs to be answered because if Jews are giving tzedakah to build settlements then they would be making a mockery of their religion. Not only that, they would be mocking God Himself. And seeing as He is also my God, I would take offence personally.

    1. I stand corrected regarding Islam’s concept of zakat & its similarity to tzedakah. They sound like “brother” concepts.

      In my opinion, giving money for settlements is not tzedakah, since the funds do not support “justice” but injustice. That is a distortion & insult to the word “tzedek” from which tzedakah derives.

      1. i just got this post in the email, and like Moje, I was surprised that you weren’t aware of one of the pillars of Islam, but he or she explained the reasoning behind it very well, so for me to do so is superfluous! I only would like to add that in Christianity, there is indeed an precept for charity in a cash version and it is known as “tithing”
        from Wikipedia:
        A tithe (from Old English teogoþa “tenth”) is a one-tenth part of something, paid as a (usually) voluntary contribution or as a tax or levy, usually to support a Christian religious organization. Today, tithes (or tithing) are normally voluntary and paid in cash, cheques, or stocks, whereas historically tithes could be paid in kind, such as agricultural products. Several European countries operate a formal process linked to the tax system allowing some churches to assess tithes.

        While it is voluntary, as you can see, so are the other systems in the other monotheistic faiths. No one garnishes paycheques or comes to collect, it is given on a voluntary basis. The twist here is the “tax deduction” element and as you correctly state, that it is being used not for purposes of support of the cult (here in Italy, what is collected is used for church maintenance, salaries for employees of the church, etc., whereas the part withheld off taxes and signed over to the church of choice, which dispenses it as it sees fitting. Recently, similarly to what you write, one of these groups that accepts “charity” as a religious group, the Italian Jewish Community, was exposed in a scandalous situation. Here is the link. http://palestinethinktank.com/2009/01/05/a-must-read-jewish-propagandist-inadvertently-exposes-his-plot/

        of course the comments are from individuals, I am sure you realise this.

        I am sorry to say that while I was a young woman, I gladly supported charity to Jewish causes, donating my time, I would never do such a thing now, knowing what they do with the money and who it hurts.

        1. Thank you so much for the link Mary. We all know this kind of thing happens but it is rare to see it so amusingly exposed. I hope I do not offend anyone but I can hardly write this for laughing.

          1. Thanks Miles. Yes, unfortunately, there are many stories like this, including the event of the industrial sabotage in a Jewish cemetery in Rome, but they rarely get exposed. The Verano cemetery vandalism was an “inside job” but after 5 days of front page news, tv specials about how “Italians are anti-semites” and the like, once it was revealed that it was actually (Jewish) employees of the cemetery who did the damage to some graves, all of a sudden, SILENCE! Not even an apology to “the Italians”, nor public admission of what happened. It was reported on some tiny little angle in the papers. Quite some national hand-wringing… over nothing! And in the end, the victim spiel was promoted and the chance to say just how bad everyone was to Jews (untrue and they know it!) in Italy. This way, no one dares to challenge organised Jewish politics in Italy, which is extremely Zionist.

            It seems as though every word these representatives say is gold, until it is exposed as manipulative. Then the story gets buried and the rectification simply does not get aired!

            Just as it is so that the pro-Israel march in Italy got its 1500 strong “celebrities”, this story of “charity and being at the orders of Israel” got buried too.

            Yet, we are attentive here.

    1. Perhaps it isn’t me who’s ignorant, but you. I didn’t say Judaism had a prounced concept of CHARITY. I called it tzedakah, which is quite different than charity. In Christianity and other religions charity is an elective act. It is considered a good deed but not an imperative. In Judaism, tzedakah derives from the word for “justice” & it is a religious obligation for even the poorest Jews to give tzedakah to the extent they can. Tzedakah pervades Jewish life in a way that charity doesn’t in other religions.

  2. As Jewish Palestinians or Palestinian Jews the Israeli settlers have the right to live in Palestine.
    They live in their banthustans covering 15% of historic Palestine.
    85% of Palestine is closed for them

    1. Jordan was never part of Palestine, but rather simply an autonomous area incorporated under the British Mandate of Palestine.

    2. Something like 80% of the Palestinian inhabitants of what became Israel now live in 0% of Israel. All of them have a right to have their property returned and to be compensated for its deliberate and wanton destruction.
      If you are living in one of the settlements your residence breaches the domestic law of every civilised country on the planet, so travel carefully.

  3. Moje covers what I was going to say; the Islamic concept of zakat is much stricter imo since it isn’t voluntary and specifies the actual amount as a percentage of income that needs to be given – and this is on top of other tax obligations – pretty strict really!

    It doesn’t surprise me that Judaism and Islam are very similar in this regard; Christianity is more divergent than these two faiths on this.

    the politicisation of charity and these obligations, is just disgusting though.

  4. Richard, actually far, far more money than the amount you reported here goes to what many people, particularly supporters of the Arab side, consider “illegal” settlements. For instance, Tel Aviv University collects millions of dollars per year in donations. TAU is sitting on the land that belonged to the Arab village of Sheikh Munis. The Arab owners of the land of Sheikh Munis are now refugees, probably rotting away in a refugee camp in Gaza. TAU never paid them a cent for it, the Israeli government confiscated the land. Now, I have no problem with that, because the Arabs started the war in 1948 with the express intent of driving the Jews into the sea. Fortunately they failed and paid the price. However, there is no Arab anywhere who considers TAU to be a “legal” settlement. Thus, those who view TAU to be “illegal” should oppose donations going there no less than to Jewish communities in Judea/Samaria.

    1. Now, I have no problem with that, because the Arabs started the war in 1948 with the express intent of driving the Jews into the sea.

      If you really believe this you are among a rapidly dwindling band of seriously deluded people.

  5. Many of those who have spent years languishing in Guantánamo were rounded up while fulfilling their Islamic charitable obligations. In at least one case I know of personally he was helping to build a girls school, about as clear an indication as you could get that he was an opponent not a supporter of Al Qaida and their ilk.

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