Israel’s Supreme Court on Tuesday overturned the decision of the Finance Committee last year to deny tax benefits to Christian messianic missionary organizations.
The decision was unanimously approved by the entire Knesset, including the opposition, but nevertheless, the Supreme Court approved the appeal of the messianic organizaiton, which in essence means that Israeli citizens are forced to pay for some of the costs of missionary organizations out of their own pockets.
Even Yair Lapid, who was the head of the opposition at the time, attended the committee meeting to support the vote against missionary organizations.
“The Supreme Court judges, in a last-minute attempt to interfere in my position as Finance Committee chairman, revoked the Knesset’s authority to hold discussions on issues within the Knesset’s authority,” said former Finance Committee chairman Moshe Gafni.
“All of the committee’s members, the coalition and opposition, supported the decision not to grant tax-exempt status to missionary organizations on account of their illegal activities but the Supreme Court has seen fit to invalidate that authority.”
“I suggest that the Supreme Court judges refrain from complaints when a battle ensues against their judicial overreach in the wake of their blatant interference in the role of the legislature.”
“Once again, the Supreme Court violates the authority of the legislature,” the chairman of the human rights organization B’tzalmo, Shai Glick, said.
“In an unprecedented move, all the Knesset members supported the decision to deny tax benefits to missionary organizations. But of course, the Supreme Court is the determining authority and invalidates the authority of the Knesset.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)