Academic Round Table Event: Israel's Taxation on the Church in Jerusalem
- Date: 2018-03-29
The Society of St. Yves - Catholic Center for Human Rights, and the Community Action Center- Al Quds University, held a joint rountable event on March 27th, 2018 in Al-Quds University Public Library to discuss Jerusalem’s Municipality recent decision to tax church property within its boundaries, challenging centuries- long status quo which dates back to the Ottoman Empire, exempting church and its affiliated institutions from taxation. The decision has been shelved by the Israeli government in late February 2018.
The panel of the round table included Adv. Raffoul Rofa, General Director of St. Yves, who gave a backgroud on the issue of taxation and reflected the experience of St. Yves as a church-affiliated Catholic Human Right organization, Rev. Mitri Raheb - President of the Dar Al-Kalima University College of Arts and Culture, who addressed the position of the Church from the taxation issue, and Mr. Hadi Matar, legal advisor to the Negotiations Affairs Department - PLO, who highlighted in his presentation the legal frameworks that govern the issue of chruch taxation by the Israeli authorities. The Panel was moderated by Dr. Munir Nusseibeh, Director of the Community Action Center.
The panel discussed several aspects related to the church taxation issue, from the impact of the decision on church property on the church and on the community, to the political context which reflects Israel's efforts to Judaise the city, and local and international legal aspects, including Israel’s agreement with the Holy See.
The event, which was attended by Palestinian civil society, youth grassroot organizations and diplomats, was concluded by a Q&A session.