Activists refuse to pay federal taxes over US funding of Israel

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Palestine and Israel flags by Ruma Aktar via iStock for WMNF News.

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The United States is receiving increasing scrutiny for giving billions of dollars in financial support to Israel. One activist group is protesting the aid by refusing to pay federal taxes.

Lincoln Rice has been a war tax resistor since 1998. He was inspired by US sanctions on Iraq under the Clinton administration.

“In good conscious, at the point I said I’m not going to voluntary pay for these types of actions any longer.”

Now, as a coordinator for the National Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee, he’s seen a spike in interest after Israel’s invasion of Gaza. Some people will refuse all or a portion of their tax debt while others live below the taxable income level.

“Now it’s definitely an influx of younger folks, mostly under 35, from a variety of economic and racial backgrounds, from all over the country. And they see what’s happening in Gaza and are making the connection this is all being funded by the United States”

According to Reuters, Israel has received more US foreign aid since World War II than any other country.

Rice says many people have questions and concerns about refusing to pay taxes. He encourages people to know what they’re getting into and not take the decision lightly.

“And there is this preconceived notion that you will go to jail. And, especially during the last 30 years, the only instances which we’ve seen any war tax resistor face jail time is when they’ve filed false forms.”

The group has planned demonstrations on or around Tax Day, including a vigil outside the IRS in Manhattan.

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