Jan 2, 2007

suing the state for backtaxes

The beleaguered city of Sderot, under the leadership of Mayor Eli Moyal, has come up with a new strategy in its attempts to persuade the government to provide the security its residents deserve.

As you all know, the city of Sderot has been under fire from Kassam rockets from Gaza since mid-2004. The shelling of Sderot (and other border towns, but mostly Sderot) intensified after the Israeli government under Ariel Sharon evacuated the Jews out of the Gaza Strip towns and handed over the land to the Palestinians. That brought the Palestinians closer to what are now the border towns, such as Sderot, and put the residents within better range of the Kassam rockets being shot by said Palestinians.

A basic obligation of any government is to provide security to its citizens. Until recently, at least the government could say it was trying. They approved military offensives in Gaza to thwart the missile threat. They tried diplomatic maneuvers. One could even say we handed the whole Gaza Strip to the Palestinians expecting quiet on that border in return.

Alas, it was not meant to be. The Palestinians remain obstinate in their attempts to terrorize the Jews and continue to shoot rockets at Israeli towns. Recently the Israeli government stopped all attempts at providing security to the residents affected. The government refuses to implement security measures such as fortifying schools and houses. The government has declared a cease fire in the area and has refused to respond to the rain of Kassams that have continued since the cease fire (in other words, it is a one-sided cease fire). the government refuses to allow the army to do what it feels is necessary to stop the Kassams.

Basically, the government has not fulfilled its basic obligation of providing (and even attempting to) security for its citizens.

So, the residents of Sderot, have come up with a new plan. They are now suing the State of Israel. They are suing the State of Israel to stop payign taxes. They are also demanding a refund of all tax moneys paid by its residents from the time of the first Kassam attack on Sderot in 2004. They say that if the government is not giving them their basic rights of security, they should not have to pay taxes.

They also say that they are being unfairly discriminated against. A soldier (Gilad Shalit) was kidnapped in their region and thousands of Kassams have fallen on them and the government has pretty much done nothing. Yet when 2 soldiers were kidnapped on the northern border and a few Katyushas were fired, Israel went to war to defend Northern Israel. They demand equal treatment and insist the government protect them.

I do not know how this will turn out. I highly doubt the courts will allow the residents to stop paying taxes, let alone award them all their paid taxes in return. However, it will put the Olmert government in an uncomfortable position and could possibly force them into action.

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