Knesset Saves Foreign Journos From the Tax Man

ShekelsThe Knesset's allowing foreign journalists to keep their tax breaks.

According to the The Jerusalem Post, Treasury proposals were defeated primarily by Knesset ministers from an impressive spectrum of parties: MKs Nahman Shai (Kadima), Shelly Yacimovich (Labor), Tourism Minister Stas Meseznikov (Israel Beiteinu), Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) and MK Zevulun Orlev (Habayit Hayehudi).

Hebrew language papers also jumped in against the changes, as did Uri Helman, the new director of the Government Press Office.

Foreign journalists currently pay a flat rate tax of 25 percent for their first three years in Israel; afterwards, they pay the same taxes as every one else. Treasury officials wanted to end the special treatment.

But the drama and principles behind the opposing viewpoints were over-rated. Only 23 journalists would've been effected by the proposed changes. So we're not talking about tons of money for the government coffers; the likelihood of news agencies leaving Jerusalem to set up shop in Ramallah or Amman was near zero.

I do wonder, though, if the press corps will give these politicos and their parties some kind of kid-glove treatment. I hope not . . .