FATCA Injunction in Israel

Yesterday, a court in Israel did what Justice Martineau in Canada failed to do last year.

The Israeli High Court of Justice Bars Preparations to Share Tax Data with U.S.

The article in Haaretz says

The High Court of Justice on Wednesday threw a wrench into the government’s plans for sharing information with the United States about taxpayers after Justice Hanan Meltzer ordered officials to suspend preparatory work.

A day before it was due to go into operation, Meltzer told the state to suspend work in the mechanism it had developed for sharing information on the accounts of U.S. citizens with banks or other financial accounts in Israel.

Finally, someone somewhere had the courage to stand up to the bullies. This is only a temporary injunction until a full hearing no later than September 15. But, it’s a start.

The arguments against FATCA in Israel sound similar to those in Canada.

The plaintiffs told the court that the law violates Israel’s Basic Law on Human Dignity and Liberty, asserting that it contradicts rights to privacy, property and equal treatment. Nor does the law have a compelling public purpose, they said.

It also sounds like the Israeli government’s defense was similar t what the Government of Canada is likely to claim:

In response, the state argued that Israel’s failure to comply with FATCA by the deadline could create severe problems for Israeli banks and others.

One of the lawyers in this case is Mark Zell–who is a co-plaintiff in the U.S. FATCA lawsuit. Many thanks to Mr. Zell and others for their efforts. I hope they succeed in getting a permanent order against the transfer of information.

7 thoughts on “FATCA Injunction in Israel

  1. NorthernShrike

    We lose. Again.

    From Haaretz:

    “Israel’s High Court of Justice on Monday rejected a petition seeking to block the government’s plan to share information with the United States about taxpayers as part of a crackdown on tax evasion…

    ““It is difficult to think about a purpose of a law more worthy than this legislation, which is part of a long series of acts taken over the past 20 years to combat the black market, tax evasion and international crime. All of them require reporting that harms privacy,” said Justice Menahem Mazuz.”


  2. NorthernShrike

    Here is a follow-up, reporting the response of Nigel Green.


    Israeli High Court’s FATCA Injunction Must Make Other Countries Rethink America’s Imperialistic Law

    The Israeli High Court’s temporary injunction against the enforcement of America’s highly controversial global tax law “should serve as a wake-up call for other countries to rethink enforcing this toxic, flawed, imperialistic legislation,” affirms the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organizations.

    The comments from Nigel Green, chief executive and founder of deVere Group, come as Israel’s High Court of Justice threw a spanner into the Israeli government’s plans Wednesday to start actively implementing the U.S.’s Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) in the country.

  3. Lynne Swanson Post author

    Israel Court’s FATCA Injunction must make other countries rethink America’s imperialist law.
    Nigel Green, CEO of DeVere Group says:

    “Justice Meltzer’s action should be championed. His wise caution should serve as a wake-up call for other countries to rethink enforcing this toxic, flawed, damaging legislation that is being imposed on sovereign states around the world by the U.S…”

    Mr. Green also says:

    This could be a landmark moment in the fight to have this controversial and damaging law resigned to the history books.”

    Here’s hoping other countries will take the wake up call. So far, they all just seem to be determined to continue to sleep with the bullies.

  4. Lynne Swanson Post author

    More on Israeli court issues temporary injunction.

    The author writes:

    That said, as a spectator to these events who follows FATCA developments closely, I suspect there is strong political support within Israel to thumb their nose at FATCA. They are fiercely self-protective and have a unique perspective on financial privacy and the need for emergency funds outside of the jurisdiction where one resides or of one’s nationality. So I imagine there is significant support within Israel for the court’s action.

    But an American tax lawyer says:

    “Nevertheless, I don’t see how this ends other than [with] Israel capitulating.”

    The article also mentions the Canadian lawsuit and opposition to FATCA in Canada.

    Elsewhere, news of the injunction was met with cheers around the world by many American FATCA opponents. including commentators in Canada, where opposition to the law runs high among so-called “accidental Americans”, and where lawsuits against it have also been filed.

    Hello? Although “accidental Americans” are a strong part of the opposition (and are the only plaintiffs in the lawsuit), the fight extends far beyond them.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Optionally add an image (JPEG only)