The HAS Advantage Program, an Israeli initiative to support Israeli settlers in the West Bank

The HAS Advantage Program, an Israeli initiative to support Israeli settlers in the West Bank

The Jewish lobby in the USA continues to explore new means to provide financial support to illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank using civil institutions and the private sector bodies in Israel. On October 17, 2005, the Heritage Affinity Services (HAS) launched an innovative Program in the United States to consolidate the ties of the Jewish-American people in the US with the Jewish settlers in the West Bank. However, the program did not only target the Jewish communities in the US, but also targeted the entire American society. The program, which was launched with the association of the US bank and VISA credit card issued under the name 'HAS Advantage' (Heritage  Affinity Service), which allocate some percentage of its earnings to support certain “charitable” organizations in Israel.

The HAS advantage program is a special issuance of a credit card that supports the Israeli civil institutions in Israel based on the purchases made by individuals (buyers) through these credit cards (visa Card), as with every purchase made through the credit card, there is a benefit that goes to Israeli settlers in settlements in the Occupied West Bank Territory.


The program also offers benefits and rewards to individuals (buyers) in return for every purchase they do in an attempt to attract them to participate in this program.  With every purchase, there are profitable points that are added to the individuals' accounts and may be later recovered through other services they wish to attain, such as domestic travel, gift certificates at major retailers, valuable merchandise such as electronics, appliances household items, and apparel. The rewards program also includes miles traveling on EL AL Airlines, room nights at the Dan and Sheraton hotel chains, rental cars from Avis and Budget, and a multitude of other great rewards. In addition, the HAS Advantage program encourages tourism to Israel and the purchase of Israeli products by providing substantial rewards for travel, and discounts on travel to all locations in Israel.


There are number of private organizations in the United States and Israel, dedicated to support the poor in Israel, the educational sector, the public services sector, and the victims of 'Palestinian terrorism' (as defined by the program), museums, scientific research and the health sector.


Karen Dimant, the HAS Advantage program director stated that the HAS credit card is based on two principles, the first is to support the Israeli civil institutions with every purchase carried out by individuals in the US and second is the rewards program which is later recovered by the individuals (buyer) with every dollar spent using the HAS credit card. The program also offers benefits to the institutions participating in this program in three ways:

  • The First: tapping into new innovative way to provide support to Israeli settlers and Settlements in West Bank.

  • The Second: targeting new markets in addition to the existing ones.

  • Third: increasing the constituents base of the HAS Advantage program.

The HAS Advantage Program targets Jewish communities in the United States in particular, and the American society in general; seeking to strengthen the link between the Jews and the American people of all denominations as stated by HAS Advantage spokesman Ron 'The purpose is to create a strong bond between Israel and the American community at large,' said spokesperson Ronn Torossian. 'The HAS Advantage card transforms every day spending into a charitable opportunity, as well as a rewarding experience for the cardholder. Thus, cardholders feel an emotional and financial tie to the land and people of Israel'.


Among the institutions participating in the HAS advantage program is the Gush Etzion settlements bloc in Bethlehem Governorate, which calls through the Ad it published on its website, to support the Israeli settlers in the West Bank through the active participation in this program as a 'project that promotes the values among the Jewish people and renew their commitment to the land and people of Israel, and strengthens the unity of the Jewish community.'


To Conclude

The HAS Advantage credit card program ignores the fact that Israel as an 'Occupation' constantly violates the various Palestinians' rights to live on their land.


The essence of danger lies in the increase of the number of institutions participating in the program which will increase the amount of support (financially and morally) to Israeli settlers in the West Bank.



Prepared by
The Applied Reserach Institute – Jerusalem


Categories: Reports