Foreign governments fund anti-Netanyahu protests, says Israeli lawmaker

Ariel Kallner presented evidence that government-funded organizations in Germany, Switzerland, and Norway have donated hundreds of thousands of shekels to groups behind anti-Netanyahu protests in Israel.

By Aryeh Savir, TPS

European governments provide substantial funding to the multiple organizations that are behind the anti-Netanyahu demonstrations around the country, Member of Knesset (MK) Ariel Kallner charged.

Several organizations have been holding weekly demonstrations against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu while calling for his resignation in recent months, which have often turned violent.

After a few weeks during which Israel was under a Coronavirus lockdown and large demonstrations were banned, the protestors returned to the streets on Saturday night.

Kallner presented data on the organizations behind the protests and funds they received in 2019 from foreign countries. All information was taken from the official website of the Registrar of Associations and was available based on the Transparency Law which requires all foreign-funded organizations operating in Israel to clearly state the source and size of their funding.

The Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, supported by the German Government, provided NIS 154,149 to the Standing Together organization, as well as the Heinrich Bell Foundation from Germany, which provided NIS 40,000, and the German ZFD Fund, which gave NIS 44,475.

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Switzerland gave NIS 240,485, Norway provided NIS 26,297, and Denmark gave NIS 144,627 to other organizations behind the anti-Netanyahu events.

Kallner stated he will demand a discussion at the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on the issue.

“I will not be silent!” he declared.

On Saturday night, hundreds of demonstrators marched in the center of Jerusalem without any coordination with the police, blocking and disrupting traffic while ignoring the police which declared it an illegal procession.

Several attempts were made by the police forces to stop the protesters without the use of force and return them to the protest area secured by the police.

Meanwhile, police arrested three protesters who violated public order and attacked police officers during the illegal march.

Other anti-Netanyahu events took place in Tel Aviv and in other locations in Israel.

Last month it was revealed at the Knesset’s Lobby for the Fight Against Delegitimization and Anti-Semitism that foreign countries are funding the legal defense for anti-Netanyahu protesters at the prime minister’s residence on Balfour Street in Jerusalem.

Kallner, the lobby head, warned that “this is a very serious phenomenon. Would it be conceivable for the State of Israel to fund protection for lawbreakers protesting the German government? Would the German government pass over this in silence? The issue of foreign state intervention means undermining the sovereignty of the State of Israel.”

“Various countries, most of which have diplomatic relations with Israel, are working to undermine the agenda of Israeli society while blatantly interfering in Israel’s internal political and social discourse,” he added.

There are over 300 NGOs operating in Israel that are funded by foreign governments, primarily by the Europeans, which operate to influence Israel in various aspects, and in many cases operate against the Jewish State.