Israel’s parliament passed a bill on Monday requiring non-governmental organizations operating in Israel that receive most of their funding from foreign governments to be more transparent about their funding and activities.
Israel’s Knesset passed a bill on Monday presented by Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked requiring Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) operating in Israel that receive most of their funding from foreign governments to be more transparent about their funding and activities.
The bill passed by a 57-48 vote after six hours of intense deliberations in the plenum.
There are over 300 NGOs operating in Israel that are funded by foreign governments, and primarily by the Europeans. These NGOs operate to influence Israel in various aspects and, in many cases, operate against the Jewish State. The new law limits their subversive activities.
Foreign entities using their financial ties to Israeli groups to influence policy “is done to an unprecedented scope and in a way that undermines Israel’s sovereignty and undercuts the authority of an elected government,” Shaked wrote in the bill’s abstract.
The bill stipulates that any NGO primarily funded by foreign donations would need to state that fact clearly in its website, publications, reports, and formal communications with any public or government body. It also stipulates that such NGOs’ annual reports, and their communications with state bodies, would need to include the full details of their funding sources.
They are also required to inform the chair of a Knesset committee that they are primarily funded by a foreign entity whenever they appear before said committee.
NGOs would be fined $7,500 for any violation of the proposed requirements, the bill states.
“Imagine that Israel were to fund extra-parliamentary organizations in Britain that supported Brexit,” Shaked said during Monday night’s discussion before the vote, “that we were interfering in the domestic affairs of Britain. What would happen then? Our ambassador would be called in immediately for a dressing-down, because Britain has its national dignity intact.”
By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News