B’tSelem and other lefty NGO’s backed by the anti-Israel Norwegian government hardest hit. KGS
NOTE: Read also: Lift the veil
As in many such cases, almost all news outlets jumped on the bandwagon once again and condemned what they called “the law that will strangle left-leaning non-governmental organizations,” despite the fact that the law relates to organizations with both right- and left-wing views. But the media knows what it is protecting – foreign governments are working to change the direction of Israeli voters by funding controversial organizations whose activities are at the heart of the Israeli political debate.
(h/t: Yisrael Medad)
Israeli Government Backs Limits on Financing for Nonprofit Groups
Published: November 14, 2011
JERUSALEM – A committee of Israeli cabinet ministers voted Sunday to back two bills aimed at curtailing the support of left-wing nonprofit groups from foreign governments.
The 11-to-5 vote threw the support of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government behind the bills, which human rights groups have denounced as violations of free expression and an effort by the government to silence its critics.
Officials and legal experts said that the bills would probably be altered before reaching Parliament and could ultimately be struck down by the Supreme Court.
One bill would limit to about $5,000 a year the amount that a foreign government, government-supported foundation or group of governments like the European Union could give to Israeli groups considered “political.” The other bill would impose a heavy tax on such contributions.
The bills were largely aimed at groups that focus on Palestinian rights, civil liberties and other causes advocated by the Israeli left, many of which rely on European government support.
An official in Mr. Netanyahu’s office said the prime minister backed efforts to limit foreign government donations to the groups because they amounted, in his view, to interference in Israeli politics. But he wanted the bills amended so their impact would be narrowed.
Lawyers said defining which groups were political ones was a task that would not pass legal scrutiny.
Sari Bashi, director of Gisha, an Israeli group devoted to promoting free movement for Palestinians in Gaza that would be affected by the new bills, said that “while it seems likely that some of the most antidemocratic aspects of the bills will be softened, that actually could make the situation worse, because it would define political speech in such a way as to silence some but not others and possibly allow the bills to become law.”