Right-wing MKs revive bill that targets human rights organizations funding

MKs Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) and Robert Ilatov (Likud-Beytenu) are sponsoring a new version of a fascist bill, aims to limit the foreign funding of human rights organizations, submitted to the Knesset on Tuesday, which specifies a limit of NIS 20,000 ($5,500) in funding from foreign government entities if an NGO falls foul of certain limitations on its activities.

The bill, whose previous version came to be known as the “NGO law,” is based on reports from the extreme right-wing Im Tirzu, funded by wealthy American Zionists. If passed in its current form the law would forbid NGOs and their employees from directly or indirectly calling for the prosecution of IDF soldiers in the international courts; supporting boycott, divestment, or sanction measures against Israel and its citizens; “rejecting Israel’s character as a Jewish state;” or supporting the armed struggle of an enemy state or terror organization against Israel.

Among the targeted human rights organizations: Yesh Din


The bill is based on two proposals from 2011 that never made it to the Knesset floor. Then, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted that the proposals be merged into a single bill, but Attorney General Yehudah Weinstein opposed the proposals because they impinged on freedom of speech, and laws of equality. “Right-wing MKs are determined to destroy remain democratic rights in Israel,” said MK Dov Khenin (Hadash).

In response to the proposal that would limit foreign donations to non-profit organizations and NGOs, Attorney Debbie Gild-Hayo, Director of Policy Advocacy at the Association for Human Rights in Israel (ACRI) said: “Following the flood of anti-democratic legislation that we witnessed in the last Knesset, including a version of this bill, the then government apparently realized that such awful bills were causing severe harm to Israel. As a result, after fierce criticism and public pressure, the government indeed halted their progress. I sincerely hope that ministers in the current government are wise enough to block this bill; a bill that severely undermines freedom of expression and democracy in Israel, and whose main aim is to silence those who disagree with MK Shaked.”

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