Foreign governments giving money to Israeli civil society groups is a “blatant intervention in internal Israeli affairs,” Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said in November when she introduced a bill that would force certain non-governmental organizations to disclose the sources of their funding. Foreign entities financing another country’s NGOs, she argued, “infringes on the accepted norms and rules of relations between democratic countries.”
The so-called NGO Law or Transparency Law would require all Israeli groups that receive half or more of their budget from foreign governments — which is true for many left-wing but few right-wing groups — to disclose their foreign benefactors. Naturally, the bill, which passed its first hurdle last week and is expected to be signed into law, has drawn much criticism by NGOs affiliated with left-wing causes and opposition politicians.
The European Union, though it provides many Israeli NGOs with funding, has not publicly commented on…
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