Ramallah – the world of the homeland
Next Sunday, Israel’s Ministerial Committee for Legislation will discuss a bill that would limit the ability of civil society organizations and non-profit organizations to receive donations from foreign governments, under the pretext of “reducing the participation of foreign political entities” in Israel. politics. which met with American resistance.
The bill, which is supposed to be voted on by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation next Sunday, was submitted by Knesset member Ariel Kellner from the Likud party, led by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
According to the bill, an association or organization that receives donations from a foreign government will not be recognized as a public institution or as a non-profit institution.
Associations and organizations that benefit from donations from foreign governments will also be taxed at 65 percent on their income, and their donors will also not be entitled to tax credits, according to the bill.
According to the interpretation contained in the proposed bill, its purpose is; “Reducing the participation of foreign political parties in Israeli democracy through taxes, which is implemented through financial support for non-profit organizations and associations, whose activities include interference in legal issues in Israel, political activity, government policy and public opinion.”
As written in the bill, “the intervention of foreign political parties in the promotion of judicial paths with political characteristics, to flood the courts (in Israel), with a direct influence on the public discourse, and in an attempt to change the government’s policy; constitutes a violation of the basic characteristics of the independent State of Israel as well as a violation of the sovereignty of its citizens.
Whereas “Haaretz” newspaper noted on its website that “similar bills have been placed on the (Knesset) table in the past”, without pushing for their ratification.
The newspaper noted that the current conscription law is part of the agreements with the “Otzma Yehudit” party, headed by the Minister of National Security, Itamar Ben Gabir.
She also stated that in the coalition agreements signed with Ben Gabir, it was stipulated that the law would be approved within 180 days of the formation of the government.
It is expected that human rights organizations that depend on the aforementioned donations will be most harmed, due to the lack of donations they receive from Israeli sources.
Academic institutions and hospitals may also be affected by the law, if approved.
The administration of US President Joe Biden criticized the bill, and “informed Israel, through several channels, of the administration’s opposition to the bill,” according to (Haaretz). France also expressed its opposition to this measure.
The spokesman for the US State Department, Matthew Miller, said on Wednesday that civil society “should have room for action and an opportunity to mobilize resources from around the world.”
Although he asked not to “speculate” about a bill that has not yet been passed, he emphasized that “the United States generally supports the central role of non-profit organizations in civil society.”
He added that the American government believes in the “necessity of non-profit organizations for democracy, and a government that protects the principles of transparency.”