Israel’s New NGO Law Aims to Silence Dissent
by Stephen Lendman
Israel is a ruthless apartheid police state masquerading as democratic.
Dominated by racist hardliners, its Knesset passed new NGO legislation - targeting human rights organizations critical of oppressive Israeli policy, wanting them silenced.
The measure proposed by Arab-hating justice minister Ayelet (“little snakes,” referring to Palestinian children) Shaked, backed by Netanyahu and other regime hardliners, requires NGOs getting over half their funding from abroad to reveal donor sources - specifically aimed at human rights groups as a way of intimidating them.
According to Joint (Arab) List MK Dov Khenin, a vocal bill opponent, “(a)ll (NGO) contributions are reported…(T)here’s no reason for the government’s NGO bill except to divert the discussion and incite the public.”
“Where is transparency really needed,” he asked? “In (pro-regime) extreme right-wing organizations (getting millions of shekels from private overseas donors) the government has chosen to impose secrecy and obscure the money trail.”
European parliamentarians slammed the measure, claiming it could affect EU/Israeli relations. The New Israel Fund called it a “shameful moment in the history of Israeli democracy (sic).”
It urged MKs to reject “the bill and remove this black stain from the face of Israel.”
Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) executive director Hagai El-Ad said Israel’s “current government is leading an assault on the foundations of democracy (sic)…attacking freedom of expression and the rights of Arab citizens…We are steadfast in our opposition to Knesset legislation aimed at derailing Israeli democracy (sic).”
The new measure “suggests that organizations that receive donations from foreign governments (or other sources abroad) supposedly serve them (when) the opposite is true.”
B’Tselem spokeswoman Sarit Michaeli blasted the measure, accusing Netanyahu of “degrading the international position of Israel,” adding:
B’Tselem won’t be silenced by legislative tyranny - “only when Israel stops violating human rights in the occupied territories. Until then, we will continue to expose the injustices of the occupation.”
Peace Now director Yariv Oppenheimer called the new measure “worse and more dangerous than (right-wing settler) ‘price-tag’ attacks,” vandalizing Palestinian property unaccountably.
Netanyahu, Shaked and other regime hardliners ignored Israeli attorney general Avichai Mandelblit, calling the legislation unconstitutional. “Israeli democracy (sic) has surrendered to right-wing extremists and is in a state of bankruptcy,” Oppenheimer added.
Human rights group Yesh Din spokeswoman Hila Aloni said “(a)ccepting donations from foreign countries is not wrong.” Israel’s measure signifies otherwise when human rights groups are recipients.
Israel is run racist Zionist zealots and religious extremists, an apartheid police state pretending to be democratic.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
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