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Proposal: Defend Israel from European Interference

MKs warn: EU is interfering with Israeli democracy via funding for extremist NGOs.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 7/10/2013, 8:37 AM

MK Ayelet Shaked
MK Ayelet Shaked
Flash 90

A bill proposed by MKs Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi) and Robert Ilatov (Likud Beyteinu) aims to protect Israel from foreign interference.

The bill would impose strict limits on funding for far-left Israeli NGOs from foreign governments. NGOs such as Breaking the Silence, Ir Amim, and many others currently receive millions each year from European governments.

Breaking the Silence reports anonymous testimony from IDF soldiers accusing Israel of war crimes. The group has been strongly criticized in Israel for sharing testimony from soldiers who did not in fact witness the alleged crimes they reported.

Ir Amim works against Israel's vision of Jerusalem as the united capital of Israel, creating support instead for Arab claims to the city.

“A non-governmental organization will not receive donations exceeding 20,000 shekels per year from a foreign state entity, if the goals or actions of the NGO, or of its salaried employees or managers, include any of the following: 1. Calls to bring IDF soldiers to trial in international courts 2. Calls to boycott, withdraw investments, or impose sanctions on the state of Israel or its citizens 3. Rejecting Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish, democratic state, 4. Incitement to racism 5. Supporting an enemy country or terrorist groups in armed battle against the state of Israel,” the bill states.

“Israel must not allow unfettered interference by foreign states in influencing its character and values,” Shaked declared.

“Israeli democracy is under a double attack,” she continued. “Foreign money warps the power of Israeli voters, and gives a small extremist minority an ability to voice its views that is greater than that of the majority of the Israeli public.”

Ilatov said, “There are NGOs that take exploit their public status to act against Israel as a Jewish, democratic state. These NGOs strive to undo the building blocks of the nation, and to create an inaccurate, negative, and subjective image of Israel in the international community.”

Sources in Shaked’s office said the bill was inspired by reports from the Zionist movement Im Tirtzu, which showed how heavily involved EU governments are in funding groups that have called to bring IDF commanders to trial in international courts or to boycott Israel.

“Even today, foreign governments are involved, via funding for extremist groups, in constant attempts to kill Israel’s Jewish and democratic character,” they said.

They cited the infamous Goldstone Report as one an example of such interference. Judge Richard Goldstone, who chaired a United Nations fact-finding mission on the Cast Lead conflict of late 2008 and early 2009, accused Israel of war crimes based largely on information received from far-left NGOs - in particular from the far-left New Israel Fund. 

Goldstone later retracted his judgement, saying, “If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a very different document.”