Ministers to Vote on Anti-Subversion Bill
The Ministerial Committee for Legislation is to vote Sunday on a bill that would place a high tax on the incomes of subversive NGOs. Attempts to pass the bill in the previous Knesset failed after a concerted attack on it by leftist politicians and media.
Grassroots Zionist organization Im Tirtzu has been lobbying for the bill. Im Tirtzu chairman, Ronen Shoval, explained on his Facebook page that the recent violent riots by Bedouins in the Negev “demonstrated how the New Israel Fund organizations and organizations funded by foreign governments incited and even led the demonstrations themselves.”
The bill, he said, would limit the involvement of foreign political bodies in Israel's democracy – intervention that is carried out on a regular basis by providing financial support to NGOs and organizations “whose goals and actions are intended to directly damage Israel's basic characteristics, its nature and its sovereignty.”
According to the bill, an NGO would have to pay 45% tax on its income if its goals or actions include at least one of the following:
- a call to place IDF soldiers on trial abroad
- a call for boycott, divestment or sanctions on the state of Israel
- the negation of Israel's existence as a Jewish and democratic state
- incitement to racism
- support for armed struggle by an enemy state or terror organization against Israel.
The bill, which is sometimes referred to as the NGO Bill, was submitted in the current Knesset term by MKs Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) and Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beytenu).
Leftist Meretz party leader MK Zehava Galon informed her Facebook followers that MKs Shaked and Ilatov “have decided to disinter one of the most benighted bills ever presented here.” She claims the bll is intended to “harm the fundraising abilities of organizations whose ideology is not identical to that of the racist settler Coalition that Shaked and Ilatov are partners in.”
Galon claimed that laws of this nature exist “only in dictatorial regimes.” She wrote that true democracies would not hesitate in placing sanctions on Israel if it passes the bill and claimed that unspecified “truly democratic countries” had already made this clear to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, the last time an attempt was made to pass the bill.