Daily Israel Report

Bill Banning Far-Left Non-Profits Up for Vote

Proposal to ban non-profits which 'act against the Jewish and Zionist character' of Israel could be a double-edged sword, critics claim.
By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 3/9/2014, 9:55 AM

MK Miri Regev
MK Miri Regev
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation is voting Sunday on MK Miri Regev (Likud)'s bill to ban non-profit organizations (NPO) which "act against the Jewish and Zionist nature" of the State of Israel, according to Ma'ariv. The bill could bring havoc to the current coalition government. 

The existing NPO law, passed in 1980, allows the State to block NPOs which act against the democratic nature of the State of Israel, according to the daily - but no mention is made of Israel's status as a Jewish state. Regev's bill, if passed, would prevent organizations attempting to change Israel's status as a Jewish homeland from being registered as NPOs and receiving the legal and economic benefits that status entails. 

Controversy surrounding the bill looms large ahead of the vote, as critics from both sides of the political spectrum note that the definition of "acting against the Zionist or Jewish nature of the State of Israel" is open to a wide range of interpretations.

In theory, the bill could damage nationalist campaigns to preserve Israel's borders under the banner of "one state for two peoples" - i.e. to annex Judea and Samaria - under the claim that annexing areas with a Palestinian Arab majority would turn Israel into a state without a Jewish majority population. 

Regev insists, however, that the bill's purpose is to preserve nationalist campaigns for the sake of the State of Israel - not to torpedo them. 

"This bill seeks to put an end to the phenomenon of radical left and anarchist organizations seeking to exploit the democratic character of the state and the freedom to form NPOs to act against the Jewish and Zionist character of the state of Israel," Regev stated. "The official registry for NPOs constantly processes requests from far-left and foreign organizations - sometimes even terror groups - to gain legitimization, [even though] the whole purpose of these organizations is to harm the State of Israel."