Shaked tells US to butt out of Israeli legislation

Shaked asserts 'no cause' for US concerns over her NGO Transparency Law, as Israel is a 'strong democracy.'

Cynthia Blank,

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked
Alex Kolomoisky/POOL

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) quickly rebuffed on Monday criticism from the US government over the "NGO Transparency Law" she is pushing through the Knesset. 

The bill would require Israeli NGOs who receive more than half of their funds from foreign states to disclose their sources of funding and identify themselves as "foreign agents" when lobbying MKs.

Several hours after US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro issued an unusual statement about his meeting with Shaked, the minister responded with her own statement demanding the US and EU governments stop intervening in internal Israeli matters. 

"[Sunday] I met the American ambassador and was under the impression that the American administration's interest and concern is sincere," she stated. "But there is no cause for concern. Israel is a strong democracy and as such there is no need for other nations to intervene in internal legislation. Our door is open to dialogue with friends." 

Shaked also noted the European Union had recently provided the leftist B’Tselem group with funding to help combat the NGO Law. 

"It is the right of any organization in Israel to object to any legislation," she emphasized. "But it is very strange to me that foreign governments extend their long arms into internal legislation processes."

In the US embassy's statement earlier on Monday, it said, "Ambassador Shapiro sought more information about the draft legislation from the Minister, and noted the US government’s concerns on the matter."

A senior American official also told Haaretz that during the meeting Shapiro stressed to Shaked that despite her assertions, the bill bears no similarity to legislation in the US. 




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