Im Tirtzu's Research Division has released a report that shows 5,264 charity reports that do not meet the qualifications of the law. The fines that these radical left non-governmental organizations (NGOs) should, by law, receive for these reporting infractions total more than 150,000,000 shekels.
The law was originally passed as a way to provide the public with clarity on which NGOs are receiving foreign government support. Since the inception of the law through 2021, approximately 74% of reports filed by these NGOS did not meet the law's requirements.
However, the Ministry of Justice has not been enforcing the law.
Alon Schvartzer, Head of the Research Division of Im Tirtzu, explains, "In Israel there are NGOs that receive most of their funding from foreign governments, mainly European, as well as the United Nations and the European Union. Between 2012-2021 NGOs that are usually identified as leftist and many that are far-left groups have received more than 750 million shekels in foreign funding. These include, 'B'Tselem,' that received 63 million shekels, 'Yesh Din' and 'Hamoked,' that each received 50 million shekels, and, 'Breaking the Silence,' which has received 35 million shekels."
"These NGOs all share the goal of opposing or uprooting Zionist values. Their agenda is to mislead the Israeli media and legal divisions to act against the will of the Israeli public regarding topics such as the fight against terrorism, nationalism, immigration, military interventions, and more.
"The revelation of the agendas and the funding of these organizations was instrumental in the successful effort to have legislation passed in the Knesset that requires these organizations to disclose their funding from foreign governments. These laws were enacted in order to enable the Israeli public to identify Israeli organizations that are representing foreign interests."
The laws that Schvartzer described were all enacted within the past two decades. The first was in 2008; it provided that NGOs with a yearly income of over 300,000 shekels have to disclose each donation that surpasses 20,000 shekels from a foreign government.
In 2011, the "Transparency Law" provided that any organization that is supported by a foreign government has to disclose every foreign government donation no matter the amount, in every quarter. It also has to disclose the designated purpose of the donation, and what commitments the NGO has committed to in order to receive the foreign government funding. If the donation was given to fund a specific advertisement, then on the advertisement itself, it has to show where they received the donation from.
In 2016, there was an addition to the "Transparency Law." The amended law states that every organization which receives a majority of its funding from foreign governments has to acknowledge this in their annual report. In addition, their billboards, television spots, and the main page of their websites must also acknowledge that their primary funding comes from foreign governments.
Most of the money that has been coming in is allocated to NGOs that are identified as being far left. Im Tirtzu has identified 19 organizations that receive most of their funding from foreign governments, including B'tselem, Breaking the Silence, and Peace Now. Only half of these 19 organizations have adhered to the law and acknowledged that they receive most of their funding from foreign governments on their websites.
Im Tirtzu also identified 41 organizations that they claim work towards the delegitimization of Israel (promoting illegal migration, stopping Jewish building, stopping the destruction of terrorists’ houses, and more),and only 1,804 out of 7,068 of their required filing reports were submitted on time as required by law.
On average, reports were submitted nine months after the time allowed by Israeli law. Every organization that received foreign funding and did not report in a timely fashion could be subject to a fine up to 29,000 shekels. The total fines of all the organizations combined would amount to over 153,000,000 shekels. For example, Yesh Din, Adalah, and Peace Now would each be subject to fines of between three and four million shekels.
It is not as if this has gone unnoticed. Im Tirtzu discovered that there is extensive correspondence between Knesset members and the heads of these organizations, informing them that they are not meeting the legal reporting standards. Despite this, not one sanction nor fine has been assessed nor levied.
In October 2020, the Research Division of the Knesset backed up the claims of Im Tirtzu. However, they decided that to enforce the current law would not be the most effective solution due to the time it would take in the courts.
Schvartzer stated: "After years of submitting complaints regarding organizations who break the law, we have finally received confirmation from the Ministry of Justice stating that our complaints are correct. Sadly, it demonstrates how NGOs who receive foreign government funding will not be disciplined nor sanctioned."
"The fact that foreign governments act towards us in a way that they would not with any other country raises serious concerns that there is an agenda to subvert our democracy by bypassing Israel’s elected government to try to instill European foreign policies directly into Israeli citizens.
"We were happy to read that after our complaints, the Ministry of Justice has decided to progress with legislation regarding sanctions for rule-breaking organizations. However, we call on the Ministry of Justice to act immediately and issue sanctions in accordance with existing laws. We cannot continue to close our eyes and permit this state of affairs. All Israel will suffer if we do not enforce our own laws."