Law against national service in foreign-funded NGO's passes

Knesset passes law ending national service in foreign government funded NGOs that undermine the state..

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

אמיר אוחנה
אמיר אוחנה
צילום: יונתן סינדל, פלאש 90

The Knesset passed a bill Wednesday in its third and final reading that will cancel recognition of national service in organizations that receive the majority of their funding from foreign governments. The bill submitted by MK Amir Ohana (Likud) passed into law by a vote of 40 in favor and 12 opposed.

The bill, which won the support of Prime Minister Netanyahu, seeks to end the phenomenon in which, by supporting national service volunteers, the government funds organizations that work to undermine Israeli policy by means of foreign government funding, such as the radical left NGO B'Tselem.

The bill was drafted following a report by the Zionist grassroots organization Im Tirtzu, which discovered that there were twelve national service positions available in five organizations that receive the majority of their funding from foreign governments.

According to the report, the organizations that fall under the law’s purview include B’Tselem, the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel and Gisha, which have repeatedly accused Israel of war crimes in international forums, Israel Social TV, which provides a platform for the BDS movement, and the Hotline for Refugees and Migrants, which has petitioned the High Court against government policy.

MK Ohana said that “this absurdity wherein the State of Israel provides manpower via national service to organizations that work against it in various ways, both in Israel and abroad, ends today. I want to thank Matan Peleg and my friends at Im Tirtzu who informed me of this absurd reality, as well as the Prime Minister and all those who supported the bill.”

“The time has come for us to proudly and unapologetically work against those who act against the State of Israel – in Israel and abroad,” added MK Ohana in his speech from the Knesset plenum. “We will not make life easy for Trojan horses operating among us. Whoever goes after the State of Israel – we will go after them.”

Im Tirtzu CEO Matan Peleg also welcomed the passing of the bill and said that the law conveys an important message to those seeking to harm Israeli democracy from within.

“This law will put an end to an absurd reality in which organizations that receive the majority of their funding from foreign governments exploit the benefits provided by the Israeli taxpayer for their own harmful agenda,” said Peleg.

“This is a historic day for Israeli democracy. Slowly but surely we are ending the era where the state funds those seeking to destroy it.”