Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked
Justice Minister Ayelet ShakedYonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) resolutely one-upped Opposition leader Yitzhak Herzog (Labor) on Monday, after the latter accused her of using the law to advance a political agenda. 

Herzog picked the fight by badgering Shaked over her Transparency Law, which would demand full disclosure from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) across the political spectrum over their foreign backing. 

"I'm with you in the fight to clean politics of foreign monies, but only if it applies to 'Yisrael Sheli' and 'Im Tirzu,'" he tweeted, implying that the Transparency Law would unfavorably target the many left-wing organizations funded by foreign governments. 

Shaked responded by schooling Herzog on what the Transparency Law actually does. 

"It's not about money," she noted. "The fight is over two things: sovereignty and transparency." 

Transparency Law and Israel's independence

Full details of the Transparency Law were released Sunday night, and include - in brief - the following principles:

  • NGOs whose main funding stems from foreign sources must publicize that fact in advertisements and public reports;
  • every request the NGO makes of a public official must be made in writing, and foreign funding must be noted in that written request or address;
  • all written disclaimers regarding foreign funding must name the countries and/organizations in question contributing to said NGO;
  • lobbyists - or representatives of NGOs operating the Knesset and elsewhere - will be required to wear ID tags at all times naming which organizations they represent; and
  • the fine for breaching any one of these requirements will be 29,200 shekels ($7555). 

In her explanatory note, Shaked did cite the involvement of leftist NGOs in reports which directly harmed Israel - i.e. the UN's commission of inquiry after Operation Protective Edge in Gaza - noting that foreign backing and influence in that report tied Israel's hands on the international level. 

However, the law does not discriminate between NGOs of one political slant vs. another.