Restrictions against foreign-funded non-governmental organizations (NGOs) may grow tighter in the near future, after MK Yoav Kisch (Likud) proposed a new bill to limit foreign-backed organizations from contact with the Israeli government and IDF.
Kisch's "Shatulim" (lit. "planted" - Heb. - ed.) bill would require all foreign-backed NGOs to maintain full transparency about their sources of funding, prevent such organizations from being in contact with Israeli government and military branches and organizations, and give the Israeli government and the public new tools to cope with the slow infiltration of Israeli government policy by NGOs and other non-native entities.
Any NGO which does not comply with the Shatulim law would be fined 100,000 shekels ($25,941). In addition, any NGO found to be working against the State of Israel would be liable for liquidation under a court of law.
"There is a phenomenon in this country in which those various organizations implement foreign funds to influence public policy, harming Israel's ability to defend itself and/or endanger its character as a Jewish and democratic state," the explanatory note to the bill states. "These associations are, even though they operate under foreign interests, entitled to tax exemption, national service and other benefits, even though the general Israeli public is directly affected by these associations."
"Democracy must defend itself," Kish stated to Arutz Sheva on Monday. "It can't be that groups receive funding from foreign countries and help disseminate anti-Israeli propaganda lies in Israel and around the world."
"You cannot allow funding from foreign countries to enable organizations to attack Israeli soldiers, call for boycotts on Israel, support a terrorist or enemy countries - and all this as part of a legitimate Israeli association."
Kish's bill builds on similar efforts from Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home)'s Transparency Law, which would require foreign-backed NGOs to declare their source of funding prominently on all publications and on the tags of their representatives within the Knesset.