Shuli Muallem-Refaeli
Shuli Muallem-Refaeli Flash 90

Jewish Home MK Shuli Moalem-Refaeli proposed a new law revoking foreign-funded leftist organizations' free access to Israeli government information.

The new law will amend Israel's Freedom of Information Law, which is meant to make government information readily accessible to the public. Currently, organizations do not pay for access to this information.

The proposed law would force organizations funded mainly by foreign governments and intending to use the information to harm Israel to pay for access previously enjoyed free of charge. This would somewhat protect the Israeli government from foreign interference meant to pressure or harm Israel in the international and global spheres.

Under the amended law, instead of accessing government information free of charge, these organizations would pay a fee double that charged to a regular Israeli citizen.

The amendment would not limit access to the information and would not infringe on freedom of any kind.

"Under the current law, organizations are allowed to access government information free of charge," Moalem-Refaeli said. "The reason for this is that we assume they are using this information to help the Israeli public. But there are leftist organizations which use the information they access to harm the State of Israel.

"The Israeli taxpayer should not have to pay for Israel to provide information to the European Union or other countries wishing to harm Israel."

Im Tirtzu CEO Matan Peleg said, "This law will ensure information remains accessible, so the Israeli public can develop productive discussions The law aims to limit foreign and undemocratic interference by European governments in Israeli society. These governments' interests are represented by leftist organizations who have foreign interests and enjoy foreign funding. These organizations pay millions of shekels every year to lawyers, lobbyists, and others in order to de-legitimize the State of Israel from within, and to de-legitimize the IDF.

"We're not blocking access to information - we're amending the law so it is just. Anyone who works for a foreign government, and receives a budget of millions of shekels per year doesn't need the Israeli taxpayer to pay for his access to information. If they want the information, they can pay for it.

"There is no logic in allowing organizations whose aim is to harm Israel to access information on the Israeli taxpayer's bill. We need to stop this trend of Israel paying its enemies."

In 2016, the Knesset passed a law requiring any NGO receiving most of its budget from foreign governments to state this fact explicitly.