NGOs that receive funding from a “foreign political entity” would have to register with the Political Party Registrar and declare in all public appearances that they represent an organization that receives funding from such an entity, according to a bill sponsored by Likud MK Ze’ev Elkin that received government backing from the Ministerial Committee on Legislation on Sunday…
According to the bill, no organization in Israel would be allowed to receive money from a foreign political entity unless it registers with the Registrar of Political Parties. The registrar would be responsible for the registry completely independent of his registry of political parties.
The NGO would have to list the aims of the organization, its address and the identification number of every key activist, including directors, members of the executive committee, active directors and those authorized to sign checks…
This would seem to apply both to foreign governments, fronts for same, and charities like the New Israel Fund (NIF).
Something like this is necessary, because of the massive worldwide concentration of interest in what happens in this tiny little country. Israel’s ‘footprint’ in the world’s news media on any given day is greater than that of the whole continent of Africa, whose population is about 142 times larger. This is matched by an obsessive interest in controlling affairs in Israel, especially on the part of European nations. And this seems to express itself in an anti-Zionist direction.
Some of the reasons are psychological. Holocaust guilt is often redirected as anti-Zionism, while shame resulting from Europe’s colonialist past seems to express itself as pro-Arab leanings. Other reasons include the relationship of Christianity to Jerusalem — perhaps part of the reason that the US State Department has never been comfortable with Israeli control of any part of the city — and of course economic connections between Europe and oil-producing nations. The large Muslim populations in many European countries are beginning to have political effects, too. Finally, we can’t ignore the really pathological anti-Zionism of the Left, both in Europe and the US.
While there is some pro-Zionist money flowing from the US — for example, from evangelical Christians and a few right-wing American Jews — it is dwarfed by the left-wing support for “human rights” groups and others which seem to support every imaginable ‘right’ for Arabs while working against the right of the Jews to self-determination: i.e, the state of Israel.
Here is a table from NGO monitor, which has been sounding the alarm about the activities of these groups for years (it took the NIF controversy to get people’s attention). They document a total of over $18 million contributed by European governments in 2006-9 to de facto anti-Zionist NGOs in Israel. And this is a minimum figure, because amounts of many such donations are unspecified. The NIF also donates large amounts, with almost $8 million going to the ‘dirty sixteen’ organizations cited so often in the Goldstone report.
Adjusting for population, this would be as if the governments of Russia, China, etc. contributed about $1.1 billion to anti-state organizations in the US. Can you imagine the outrage?
The proposal in the Knesset should become a law. It’s just part of a nation’s sovereignty that it should have control of money spent by foreign governments for political purposes inside its borders.