Israeli lawmaker seeks to label foreign-funded NGOs as ‘plants’

The Israeli Knesset building. Credit: Beny Shlevich via Wikimedia Commons.

(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to Member of Knesset Yoav Kisch (Likud) on Sunday introduced legislation seeking to label nongovernmental organizations operating in Israel while receiving the majority of their funding from foreign governments as “plants” or “agents” of the governments funding them.

The bill seeks to bar such NGOs from fostering collaborations with Israeli government ministries and the military, unless that activity is specifically authorized by the Justice Ministry. The proposal states that any infringement by NGOs of the new guidelines will incur a $26,000 fine.

Kisch’s legislation states, “There are various associations operating in the State of Israel that receive support and funding from foreign political entities, making them ‘plants’ in the midst of Israeli society….There is a clear phenomenon in Israel by which these foreign interests undermine Israel’s ability to defend itself and/or jeopardizes its Jewish and democratic character. While these associations promote foreign interests, they still qualify for various exemptions, despite the fact the Israeli public is harmed, directly, by their actions.”

“A democracy has to be able to defend itself,” Kisch said. “It’s inconceivable that foreign-funded NGOs use those funds to spread lies and anti-Israel propaganda worldwide.”

Posted on December 14, 2015 .