Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reportedly pushing a bill that would mandate nonprofit organizations involved in political activities, especially during election time, to make their list of donors public.
Netanyahu has spoken on the matter with the heads of the coalition factions after learning that the left has managed to secure a long list of foreign donors who plan to spend millions on campaigns aimed at convincing the public to vote him out of office.
The prime minister is said to be concerned that these donors would partner with various nonprofit organizations to disguise their actions and believes enacting legislation that would mandate transparency on the nonprofits’ part would prevent that.
“You could, for example, register a nonprofit under the name ‘Zionism 2019,’ and use it to disseminate anti-right and anti-Netanyahu propaganda during the election campaign,” a coalition official explained. “What this law would do is expose who is behind it, so hypothetically speaking, any ad by such an association would have to also say, ‘Sponsored by George Soros.’ ”
This bill stands to join two other pending legislative proposals, the so-called “V15 bill” and “Soros bill.”
During the previous elections, the Victory 2015 campaign explicitly urged voters to replace the government, but its allegedly clear ties to the leftist parties, as well as the obscure origins of its multimillion dollar funding, have prompted suspicions that its activities were, in fact, illegal.
The bill seeking to curb V15 and its ilk is sponsored by Likud Knesset member Yoav Kisch. It seeks to define, for the first time, which “civilian bodies active during election time” should be subject to existing campaign financing laws, including the required transparency as to the identity of any donors.
The Soros bill, named for the Hungarian-American billionaire, is sponsored by Likud Knesset member Miki Zohar. It seeks to make it difficult for left-wing organizations to receive foreign funding from what it calls “anti-Israel entities” that are “blatantly anti-Semitic, inciting or hostile towards Israel.”
Zohar named the bill for Soros over the latter’s known donations to organizations such as the New Israel Fund, the controversial human-rights group B’Tselem, and Breaking the Silence—an advocacy group dedicated to exposing alleged wrongdoings by the Israel Defense Forces.