The Constitution, Law and Justice Committee discussed on Wednesday a bill which would require NGOs who receive most of their funding from foreign governments to declare that they do so in any publications and any meetings with public officials. The government-sponsored bill returned to the committee for adjustments after passing a first reading in the plenum.
During the meeting, MK Yael German (Yesh Atid) argued that an NGO may receive small donations from a number of countries and one large donation from one country, so the legislation ”would not help us know how the donations are distributed.”
Devorah Gonen, whose son Danny was murdered by a terrorist while he was hiking near Dolev in Judea and Samaria, told the committee that the terrorist`s attorneys were funded by foreign countries. ”These funds encourage murder,” she said. ”The terrorist knew he would be defended [in court] and that his family would receive funding. The terrorist is still alive, and his family will get generous support, and I am left with the `privilege` of being a bereaved mother. Foreign countries are funding terror. You must take the consequences of the foreign funding into account.”
(Committee Chairman MK Nissan Slomiansky, archive photo)
MK Zouheir Bahloul (Zionist Camp) told Gonen: ”I sympathize with your feelings and feel the pain of the tragedy you experienced. However, the State of Israel receives billions from foreign countries, and it uses these funds to wage wars which kill people.”
MK Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) added that ”government funds are transferred to NGOs for the purpose of building outposts from which terrorist operations emanate. This money is not transparent, and it is kept confidential in the Registrar of Non-Profit Organizations.”
Justice Committee Chairman MK Nissan Slomiansky (HaBayit HaYehudi) said representatives from foreign embassies in Israel had asked to participate in the meeting, but he requested that they take part in next week`s debate. However, a representative from the Dutch embassy was present at today`s meeting, he revealed.