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Monday, January 04, 2016

'A danger to Israeli democracy'?

In an editorial in Sunday's editions, the Washington Post blasts a bill proposed by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) which would force disclosure of foreign government funding of Israeli NGO's.
The proposed law, introduced by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, was approved by a cabinet committee Dec. 27 and sent to the Knesset, where it faces additional debate and votes. It would apply to those organizations that receive more than half their funding from “foreign government entities.” The groups would be required to identify themselves as principally funded from overseas in any public communications and in interactions with government officials, and they would have to list the sources of funding in reports. Members of the groups would also be required to wear a special badge when present in the Knesset, with their name and the name of the NGO. This is now a requirement of lobbyists. Violations could result in stiff fines.
Apparently the Post has never heard of a US law called the Foreign Agents Registration Act. This was lifted from a Facebook page.
The Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) was enacted in 1938. FARA is a disclosure statute that requires persons acting as agents of foreign principals in a political or quasi-political capacity to make periodic public disclosure of their relationship with the foreign principal, as well as activities, receipts and disbursements in support of those activities. Disclosure of the required information facilitates evaluation by the government and the American people of the statements and activities of such persons in light of their function as foreign agents. The FARA Registration Unit of the Counterintelligence and Export Control Section (CES) in the National Security Division (NSD) is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Act.
Most of the groups that would be forced to register in Israel are Leftist groups which are funded by foreign governments. The Post itself notes that most Rightist groups will not be affected because their foreign funding comes mostly from individuals.

The Post blinds itself to the difference between the pernicious influence of a foreign government which acts out of its own self-interest and those of an individual who in any event is unlikely to be an actor in foreign relations. Hopefully Israel's Knesset will be smart enough to ignore the Post and see the difference - just like Congress did nearly 80 years ago.

The bill is definitely not a danger to Israeli democracy.

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At 1:32 AM, Blogger Empress Trudy said...

The bill only requires 2 simple things - NGOs that receive >50% of their funding from overseas must advertise that fact in all communications and correspondence to any and all government officials and MKs, and second, all operators must wear an identifying badge when they are operating at the Knesset, just like any other lobbyists.

If WaPo has a problem with that then they are fascist cronies and antidemocratic at their core.

At 6:07 PM, Blogger Web_learner said...

Far from this being an 'anti democracy' proposal, it is quite the opposite,
forcing disclosure of attempts of bribery by a foreign power.

At 7:56 PM, Blogger Sanford D. Horn said...

Re: The Washington ComPopst: they are, and they are!

At 7:08 PM, Blogger Jeff B's Blog said...

Meanwhile, the editors at Wash Post, will go home to their Tony, Virginia suburb, avoiding the over crowded, and minority infested neighborhood.


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