Government use of taxpayer funds to secretly promote particular groups and policies in other democracies is a violation of international norms.
18 August '10
For several months, the Knesset’s proposed Foreign Government NGO Funding Transparency legislation has been a major target for anti-Israel allegations.
NGO officials who benefit from this often secret funding were widely quoted in the media, in the European Parliament, and elsewhere, alleging that the draft bill provided “proof” of the dire threat to Israel’s democracy.
On this basis, NGO officials and ideologues have placed this issue on the European Parliament’s agenda for September 8.
However, their campaign on this issue received a major blow on August 16th, when the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee debated and approved an updated version of the draft legislation.
For anyone interested in the facts, in contrast to the ideology, a brief examination of the text will end questions regarding the vibrancy of Israeli democracy.
The purpose of this very concise legislation could not be clearer – it will increase transparency for Israeli NGOs that receive foreign government funds. Public monies used for political purposes are entirely different than donations from private individuals or foundations – although these should also be transparent.
When democratic governments use taxpayer funds to secretly promote particular groups and policies in other democracies, this is a blatant violation of international norms and the principle of national sovereignty.
The degree to which European governments seek to influence the Israeli public sphere through funding for radical NGOs is without precedent or parallel in the democratic world.
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