Promoted by the relentless Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked and supported by Prime Minister Netanyahu, from Monday night onward, the “NGOs law,” also known as the “Transparency Law,” is part of the Israeli legal code.
After months of discussions, the right-wing executive power has got what it wanted: Starting in 2017, NGOs primarily financed from abroad will have to specify the source and amount of donations received. They will also report these donations in their publications and in communications with state officials. If they do not comply, they will be fined. The goal, says Netanyahu, is to avoid an “absurd” situation in which foreign countries interfere in the internal affairs of Israel through its domestic civil society.
The law does not explicitly refer to the left. But, in fact, it is targeting more than 20 progressive NGOs and associations that deal with human rights, particularly in the occupied Palestinian territories, that assist migrants and refugees, or promote equality between Jews and Arabs. This includes historical organizations such as B’Tselem, Acre, Breaking the Silence, Peace Now, Hamoked, Hotline for Refugees and Migrants. These NGOs receive funds mainly from abroad, often thanks to the European Union sending money toward the field of human rights.