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WATCH: The Knesset's all-out war against the Left

Earlier this month, the Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved the preparation of and support for a new ‘NGO law.’ The law would impose a 45 percent tax on donations to NGOs calling for a boycott of Israel, the prosecution IDF soldiers, that deny Israel’s state symbols. The NGO law is the latest of some 30 anti-democratic laws that have been put forth under Netanyahu’s last two terms.

Right-wing parties revive attack on left-wing NGOs
Foreign influence, transparency problems of NGO Monitor

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    1. If this bill becomes law the constitutional crisis which has been simmering for years will become flame. It is nearly so through the second detention camp law of the Knesset, which flouts judicial review as a concept. But this bill is a direct form of thought control through fear. Moreover, by making it illegal to advocate that IDF soldiers be prosecuted (for identifiable acts), it seeks to truncate judicial review via Knesset immunity. Once accepted, ANY High Court review can be legislatively annulled.

      I have for some time advocated that the Declaration of Independence is a meta-constitutional document implicitly guaranteeing judicial review over the equal protection of social and political rights. Once one accepts this view of the Declaration, one also gets guaranteed free ingress of Jews into Israel, as that appears as a clause therein. There is another clause of the Declaration which may be relevant to the present bill. The Declaration enshrines “justice as envisioned by the Prophets.” The Prophets spoke against the State of their day; I would say that this implies that speech against the State is protected as this is how the Prophets began their admonitions. The Boycott Law would then be stricken; denying soldier prosecution for identified acts would thus be stricken; denying critique of State symbols, as a critique of the State, would also be stricken. The 45% tax on NGO’s for content would fail equal protection.

      The tools for High Court response are there. I continue to hope that Knesset greed and incompetence will force the Court into a temporary liberal stance to preserve, nay create, its independent power. If this bill becomes law, touching as it does so much of political discourse, the constitutional crisis will be up front one way or another.

      Actually, I think it may be a good time to be an Israeli.

      Reply to Comment
    2. The Trespasser

      I’m really failing to see how could this bill be undemocratic.

      >The 45% tax on NGO’s for content would fail equal protection.

      In USA members of any organization which is working to dismantle the country would be put behind bars for life. 45% is only fair: wanna profit from badmouthing Israel – pay for it.

      p.s. if commie scum is against anything, it is a right thing to do.

      Reply to Comment
      • Although this is asking for abuse, I point out that the Communist Party of the USA fielded a candidate for the Presidency throughout most if not all the Cold War, with the Party enjoying identical treatment in tax law with all others.

        Reply to Comment
        • The Trespasser

          You can’t really compare NGOs to a political party.

          Reply to Comment
    3. Piotr Berman

      “any organization which was working to dismantle the country”

      There was a story that the husband of Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska and a candidate for vice president used to belong to a party of Alaskan separatists. There are quite a few separatist movements in USA.

      Actually, there are strong separatist legal parties in many countries. One can mention Canada, UK (not all British want to remain united) and Spain.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Piotr Berman

      To be fair, restrictions on NGOs exist in a number of countries, like Egypt or Belorus, I guess Russia as well. Why should Israel slavishly follow examples from West Europe and North America and ignore the rich experience offered by East Europe and North Africa?

      Reply to Comment