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The Anti-NGO tax law: This Sunday


This Sunday (28.5.2023) the long-anticipated NGO tax bill will be brought to the Ministerial Committee for Legislation. The current version of the bill, a private initiative of MK Ariel Kellner (Likud) will tax donations from foreign entities (including foreign governments, the EU, UN bodies) to NGOs at a rate of 65%.

The law will apply to NGOs who work to influence government policy (or have in the previous two years) via the judicial system, lobbying the Knesset and its members of Knesset, lobbying the government, ministers or local authorities, or by influencing public opinion through paid advertising. Such activity, if funded by foreign governments, will be considered illegitimate interference in domestic policy.

Organizations who engage in such illegitimate activities will also be deprived of their non-profit status and the associated benefits, including exemption from Value Added Tax and the right to receive tax deductible donations.

The legislation’s purpose is clearly stated – to damage and neutralize Israeli civil society.

If passed, it will lead to the literal collapse of dozens and perhaps hundreds of NGOs, and will seriously harm human rights of Israelis and Palestinians, especially minority populations, and the democratic fabric of Israeli society. This initiative is part of a move to silence civil society in Israel, just as happened in other populist countries, such as Hungary, Russia and Poland.


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