The NGO Law is intended to harm organizations that promote democracy and worldviews that differ from the views of the majority in the current coalition. Practically speaking, this law marks out NGOs. As the drafters of the law have already admitted, the real goal is to delegitimize organizations whose activities are not welcomed by the political majority and to harm their capacity to operate.
As we know, there is already extensive transparency regarding the donations NGOs receive, especially with respect to foreign government funding. Therefore, the law does not aim to increase transparency – but instead seeks to attack NGOs and to label them as if they are working against the State. A healthy democracy consists of many views and voices. ACRI therefore opposes placing limitations on the activities of NGOs because such actions threaten freedom of expression and association.
The law that has been approved appears to be less potent than the original proposal, because requirements to wear a tag or to declare funding sources at the beginning of every meeting have now been removed. However, ACRI holds that the very existence of this law aims to harm and prevent a specific type of organization from acting proudly for the sake of Israeli society.
The law is but one of a series of bills and initiatives that oppose legitimate social and political action. Instead of facilitating debate, there are individuals who wish to silence criticism. Activists and people working in organizations are entitled to speak out without being labeled. ACRI hopes that this law deters neither organizations nor their activists from continuing to fight for Israeli democracy, which is so important to us all.
See here to read a summary of the NGO Law.
See here to read ACRI's position paper against the NGO Law.
See here for an archive of ACRI's work regarding the NGO Law.