Thursday, July 21, 2011

Israeli Knesset Votes Down Inquiry Into Left Wing NGO's

The Israeli Knesset has voted down bills to probe activities and funding of left-wing NGOs in Israel.

Many of these organizations receive funding from the EU and essentially operate as 'pro-Palestinian' lobbies, and the Israeli public has become increasingly concerned over the idea of foreign backed activists targeting the IDF and the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria. many of them have little support among the Israeli public and would collapse if not for EU funding.

In many ways, this became a personal contest between PM Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, whose Israel Beiteinu Party proposed the legislation.

Lieberman was unhappy - to say the least- at Netanyahu's opposition. He called Netanyahu’s opposition to the bill “grotesque,” especially after the prime minister insisted on
Israel Beiteinu last week to pass the Likud-sponsored anti-boycott bill.

“The prime minister and the heads of the coalition didn’t act collegially, and I think that’s not smart,” Lieberman said. “Everyone makes mistakes, and in this case, the prime minister and the heads of the coalition made a mistake.”

Lieberman expressed confidence that the bill sponsored by Israel Beiteinu MK Faina Kirschenbaum would eventually pass and said it would be resubmitted soon. He denied any intention of toppling the government, but said his tolerance would only go so far.

“I am not looking for excuses to destabilize the coalition, but there must be reasonable limits,” Lieberman said. “If I want an excuse to leave [the coalition], there are reasons every day. I hope they don’t put us in a corner.”

Lieberman said he viewed the campaign for the bill as a success, because he succeeded in putting the behavior of leftist NGOs on the public agenda.

Lieberman is likely correct that Netanyahu made a tactical error, upsetting his main coalition partner while getting no credit whatsoever from his political enemies. Opposition leader Tzipi Livni of Kadima accused Netanyahu of creating a
“spirit of evil” that was harming the country, and Peace Now secretary-general Yariv Oppenheimer called Netanyahu’s opposition to the bill just a tactical maneuver to ease pressure on him from the public and the press.

At this point, I'm sure some interesting conversations are happening behind closed doors, and it will be instructive to watch what happens if the bill is resubmitted, as Lieberman says he expects it to be.

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Anonymous said...

This I don't get. In the US if you are a 501(c)(3) corporation or a registered lobby you have to make your donors public. In fact that was how the world found out that JStreet was basically funded by Soros. Why is it so important for the left in Israel to keep quiet about who sends them money if their money doesn't come from antisemitic sources, either governmental or private, to begin with.

Rob said...

That's exactly it. They want it kept quiet.

Peace Now, Brit Tselem, Women in Black and the entire far left Meretz Party are just a few groups that would fold if anti-Israel elements in the EU weren't supporting them.

And speaking of Soros, I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't have a financial role as well.

BTW, you know you're in the WoW contest this week,right?