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Israeli Anti-Democratic Legislation

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Israeli Anti-Democratic Legislation - by Stephen Lendman

Police state Israeli laws

On October 31, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) expressed concern about "two contradictory main trends" in Israel's Knesset winter session:

  • following its previous one, enacting more anti-democratic laws; and

  • counter-measures to promote laws promoting social and economic rights, perhaps incentivized by summer social justice protests.

Mostly, however, anti-democratic measures outnumber alternatives. ACRI expressed alarm. On November 8, a brief report headlined, "Knesset Continues Attempts to Silence Civil Society," saying:

Last week, Israel's Knesset winter session began. So far, proposed social justice bills lost out to anti-democratic ones. A coalition defeated them. Expect an amendment severely curtailing free expression to pass.

This weekend, the Ministerial Committee on Legislation will vote on two bills. One aims to impede the work of civil society groups by restricting their international funding. 

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The proposed Associations Law wants strict monetary limits placed on their ability to function. It stipulates that Israeli NGOs seeking to influence state policy at most can receive $6,000 from foreign donors. 

Israel's civil society and human rights organizations are at risk. Dark Knesset forces want them eliminated, perhaps by successive legislative measures.

A similar bill seeks to amend the Income Tax Order to make foreign state entity funding taxed at 45%. Passage will effectively confiscate half their donations.

Introduced in July, it was put on hold. Now it's back. ACRI's Executive Director, Hagai El-Ad, said:

"Once again, we see biased legislation, whose real purpose is to harm Israeli organizations that are inconvenient to the current government." 

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"However, in a democracy, freedom of expression, protest, and assembly must be afforded to the entire spectrum of opinions and positions, not only to those that are approved by the government."

"Even more outrageous is the claim that donations received from countries that have longstanding, deep relationships with Israel, donations that are intended to promote democracy and human rights, are illegitimate - while at the same time, many governmental and private bodies receive much greater sums of international donations that are not currently set to be restricted, simply because they serve the positions of the current political majority."

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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