The legislation committee of the Israeli cabinet has approved two bills that limit foreign funding for local nongovernmental organizations — a move that has prompted international outcry, with the United States and European Union arguing that the legislations could hurt Israel’s standing in the international community.
The first of the two approved bills bars Israeli non-governmental organizations from receiving more than 20,000 Israeli shekels ($5,400) from foreign funding sources, including the United Nations and key donor countries. The second bill, meanwhile, seeks to impose a 45 percent tax on all foreign funding received by local NGOs and nonprofits who do not receive local financial support.
Supporters of the two bills have argued that several NGOs in Israeli are actually political organizations working as human rights groups as part of efforts to “delegitimize Israel,” the Guardian reports.
Diplomats from the United States and the European Union, among others, have expressed opposition to the two bills and are reportedly pressuring Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to repeal the legislations before they are brought before the Knesset, the country’s legislature body, in the coming days, according to news agencies.
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