The lawmaker behind a bill that would likely significantly curb Israeli civil society groups’ ability to accept donations from foreign government pledges his continued backing for the measure after if was shelved following criticism from key Western allies.
“I’m committed to this law and so is the national government,” MK Ariel Kallner, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, tells Channel 12 news.
Kallner says Netanyahu has “broad considerations” and acknowledges the bill was taken off the agenda of today’s cabinet meeting “for various reasons, but the goal remains the same.”
“This is a fight for our sovereignty and independence,” the MK insists.
The bill states that any nonprofit group that engages in public advocacy two years before or after receiving a donation from a foreign government will lose its status as a public institution and will no longer be eligible for tax exemptions. In addition, those nonprofits will be hit with a 65 percent income tax.
“If a foreign government is funding [civil] organizations, it should pay a fee for meddling in Israel’s internal affairs,” Kallner declares in separate remarks to Army Radio.