The Israeli far right coalition government seemed eager to pass a new bill sharply restricting the funding activities and operations of human rights groups seen critical of the regime, but the effort suffered a major blow today.
That’s because Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein has now warned the government that he doesn’t believe the law would be constitutional and that he would have no way of defending it from inevitable challenges in the High Court of Justice.
Netanyahu has been seen as hesitant to endorse the bills to begin with, fearing the international backlash from his parliament’s growing efforts to silence dissent. Members of his Likud Party as well as Yisrael Beiteinu have been pushing the bills on the grounds that human rights groups are tantamount to terrorists.
Indeed, Likud MP Ofir Akunis went so far as to compare the efforts to close down rights groups with McCarthyism in the US. Incredibly, Akunis thought this was a good defense of the bill, saying Sen. McCarthy was “right in every word.”
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