Despite a litany of warnings from Israel’s Attorney General Yeshuda Weinstein, legal experts and prosecutors, the nation’s ministerial committee pushed through a new bill that would impose a harsh, punitive tax on non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that have managers who have expressed support for policies that conflict with the current government’s agenda.
The bill would tax donations to NGOs at 45 percent if any one of their managers expressed support for boycott against Israel, called for Israeli soldiers to face international courts for war crimes, or opposes Israel’s status as a “Jewish state.”
The bill was pushed by Jewish Home, which insists that it will protect Israeli soldiers from “immoral legal claims,” and insisted that not cracking down on the NGOs harms the military’s “operational ability.”
The attorney general warned that the bill is unconstitutional, while prosecutors insisted that attempts to enforce the bill will be impossible to defend if challenged in the Israeli High Court.
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni also condemned the resolution as an attempt by Israel’s extreme right wing to punish those who disagree with them. She has promised to appeal.