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Amnesty International

MK Ariel Kallner, who drafted the bill, has made the issue of Israeli sovereignty throughout the entire Land of Israel a top priority.

By Terri Nir, United with Israel

The Biden administration has denounced an Israeli coalition bill that would limit foreign donations to NGOs operating in the country.

The bill, drafted by Likud lawmaker Ariel Kallner and slated to be debated Sunday before the Knesset’s Ministerial Committee for Legislation, ” seeks to reduce through taxation the involvement of foreign govenmental entities in Israeli democracy.

“The involvement that is sought to be reduced is that carried out through financial support for associations and non-profits whose activities include interference in legal issues in Israel, in political activity, in government policy, in municipal policy, or in broad public opinion.”

If passed, a tax of 65% would be imposed on the monies received from foreign entitities.

According to the bill, any non-profit that engages in public advocacy two years before or after receiving the donation would no longer be eligible for tax exemptions.

The State Department.has condemned the bill.

During a press briefing on Wednesday, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said, “I won’t speculate on things that might come to pass. I will just say that as a general matter, the United States supports the essential role of NGOs that are part of civil society…

“We believe that they are critical to democratic, responsive and transparent government, and we firmly believe that civil society should have the opportunity and space to operate and raise resources around the world.”

The bill would stand in the way of U.S. efforts towards a two-state solution.

Kallner, according to his website, had made “the issue of sovereignty throughout the entire Land of Israel” a top priority.

Prominent human rights organization Amnesty International is an example of a foreign entity that works against Israel’s interests. Despite numerous anti-Israel reports and public statements, including repeatedly calling Israel an apartheid state, the NGO still receives generous tax benefits from the Israeli government for its operations in the country, Israel Hayom, which conducted an investigation of the matter a year ago, noted in its findings.

According to the probe, numerous Israeli government entities, ranging from a Knesset committee to the Tax Authority to the Finance Ministry, have been evading responsibility and passing the blame for the ongoing financial incentives to the openly hostile group.

“Netanyahu and his government of extremists want to tax civil society out of existence — especially those working to defend the rights of the most marginalized in Israel and under Israel’s control: women, the LGBTQ+ community, Palestinians living under occupation, and Arab citizens of Israel,” Daniel Sokatch, CEO of the left-wing New Israel Fund, said in a statement Wednesday

Referring to the controversial judicial reforms, he added: “This is precisely the way that autocrats shrink democratic space. This law could force the closure of hundreds of organizations in Israel — and it specifically targets the ones that speak truth to power. Choking off funding from advocates for change is not what democracies do. Strong democracies can hear criticism, even and especially when it is harsh, and work to make themselves better.”

Notably, the U.S. government has been funneling money to the left-wing Movement for Quality Government, which has reportedly been bankrolling the massive anti-reform protests in Israel, Washington Free Beacon reported recently.

Republican senators are now demanding that the Biden administration pull taxpayer funding for anti-Israel initiatives such as investigations into alleged human rights abuses.

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