Update: Israeli Foreign Funding Bill

02 December 2011

On November 30, 2011, Members of the Israeli Knesset released a bill affecting the foreign funding of Israeli civil society organizations. The bill seeks to combine and expand upon elements of the Akunis and Kirshenbaum bills, which have been frozen by Israel’s Prime Minister.

The new bill would prohibit a foreign state entity from funding Israeli associations that deny the existence of the State of Israel, advocate racism, support an armed struggle against the State of Israel, advocate disobedience, support prosecution of elected public officials or IDF soldiers in international proceedings, or advocate for the boycott of Israel.

In addition, associations with “public institution” status would be subject to a 45% tax on donations they receive from foreign state entities, though the Minister of Finance, with the approval of the Knesset Finance Committee, may provide an exemption from this tax. Organizations that receive budgetary support from the State of Israel are not subject to this tax.