On November 13, 2011, Israel’s Ministerial Committee on Legislation approved two bills targeting foreign funding of civil society organizations. The Akunis bill precludes a “political association” from receiving more than 20,000 NIS from a foreign diplomatic entity. The bill defines a “political association” as “an association whose goals include an attempt to impact the State of Israel’s political and security agenda, or an association under whose auspices activities of a political nature take place.”
The Kirshenbaum bill essentially imposes a 45% tax on donations provided by foreign state entities to otherwise tax exempt NGOs with “public institution” status. The only exception is for organizations that receive funding from the State of Israel. Both bills are explicitly intended to cover “human rights organizations.”
ICNL is working with partners on this issue.