On Wednesday, the Knesset passed a law eliminating national service positions in organizations that receive the majority of their funding from foreign governments. The law, sponsored by MK Amir Ohana (Likud), was vote with a 40 to 12 majority.
The new law (supported by Prime Minister Netanyahu) seeks to end the phenomenon in which the government funds organizations such as the far-Left B’Tselem, that use foreign government funding to undermine Israeli policy.
The law was drafted following a report by the Zionist organization Im Tirtzu, which revealed there were twelve national service positions available in five NGOs that receive the majority of their funding from foreign governments.
According to the report, the organizations that fall under the law’s purview include B’Tselem, the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel and Gisha – which have repeatedly accused Israel of war crimes in international forums, Israel Social TV – which provides a platform for the BDS movement, and the Hotline for Refugees and Migrants, which has petitioned the High Court against government policy.
MK Ohana said that “this absurdity wherein the State of Israel provides manpower via national service to organizations that work against it in various ways, both in Israel and abroad, ends today. I want to thank Matan Peleg and my friends at Im Tirtzu, who informed me of this absurd reality, as well as the Prime Minister and all those who supported the bill.”
“The time has come that we proudly and unapologetically work against those who act against the State of Israel – in Israel and abroad,” added MK Ohana, in his speech from the Knesset podium. “We will not make life easy for Trojan horses operating among us. Whoever goes after the State of Israel – we will go after them.”
Im Tirtzu CEO Matan Peleg welcomed the passing of the bill and said that the new law conveys an important message to those seeking to harm Israeli democracy from within.
“This law will put an end to an absurd reality in which organizations that receive the majority of their funding from foreign governments exploit the benefits provided by the Israeli taxpayer for their own harmful agenda,” Peleg said, adding, “This is a historic day for Israeli democracy. Slowly but surely we are ending the era where the state funds those seeking to destroy it.”