After a decade during which money has been poured into extremist organizations in Israel, parts of which are funded by enemy countries, Otzma Yehudit MK Almog Cohen, with support from the Im Tirtzu research department, on Tuesday submitted a bill that would put an end to the flow of “incitement funds” into Israel.
The bill amends the Non-Profit Law by banning donations from countries without diplomatic relations with Israel.
The bill states: “An organization shall not accept any donation from any entity that in its turnover of the last five fiscal years received money directly or indirectly from a state and/or a political entity that does not have official relations with the State of Israel.”
One group targeted by the bill is NGO Development Center (NDC), whose website boasts $65 million in grants. NDC claims to be “the largest Palestinian organization of its kind working hand-in-hand with Palestinian NGOs and community development organizations to improve the delivery of services in unserved and underserved areas to marginalized segments of society and build a more efficient and responsive Palestinian civil society. Our programs and grants empower Palestinians to help Palestinians by providing NGOs the skills, tools, and funds required to address social needs and promote self-reliance amidst poverty.”
According to Im Tirtzu and Ad Kan, donors to NDC include the Islamic Development Bank with 57 shareholding member states, the largest single shareholder being Saudi Arabia, as well as other Qatari and Saudi funds.
Research shows that in the years 2019-2020, NDC granted some NIS 10,000,000 ($2.9 million) to Breaking the Silence, B’Tselem, Gisha, and Yesh Din – all of them extremist, anti-Israel groups. NDC also donated to groups affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which were recently declared terrorist organizations by Defense Minister Benny Gantz. Of the six NGOs that were banned by Gantz, in 2019 alone, NDC donated to Al-Haq $1,400,110, Defense for Children International $869,758, and Health Work Committees $839,368.
MK Almog Cohen was one of the founders of the Committee to Save the Negev in 2021. After the Guardian of the Walls riots in Israel’s mixed cities, Cohen established the para-police group Sayeret Barel, comprised of veterans of elite IDF units, to protect the Jewish communities of the Negev. He joined Otzma Yehudit and was elected to the Knesset in November.
Im Tirtzu CEO Matan Peleg said in response: “The breach in the dam must be closed to stop the flow of money from countries with which Israel has no relations. These funds are used to promote anti-Israeli Arab nationalism, incitement against the state, and boycotts. If we don’t act as soon as possible, we will have a fifth column in our country, funded by large amounts of money funneled to this end.”