The Ministerial Committee on Legislative Affairs on Sunday approved two bills which will hurt Israel's leftist organizations. The bill initiated by MK Faina Kirshenbaum (Yisrael Beiteinu) proposes denying certain groups of their tax-exempt status and collecting 45%, while another proposal seeks to limit donations from foreign government and bodies to NIS 20,000 a year.
Eleven ministers voted in favor of the bills, five opposed and two abstained. Ministers Michael Eitan, Dan Meridor and Benny Begin filed an appeal in order to hold a cabinet vote on the matter. Minister Simhon and Noked joined their initiative claiming the bill had a silencing quality.
National Security advisor Yaakov Amidror tried to talk the ministers out of backing the bills. The Justice Ministry also stressed the bills were not constitutional.
Challenged by Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat about his attendance, Amidror noted that the European Union and the British ambassador had expressed their concern over the matter.
Livnat slammed leftist organizations for causing damage to the State of Israel and criticized Amidror for expressing his own opinion on the bill.
In response to the approval of the two bills, human rights group B'Tselem said, "This government will not silence us. B'Tselem will be silent only when human rights violations in the Occupied Territories cease. Until then, we will continue to expose the injustices of the occupation.
"Every democracy needs human rights organizations and B'Tselem makes Israel a better place. The Netanyahu government is the one that is bringing Israel's international standing to a new low," the group said.
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