Netanyahu. Following Weinnstein's lead?
Photo: Avi Ohayon, GPO

Likud to soften foreign funding bill

Bill seeking to limit leftist groups' foreign donations to be revised at Netanyahu's request in order to distinguish between political foundations and aid foundations

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that he objects to a bill limiting donations from foreign bodies to leftist groups, and as a result the bill is set to be revised.


The bill, which proposes limiting donations to NIS 20,000 per organization per year was approved by the Ministerial Committee on Legislative Affairs earlier this week. A bill aiming to deny the organizations of their tax-exempt status was also approved.


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Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein expressed strong opposition to the bill, prompting the Prime Minister's Office to urge MK Ofir Akunis, who initiated the bill, to revise it.


The new version will likely see an amendment to the criteria determining which organizations receive funding from foreign governments. The modified bill will better distinguish between political foundations and aid foundations. Nevertheless, MK Akunis stressed that "fundamentally there is no change – political foundations will be limited in receiving funds from foreign states as approved by the Ministerial Committee on Legislative Affairs."


The ministerial committee sought to combine Akunis' bill with a second bill proposed by Faina Kirshenbaum (Yisrael Beiteinu). It was recently agreed that preliminary reading votes will be held separately. Later on it will be discussed whether to merge them. It currently does not appear that Kirshenbaum's bill will be revised.


Earlier on Tuesday, President Shimon Peres addressed the matter and said: "What's wrong with people contributing to bodies of one type or another?"


The president then urged those in attendance to "stand firmly in safeguarding these principles. We do not have a dictatorial regime around here. Serving is about democracy."


Moran Azulay contributed to this report




פרסום ראשון: 11.15.11, 20:45
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