Following the news that a draconian bill to tax NGOs that receive funding from foreign government bodies at a rate of 65% and strip them of their tax-exempt status in Israel will begin its legislative process this coming Sunday, NIF CEO Daniel Sokatch released the following statement:
This bill is the next step in Israel’s judicial coup. Netanyahu and his government of extremists want to tax civil society out of existence — especially those working to defend the rights of the most marginalized in Israel and under Israel’s control: women, the LGBTQ+ community, Palestinians living under occupation, and Arab citizens of Israel. This is precisely the way that autocrats shrink democratic space. This law could force the closure of hundreds of organizations in Israel — and it specifically targets the ones that speak truth to power. Choking off funding from advocates for change is not what democracies do. Strong democracies can hear criticism, even and especially when it is harsh, and work to make themselves better.