Monday, January 2, 2012

Israel needs outside 'interference'

"When I took up the Israeli ambassadorship in South Africa in 1992 the tide of history was already turning towards democracy. But numerous Apartheid laws were still in force, albeit no longer strictly applied. I particularly remember those designed to disable civil society, destroy community organizations and stamp out human rights. These include laws to stifle funding to human rights organizations. I recall how alien this seemed to me at the time.

Today those memories come rushing back. Legislation about to be voted on in the Knesset is strikingly similar to that from Apartheid South Africa. The Ministerial Committee on legislation has approved amendments proposed by MKs Kirshenbaum and Akunis which would restrict funding from foreign states to local human rights groups. The enforcement of this law would chill Israeli democracy and what remains of our once-vibrant society."

Read more

1 comment:

  1. This article is unclear. I think it advocates letting foreign countries, NGOs and Political Action Committees fund groups inside Israel without limit. Including possibly groups that participate in politics?

    This is a nuanced issue. It gets to the heart of campaign finance reform and what foreigners can fund what political campaigns.

    Personally I think anyone in the world should be able to fund advocacy groups and advertizements in almost any country within reason. But would limit involvement in direct political campaigns. Granted the difference between political campaigns and advocacy groups is nebulous.

    BTW, many Arab and muslim countries limit contributions by foreigners to advocacy groups and political campaigns. Often this is refered to as "empire" . . . "imperalism" . . . "hegemonic activities" . . . "exploitation" . . . "oppression."

    I tend to be closer the the writer of this article and favor allowing contributions to groups and advocacy groups across national borders.