by James Holbrooks, Underground Reporter:
On Tuesday, The European Commission — the executive branch of the EU — slammed Israel over the passage of a new law targeting non-governmental organizations (NGOs) critical of its policies, particularly the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
The law — dubbed the “transparency bill” — was passed by Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, on Monday, and will require NGOs receiving half or more of their funding from foreign entities to disclose information about their donations to the Israeli government via official reports.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who supported the bill, claims the measure is “democratic and necessary” and that the goal is to prevent “the absurd situation in which foreign states interfere in Israel’s internal affairs by funding NGOs without the Israeli public being aware of it.”
But many see the law — which has been hotly contested since its proposal in November of 2015 — as a means to an end far more nefarious than simple transparency.
Earlier this year, for instance, 50 members of the E.U.’s European Parliament signed an open letter to the Israeli government criticizing the legislation as “inherently discriminatory.”
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