A number of Arab civil society organizations within Israel denounced the new bill proposed by Ayelet Shaked, Israel’s Justice Minister. This bill will require organizations which are funded by foreign parties to wear tags indicating the said funding, while partaking in discussions within Knesset committees. Additionally, organizations that refuse to follow this bill will be required to pay a fine of tens of thousands of shekels.
The organizations released a statement saying: “We the signatories, organizations active within Palestinian society in Israel, denounce the continued Israeli persecution and harassment of human rights organizations, with the latest attempt being Justice Minister Shaked’s bill which fines any organization that does not display an indicative tag during various discussions within Knesset committees.”
The statement continues: “We are talking about a very dangerous bill; it is a reminder of the most racist and fascist governments in history, in which the law marks representatives of organizations that may criticize the government’s policies in the Knesset committees. This law is an international precedent, since foreign funded human rights organizations are active in many countries, contributing to discussions on human rights and democracy issues. The Israeli government’s fear of the activism of rights organizations is nothing but a confirmation of the magnitude of Israeli violations in the West Bank, Gaza, Jerusalem, and against Palestinians living within Israel”.
The statement concluded: “The Israeli government seeks to draw the attention away from the variety of racist laws passed each week in the Knesset. Only yesterday, five racist laws were passed, including the penalty law against families of stone throwers, which decides their minimal sentence, and revokes their guaranteed income supplements. All of these racist laws strengthen the apartheid system in Israel”.
The organizations signing the statement are:
Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel
Baladna – Association for Arab Youth
Kayan – Feminist Organization
Arab Cultural Association
Women Against Violence
Al-Beer for the Development of Culture and Society in Wadi Ara
Aswat – Palestinian Gay Women
I’lam – Arab Center for Media Freedom Development and Research
Assiwar – Feminist Arab Movement
Badiyat al-Naqab Association
The Social Development Committee – Haifa
Ma’an – The Forum of Arab Women Organizations in the Negev
7amleh – Arab Center for Social Media Advancement