To return to the new Peace Now website click here.

Knesset Measures Targeting Israeli NGOs And other Non-Democratic Bills in the Past Year

What started as a trickle of anti-democratic Knesset legislation, is turning into a stream and may soon become a flood. Here is a partial list of such legislative initiatives, prepared by our intern Brian Reeves. Most of the following bills were submitted by members of Prime Minister Netanyahu's Likud Party.
 
  • 16 November 2011 - Bill to curtail left-wing groups' ability to represent victims in the High Court.  "Public petitioners" who are not a direct victim will not be permitted to file petitions for individual victims.  
  • 9 November 2011 - Two bills to limit foreign funding to Israeli NGOs.  The first would limit the funds Israeli organizations could receive from foreign government entities to NIS 20,000, while the second would place a 45% tax on these funds.  
  • 7 November 2011 - Bill would drastically raise amount of punitive compensation for libel.  Those found guilty would pay NIS 300,000--a six-fold increase from the amount specified in the Defamation Prohibition Law--without the need of proof for damages. 
  • 7 November 2011- Bill to Protect Israel's Values would prohibit organizations that "harm the State of Israel as a Jewish state" from operating in Israel.
  • 28 August 2011- Bill being prepared that would deny entry into Israel of anyone involved in boycotts against Israel or lawsuits against IDF or government officials.  
  • 7 July 2011 - Boycott Law passes, enabling Israelis to sue individuals and organizations that advocate a boycott against Israel or settlement products without any need of tangible evidence of damages.   
  • 24 March 2011 - J Street summoned to Knesset to determine whether the American non-profit was "sufficiently pro-Israel."
  • 22 March 2011 - The Nakba Law (or "Basic Principles Law") makes public schools that treat Israeli Independence Day as a day of mourning liable for fines of up to ten times the "cost."  Arab schools will be a prime target for expressing the traditional Palestinian narrative by commemorating Palestinian Nakba ("Catastrophe") day.
  • 22 March 2011 - Acceptance to Communities Bill enables communities of up to 400 family units to bar people from becoming residents for not "fitting with the life of the community" or "fitting with the social fabric."  This vague criteria allows for excluding Arab citizens. 
  • 7 March 2011- Bill to remove citizenship of those convicted of terrorism or espionage
  • 7 February 2011 - Bill to allow the court to dissolve any company that refuses to provide or buy services in certain regions of Israel.  Therefore, if a company chooses not to provide services in settlements, it will be liable to this potential law.  
  • 30 January 2011- Bill that would make it illegal to cover one's face (e.g. niqab) in public under penalty of imprisonment. 
  • 5 January 2011 - Knesset approves commission to investigate sources of funding for left-wing NGOs. 
  • 23 November 2010 - Law that requires a two-thirds majority vote for giving up any territory in the Golan Heights or East Jerusalem, thereby removing from the Prime Minister's power the right to make the bold decisions it takes to arrive at a peace deal. 
  • October 10, 2010 - Pledge of Allegiance (or "Loyalty Oath") bill passes, requiring any non-Jewish applicant for Israeli citizenship to pledge allegiance to the State of Israel as a Jewish, democratic state.  

Special thanks to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) for its list of Top Anti-Democratic Legislation Initiatives