Plan to Tax Foreign Funding to Israel’s NGOs Draws Disapproval from U.S. and Germany

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December 4, 2011; Source: Haaretz | A proposed bill in Israel that would levy a 45 percent tax on contributions to Israeli NGOs from foreign governments has elicited expressions of concern from the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro.

Shapiro has said that he was relaying the concerns of the State Department. As NPQ pointed out in a previous newswire, the bill would likely affect human rights groups and left-leaning groups more than others because those are the groups more often funded by foreign governments, while more right-leaning groups are apparently funded by individuals.

The German ambassador to Israel, Andreas Michaelis, has taken a similar position, saying that the bill undermines Israel’s image in the world.

There exists, apparently, a new version of the law, drafted after the U.S. concern was communicated, but there is no indication in this article about what may have been changed. Earlier this year, Israel passed a bill requiring NGOs to report quarterly on any foreign donations. —Ruth McCambridge