is the American Foreign Agents Act undemocratic? - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • zionist forever
    • 02.12.11 | 10:54 (IST)

    The US has the Foreign Agents Act which is much tougher than this proposed bill but when was the last time anybody said that was damaging to democracy? If its not undemocratic to have the Foreign Agents Act why is it undemocratic to have a watered down version of a bill that was already not as tough as the US law? If this bill is passed it will help defend democracy not erode it. How can it be democratic for a foreign government or a politically motivated foreign NGO to use their deep pockets to try and buy their way into Israeli politics. The EU had admitted that although not recently in the past they have given money to Peace Now. It doesn't matter if you love or loath Peace Now thats not the issue , what is important is the fact that NOBODY ELECTED THEM and they exist to try and influence government policy and that is undemocratic. The Geneva Accord love it or hate it that was not only financed by the EU but they had a role in drafting it, we have the EU involved in drafting the platform an Israeli political party is going to campaign on, where is the democracy in that, who in Israel elected the EU? In the new watered down version of this bill it creates 3 groups of what different types of charities can receive from foreign governments & NGOS (1) Welfare and educational charities to receive unlimited tax free funding ( as it should be ). ( 2) Political groups like Peace Now can continue to receive money but 45% of donations from governments & NGOS goes to the tax man, something which the public can't complain to much about seeing as thats alot of money that goes to the government which means there is more money around for all these social welfare projects ( 3 ) No money at all can go to the more radical political charities like ones that encourage draft dodging or which call for an armed struggle against Israel, I think even the people who are opposed to this bill will find it hard to justify giving foreign funding to radical groups. All this bill is designed to do is stop foreigners with their own interests using money to try and affect policies of an elected government and just because its mostly left wing groups that is affected by this bill it applies to everybody equally no matter what their cause. Welfare charieis can raise as much as the want, political ones pay heavy taxes and radicals can't have anything at all. Objections to this bill are mostly politically motivated by the political movements who will suffer and their supporters and they are trying to hide behind democracy to justify their objections.

    from the article: Netanyahu should end the anti-democratic witch hunt
    First published 09:02 02.12.11 | Last updated 09:02 02.12.11
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