The distiction between a 'worthy' NGO and a 'political' NGO is an impossible one to determine in law - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • r cummings
    • 14.11.11 | 18:48 (IST)

    Consider the UK housing charity, Shelter. They started off trying to house the homeless, but then the reality dawned that all they were doing was providing an inadequate safety net that allowed government to ignore the homeless issue. The problem was the attitude and priorities of government, so they changed their approach to include lobbying of government and political cross-party work. They have been very successful in both operations and are widely respected. But In Israel, they would be classed as a 'political' NGO opposing the government and suffer accordingly. The same applies to most charities and NGOs, they cannot succeed in their task without changing the attitudes of government. If Israel is so foolish as to proceed down this road of trying to draw a political distinction, it will end up with just NGOs that do the government's bidding and ask no difficult questions. As the government is a very right wing one with its own extremist agenda, what it is in reality doing is endeavouring to silence those who dare criticise. In this way, Israel will finally slip from the democratic free world into the twilight zone of autocratic, fascist government rule. All Israelis, from whatever political shade of opinion, need to oppose this strongly. You might like the fact that they are shutting up your opponents by draconian laws. You may like it less when you and your interests are the next target for delegitmisation and political/legal sabotage. But with autocratic regimes, the sniper's rifle is continually searching for new targets of dissent

    from the article: Netanyahu's 'draconian laws' are attack on Israeli democracy, say MKs
    First published 17:43 14.11.11 | Last updated 17:43 14.11.11
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