Deputy FM Warns European Governments Against Funding Israeli Left-wing NGOs

Tzipi Hotovely tells European diplomats that lack of oversight will lead to legislation on the issue.

Emil Salman

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) plans to instruct the Foreign Ministry to work against funding provided by European government to left-wing organizations in Israel.

A senior Israeli official noted that in a meeting that took place Tuesday with a delegation from the European parliament and with the Dutch ambassador to Israel, Hotovely warned that should EU governments be unwilling to cooperate with the Israel in overseeing the funds' allocation, the government would put forward legislation on the issue.

Hotovely also raised the issue with members of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee who had come to a meeting at the Foreign Ministry Tuesday.

"Under the guise of safeguarding human rights, these organizations actually work to undermine Israel's right of existence," Hotovely said, adding that in the past years, over 100 million euros have been donated to left wing Israeli organizations.

Hotovely first raised the demand to freeze funding to left-wing organization in meetings she held in recent weeks with the foreign ministers of Spain and the Netherlands, as well as with the EU's ambassador to Israel.

Hotovely noted during the meetings that she requests that government funding not be given to organizations who support a boycott of Israel, the right of return for Palestinian refugees or conduct activities that slander IDF soldiers or advance legal procedures against them.  

Hotovely's initiative is a rehashed version of an initiative led by her predecessor in the Foreign Ministry - Avigdor Lieberman, who began leading the initiative upon entering the office. At the time, a number of diplomats stationed in Europe were ordered to tell local foreign ministries to desist from funding left wing organizations, including "Breaking the Silence".