Rightist MKs Push New Laws to Crack Down on NGOs Deemed Hostile to Israel

Two bills sponsored by MKs Uri Ariel and Zeev Elkin were submitted to Knesset last week; New initiatives would enable registrars to reject organizations that do not recognize 'Israel's Jewish and democratic character.'

Two new legislative initiatives would clamp down on companies non-profit organizations that refuse to recognize the Jewish, democratic character of the State of Israel.

The bills, sponsored by MKs Uri Ariel (National Union ) and Zeev Elkin (Likud ), among others, were submitted to the Knesset last week. Under the new legislation, amendments would be made to existing laws that govern the operations of companies and non-profits so as to provide the registrars with the authority to reject companies and non-profits that refuse to acknowledge Israel's Jewish and democratic character.

Likud MK Zeev Elkin
Tomer Appelbaum

The preamble to one of the pieces of legislation notes that the existing law "provides for the existence of organized entities that can carry out activities whose purpose is to threaten the Jewish or democratic character of the State of Israel.

For example, the registrar has no authority to prevent the registration of a company whose declared objective is to convert Jews [to another faith]."

The proposals were initiated by the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel. Under the terms of the new legislation, the registrars of companies and non-profits would have the authority to fine already licensed companies and non-profits that do not recognize Israel's Jewish and democratic character. In extreme circumstances, the registrar could also order their closure.