Germany compared Israel's NGO funding law proposal with that of Russia and China
AMIR COHEN, JOHN THYS (POOL/AFP/Archives)
A spokesman for the German foreign ministry compared Israel's policy on funding on non-governmental organisations to that of Russia and China, provoking a rebuke from the Israeli embassy in Berlin, Haaretz newspaper reported.
Speaking on June 14 about a new law in Hungary that would force foreign-funded NGOs to register as "foreign-supported organisations," the spokesman for Germany's foreign ministry, Martin Shaefer, said that the law was similar to new laws in other countries.
“Hungary thus joins the ranks of countries like Russia, China and Israel," he said at a weekly press briefing, "which obviously regard the funding of non-government organisations, of civil society efforts, by donors from abroad as a hostile or at least an unfriendly act."
The remarks, reported at the time, elicited a stern demand for clarification from Israel's mission in Berlin, the Israel daily revealed on Tuesday.
"Israel is a vibrant and free democracy and there are no restrictions on donations," the paper quoted the embassy as saying. "Recently, Israel adopted a demand for transparency, as is custom in other democracies."
The revelation of Israel's disquiet about Shaefer's comparison will be an added difficulty for relations between Germany and Israel, already strained over Prime Minister Netanyahu's refusal to meet the visiting German foreign minister after he declined to cancel his attendance at a conference where members of the controversial Breaking the Silence NGO were also present.
On June 12 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that his government will formulate new legislation that limits foreign government funding to Israeli nonprofits, in what was widely seen as his latest effort to crack down on left-wing organizations and human rights groups.
A separate "NGO law" passed last year set strict new transparency requirements on organizations receiving most of their funding from foreign governments, which critics denounced as likely to encourage a witch-hunt against leftist groups that campaign for the defense of Palestinian rights.u
The new legislation in development will go one step further by limiting the amount of funding organizations can receive from foreign states altogether, Netanyahu explained.
“In Israel there is currently no limit on funneling money to all sorts of organizations, [including those that] among other things defame IDF soldiers,” the premier said.
“The situation, in my opinion, is not right,” he added.
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Time for Israel to start establishing NGOs in Berlin. Start with an NGO dedicated to the thousands of un-prosecuted SS Einsatzgruppen who rounded up over millions of people and shot them dead in kill pits all over Eastern Europe. Demand the German government hands over their names and military history. Then demand the German government account for all the pensions the SS men received including the Muslim SS who's atrocities were so sickening to the Germans they complained to Himmler. Another NGO to identify all those Muslim SS who got repatriated to Munich where they set up the first branch of the German Muslim Brotherhood. That should keep Gabriel busy for a while. Have a fun read from the Agenda Driven Old Bag Rag when it was still mildly objective and slightly less Politically Correct: http://www.nytimes.com/1997/05/10/world/germany-defends-pensions-for-ss-veterans.html
German hypocrisy regarding IDF "war crimes" is sickening. Another fascinating read. This time from pre-Bezos WAPO when they had shreds of credibility: https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1997/05/08/nazi-ss-veterans-receive-pensions-for-war-injuries/e493e686-efaf-4a9b-b97d-7bc8836ba9f9/?utm_term=.4f43292973cf
The German F.O. must watch Arte movie on antisemitism 2morrow evening.They WILL learn something.