On the night of Tuesday, 9 February, the Knesset approved in first reading the draft law on transparency of funding of NGOs, represented by the Minister of justice Ayelet shaked («Bayt Yehudi»). 50 Knesset members voted for the bill and 43 voted against.
Recall that under the bill, all organizations whose budget is at least 50% consists of donations of foreign governments, should inform all of their documents.
In the original version of the bill also contained a requirement for all activists of these organizations to wear the appropriate insignia for any visit to the Knesset. Against this point of law was supported by the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Minister of justice agreed to withdraw this item of the bill.
From the text was also removed paragraph providing for a penalty in the amount of NIS 29 thousand in the event of a breach of a public institution of this bill.
On 8 February, the Tenth channel ITV reported that on election day all 120 Knesset members received a letter from the Embassy of the European Union in Israel urging them to vote against this bill.
Deputies from opposition have criticised this legislative initiative. The head of the opposition Isaac Herzog declared that «the government does not give itself the report in what damage this law brings to all friends of Israel abroad and our country’s image in international public opinion.»
The leader of the «Yesh Atid» Yair Lapid said that «he fought with leftist organizations long before you, in the coalition, woke up.» Lapid added that «the law doesn’t reach its goal, because it gives legitimacy to these organizations and assists them in fundraising».
The draft was submitted for consideration by the Commission of the Knesset for legislation before the vote in the second and third readings.