New Law Would Force Leftist Groups to Pay for Gov’t Data

YERUSHALAYIM -
A scene of anguish and defiance in Amona, as a man shouts at police during the evacuation. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

A new law proposed by Jewish Home MK Shuli Moallem-Refaeli would require groups that receive the majority of their funding – in general, leftist groups – to pay for information they request from the government. “Unfortunately, leftist groups utilize data they receive from the government against Israel. Israeli taxpayers should not have to pay for this.” Under the proposal, organizations that fit the criteria will not only not get information for free – they will pay double the amount ordinary Israelis do.

Moallem-Refaeli’s law would adjust an existing law that allows non-profit groups to request information about population, the economy, policy, law enforcement and much more without having to pay for it. The measure allows organizations to access the information they need to set policy, assist people or groups, or undertake other socially positive activities.

Leftist groups that denigrate Israel in international forums do just the opposite, said Moallem-Refaeli – and since they have “deep pockets” due to the largesse of the foreign governments and organizations that largely fund them, they can afford to pay for the information they request. “The law recognizes that in a democracy the public has a right to know, and that right is not compromised under the new law,” said Moallem-Refaeli. The only difference is that they will pay – since they can afford to do so.

According to the organizations, which due to a recent law were required to disclose their funding sources, leftists groups received a majority of their funding from abroad. The B’tselem organization receives 65 percent of its funding from foreign sources, while the Breaking the Silence group receives 68.8 percent of its money from abroad. Meanwhile, Yesh Din, the organization that files lawsuits against Jewish residents of towns in Yehudah and Shomron on behalf of absentee Arabs who file claims to land, receives 93.5 percent of its funding from abroad.