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Israel Tightens Rules for Human Rights Groups That Rely on Foreign Money

JERUSALEM — Israel’s Parliament passed a law late Monday to increase the regulation of many Israeli human rights organizations.

The measure, the subject of fierce debate between left-wing and right-wing politicians and activists, was approved by a vote of 57 to 48. It applies to groups that receive more than half their financing from foreign governments or political organizations.

The new law requires the organizations to state in all communication with public officials, as well as in newspapers and on television, billboards and the internet, that they rely on foreign financing.

Right-wing organizations receive much of their financing from private individuals and philanthropies and do not have to disclose their identities.

Robert Ilatov, a lawmaker from the nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu party, which recently joined Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, said he had co-sponsored the legislation because “intervention in Israel’s internal affairs is not acceptable.”

An opposition lawmaker, Nachman Shai, said that Israelis “will pay for this damage for many generations.”

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(via NY Times)