(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
The Knesset plenum approved in preliminary reading 41-36 on Wednesday a bill that will strip tax breaks from institutions that were determined as "working against the State of Israel."
The explanatory notes of the bill say that tax refunds to NGOs are "equal to funding by the tax payers, and it is appropriate that it would be given only to these who are working to advance the State of Israel." The bill wishes to set a condition that an NGO "that works against Israel and takes part in the de-legitimacy campaign against it" would not receive these benefits. As for now, NGOs can receive refunds up to 35% from contributions.
MK Bezalel Smotrich (Bayit Yehudi) who initiated the bill said that there should be a distinction between the freedom of speech to assisting someone who hurts Israel. "We are not harming the freedom of speech here," he said. "Everyone can still say whatever's on their mind. But the State of Israel should not feed the people who want to harm it."