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Peres warns against judicial c'tee, NGO-funding bills

President Shimon Peres said on Tuesday that two controversial bills over judicial selection committee reform and limiting foreign government funding of NGOs are threatening to democracy in Israel.
"I think these two bills deviate from the basis of democracy," Peres told the Israel Youth Conference in Kiryat Gat. "Democracy is not a manipulator of power, it is a culture of power." Peres urged Knesset members to consider the importance of maintaining Israel's image as a democratic state, especially in light of the "many de-legitimizing factors against us."
"Our image is important; more indispensable than gold. We must maintain it," the president said.
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