Knesset approves investigation of Israeli human rights groups


Harriet Sherwood


The funding of Israeli human and civil rights groups is to be investigated amid claims they are acting against the country's interests, members of the Israeli parliament decided today – a move described by opponents as "McCarthyite".


The supporters of the bill claimed the groups' work was "delegitimising" Israel and was funded by anti-Israeli international bodies.


The bill was approved by 47 votes to 16 following a heated debate in the Knesset, during which security guards were present.


The vote was immediately condemned by rights organisations expecting to be investigated. They claimed the bill was part of a larger campaign to intimidate groups and individuals who speak out against the actions of the Israeli state.


Its supporters claimed the targeted groups are backed by "international groups ... with the goal of damaging the legitimacy of the activities of IDF [Israeli Defence Forces] soldiers, encouraging draft-dodging and branding IDF soldiers and commanders as war criminals".

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