NGO bill passed first reading in the Knesset

Today The NGO Bill, which aims to label and silence progressive civil society organizations, passed its first reading at the Knesset, endangering Israel’s democracy and violating its freedom of speech. The passing of the NGO bill is a violent and discriminatory act of public shaming against those criticizing the government’s policies. Despite Netanyahu’s statements, the bill resembles the situation in Russia and not that in the United States or in any other democratic country. Even the current legislation in Israel requires of the organizations affected by this bill transparency which by far surpasses that required in the United States. As we have seen in the past months in through the inciting campaign against organizations and then against artists, we are on the edge of a slippery slope. To improve Israel’s imagine in the world and to improve the situation in our region, what’s needed is a change in policy rather than a crackdown on dissent.