Monday, April 30, 2012

It's the Bad Law ... That You Just Didn't Pass

The UNHRC has added Israel to its list of countries which restrict the activities of human rights groups. The reason is a proposed law that restricts foreign funding to domestic NGOs. Now, I'm no fan of this law (though I don't know how it compares to other regulations countries have about international funding of domestic groups), indeed, I view it as another instance of waxing illiberalism in Israel's political sphere.

But there's a reason why "proposed" is in the other sentence: the law never actually passed the Knesset. Prime Minister Netanyahu ordered it frozen after it was determined that the law likely wouldn't pass muster with Israel's high court. So one would think happy ending, yes? Not according to UNHRC chieftain Navi Pillay:
“In Israel, the recently adopted Foreign Funding Law could have a major impact on human rights organizations, subjecting them to rigorous reporting requirements, forcing them to declare foreign financial support in all public communications, and threatening heavy penalties for non-compliance.”

Obviously, Pillay has a different definition of "recently adopted" than most people, who would presumably require the law to be, you know, adopted at all. But when the subject is the UN and the opportunity is to flambe Israel, there is no need to get hung up on such technicalities. It's repulsive.

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