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"The question on which the EP debate was centered was submitted in April and was based entirely on the discarded version of the bill. The MEPs who authored the question at the behest of Israeli NGOs were made aware that the bill to which it referred was no longer extant. Nevertheless they insisted on holding the debate. Most of the MEPs who participated in the debate did recognize that the bill had undergone substantial modifications. The majority, echoing a position paper from Israeli NGOs, argued that the bill should apply equally to foreign government and private funding – i.e., that it is legitimate, but that its scope should be widened. A number of the same MEPs asserted that the bill is “onerous” and “draconian” – i.e., that it is illegitimate. Logic aside, the discussion revealed an important divide between the European representatives. About two-thirds of the MEPs who participated in the debate adopted a paternalistic attitude, arguing implicitly or explicitly that the Israeli political and legal system is unable or unwilling to uphold democracy and human rights. In their view, only careful EU oversight and intervention can ensure that Israel remains on the proper course. Numerous MEPs also demonstrated their susceptibility to the NGO “halo effect,” whereby any group which inserts the phrase “human rights” into its self-description is imbued with an aura of credibility and objectivity. For example, a British MEP mentioned Israeli NGOs (the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel and Mossawa) which assured an EP subcommittee that “they undertake bona fide human rights work but... [are] harassed by accusations of political bias.”"