NGOs wield considerable power when it comes to shaping policy and the public debate in Israel, and information on the sources of their funding is also significant, particularly when they come from outside sources.
Clearly, the Israeli public needs NGO transparency to determine the interests and motives of donors and recipients, so as to better understand the actors and their influence on any NGO’s decision-making processes, and how much the recipients depend on the funders. From the other side, donors to NGOs need transparency in order to monitor the eventual use of their donations.
Israel is the only democracy in the world in which civil society NGOs receive vast sums of funding, estimated at tens of millions of Euros, from foreign governments through the conduits of NGOs.
Lack of transparency and lack of oversight may cause misuse of foreign government funds by NGOs, which at times operate in total contradiction to their donors’ policy.
European governments, which might not agree with Israeli policy, can use diplomatic means in order to protest. Instead, by funding NGOs which demonize Israel, the EU puts bilateral relations between themselves and Israel at risk.