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"In response to the NGO Funding Transparency Bill passing out of the Knesset Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee today, Professor Gerald Steinberg, President of NGO Monitor, released the following statement:

This bill is an important step towards protecting Israeli democracy and civil society from manipulation, and it provides the appropriate framework for informing Israelis about the funding provided by foreign governments to a narrow spectrum of political NGOs. While foreign governments allocate funds to many activities and organizations in Israel, the secrecy regarding political advocacy groups stands out, as does the role of the recipients in demonization through the UN, the European parliament, and foreign capitals. Democratic governments that claim to operate with transparency should practice this, particularly with respect to other democracies. But for some European officials, Israel is an exception and is seen as a political playground. European government funding for political NGOs, based on highly secret decision-making processes with no accountability, has a very damaging influence."