Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Israel's FARA, Not a Threat to Democracy

America's FARA (Foreign Agents Registration Act), passed in the late 1930s, regulates how non-American entities are allowed to fund political activities in the United States. You can read about it and see how it works at the official FRA Act website.

Yesterday the Knesset passed an Israeli version. Note that we got by without it for 62 years, until the foreign agents became so bold in their interventions in Israeli politics that some regulation became essential. Note that the Israeli law was consciously based on the American one. Note that the proposed law was watered down as it made its way through the legislative process.

Above all, note the it's a reasonable law, not a threat to Israeli democracy. Keep that in mind when you're told otherwise.


Barry Meislin said...

But if those who despise the Jewish State say that it IS a threat, who are we to disagree?

NormanF said...

The proposed law is toothless.

It won't stop Israeli leftist NGOs from getting foreign funding and using it to influence Israeli decision-making. Its not like they get most of their money from Israeli Jews they purport to represent.

Here as elsewhere - follow the money!

Avigdor said...

All that foreign money isn't helping them win over the people who decide Israeli elections. Think of it as a social safety net for radical leftists. They used to work in coffee shops, now they run around the West Bank helping Arabs steal water from Jewish wells.

Silke said...

but who are the ones who get their say in "my" media?

How come that Ian McEwan could decide it was OK to behave the way he did around having gotten awarded the Israel price? Would he go to a family dinner and malign the host the way he does Israel? of course not, it is appallingly bad manners and there must be a section of society and/or media in Israel and/or around the world who cheers this kind of behaviour. And that is wrong. He could have denied taking the price and still doing his activism thingy. Then he would have been just another nutter.


(for the record I once read an excerpt of one of his oh so highly acclaimed books - fortunately not my cup of tea, so at least I have been spared another disappointment)

Barry Meislin said...

Would he go to a family dinner and malign the host the way he does Israel?

But he HAD to say what he said precisely IN ORDER to continue being invited to dinner (or otherwise) by all the "right people" (or otherwise).

To be sure, all those "right people" are pretty pissed off, as it is.

Try to understand his predicament.

File under: "Knowing on which side your bread is (most often) buttered."

Now here's a gallant fellow who wouldn't dream of biting the hand who feeds him:


Silke said...

who would be willing to leave such an illustrious club


it looks like the price is partial to indigenous people

doesn't Turkey have some of those also? :-)
but of course in Turkey they have found paradise, may be not on earth, but paradise nonetheless

Sérgio said...

And why the heck should Israelis give a prize for that self-righteous ranting idiot? Let him get the ex-Al-Ghaddafi International Prize of Human Lunacy. Can´t figure out what kind of masoquistic desire made people give him the award.