Knesset votes for NGO probe

By Marcus Dysch, January 6, 2011

THe Knesset has voted overwhelmingly in favour of establishing a parliamentary committee to probe funding of human rights groups in Israel.

The right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party proposed the bill, calling for an investigation into the actions of NGOs monitoring the activities of the IDF in the West Bank.

The motion claimed a coalition of international organisations was working under the guise of human rights to encourage draft-dodging and label IDF soldiers and commanders as war criminals.

Among the groups expected to be investigated are the Association of Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), B'tselem, Physicians for Human Rights, Breaking the Silence and the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel.

Critics have compared the plans to the 1950s McCarthyite witch-hunts in the United States.

A motion calling for an investigation into organisations purchasing land in Israel was also passed during Wednesday's session.

Last updated: 1:48pm, January 6 2011