The new NGO law aims to shame, to stigmatize, to plant doubt. It may complicate things for us, but it won’t slow us down

We didn't stop the NGO Law, but the NGO Law will not stop us

“We couldn’t stop the NGO Law, but the NGO Law will not stop us either”. An advertisment published in the Israeli press, signed by 21 NGOs

 

July 14, 2016. Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, passed the so-called “NGO bill” into law this week. The law gives the pretense of ensuring transparency in the activities of Israeli organizations but in reality, it has nothing to do with transparency. We have always been transparent about the supporters who make our work possible. Our goals, activities and resources are also public and transparent by definition, given that one of our main aims is to increase awareness about the consequences of the Israeli government’s decisions on the human rights and well-being of residents of this region.

The NGO law and others like it have the sole aim of intimidating civil society organizations, thus harming the system of checks and balances essential for a functioning democracy.

In a free society, an individual has access to a wealth of information and opinions, including on the actions of the government, allowing her to form her own perspective and to reflect on the decisions made in her name.

We welcome people to learn more about our work and see who supports us. We are determined to continue providing data and analysis on access policy and its implications on Palestinians, their families and society at large. We are determined to continue demonstrating the impact of Israel’s decisions and its vast influence on everyday life in the Strip despite the implementation of the “Disengagement Plan” – both the suffering but also the tremendous potential in Gaza.

The aim of the new law – even in its final and somewhat watered-down version – is to shame, to stigmatize, to plant doubt. It may complicate things for us but it won’t slow us down. It cannot and will not divert us from the obligation we took upon ourselves to work for a better future for all the region’s inhabitants, a future that allows for the fulfillment of rights and realization of dreams.