Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
What’s Next for Israel? A conversation with the Forward. Tonight at 7:30 p.m. ET, 92NY and onlineRegister Today
Breaking News

McCarthy ‘Right in Every Word’: Israeli Lawmaker

Israeli MK Ofir Akunis, who sponsored the bill to limit foreign funding to Israeli human rights organization, stood behind Senator Joseph’s McCarthy’s actions in the 1950s. Speaking on Sunday on the “London and Kirshenbaum” television show on Channel 10, Akunis said McCarthy – who in the 1950s presided over a committee that investigated Americans suspected of harboring Communist views – said “was right in every word, the fact is -there were Soviet agents.”

According to the bill, which was proposed by Akunis and has been backed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, political NGOs in Israel would not be allowed to receive donations exceeding 20,000 shekels provided by foreign governments and international organizations, such as the UN and the European Union. According to the bill, “inciting activity undertaken by many organizations, under the cover of human rights work, has the goal of influencing political debates, and the character and the policies of the state of Israel.”

Speaking to Haaretz later on Sunday, Akunis said he was referring to McCarthy’s claim that several Soviet agents infiltrated the U.S. “I didn’t say McCarthyism was right, or that every word that McCarthy said was right.” He added that he does not support McCarthyism or political persecution of citizens suspected of being disloyal to the state. “God forbid, absolutely not,” he said.

“I am far less extreme than what some columns say, and I am not part of the legislation against the judiciary. I have one law that is right and just, that says that a foreign country will not transfer money to another country.” Akunis said the bill “is far from being fascist or ant-democratic. It is also not a law that targets the freedom of assembly.”

For more, go to Haaretz.com

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.