JERUSALEM — A campaign against the New Israel Fund — a US-based organization that funds civil society activists in Israel — has sparked a fierce debate over the limits of free speech, the financing of NGOs, the dictates of loyalty to the state and, ultimately, over the fundamental values of Israel’s Zionist democracy.
The questions cut close to the bone on both sides of the ideological divide.
For example: Are left-wingers using Zionist money to undermine the foundations of the state?
Or, are right-wingers trying to gag nongovernmental organizations critical of Israeli policies and actions? And to what extent are the government and its agencies involved in trying to silence their critics?