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Israeli Parliament Weighs Probe of Nation's Critics

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TEHRAN, March 2 (ICANA)- Right-wing lawmakers have ignored the concerns of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and rescheduled a vote on a proposed parliamentary probe of foreign funding for Israeli groups critical of Israel's policies.
Wednesday, March 02, 2011 2:05:46 PM
Israeli Parliament Weighs Probe of Nation's Critics

Amid public criticism of around a half-dozen proposed measures in parliament widely viewed as targeting left-wing groups, Netanyahu had taken action that effectively put off a vote last week on setting up the legislative inquiry panel.

But Danny Danon, a legislator from Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party and a sponsor of the proposal, said on Tuesday it was back on parliament's agenda, with a vote likely on March 16.

Danon, who would head the committee, told Reuters that it would investigate the "funding by foreign governments to organizations that do harm to Israel."

Such funding from the United States, Britain and the European Union amounted to "gross interference" in Israeli affairs and was an attempt to influence policy-making, he said.

Among groups likely to come under scrutiny are Peace Now, which vocally opposes Jewish settlement on occupied land that Palestinians want for a state. Another is the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, which campaigns for democratic values, freedom of speech, equal rights and "the end of occupation."

Both took part in a Tel Aviv rally of several thousand people last month held to protest against the proposed inquiry.

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