Israeli lawmakers kill bill to probe dovish groups

AP News
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Posted: Jul 20, 2011 3:09 PM
Israeli lawmakers kill bill to probe dovish groups

Israel's parliament has voted down a bill that would have established an inquiry commission to investigate foreign funding of dovish activist groups.

The vote followed approval this week of a bill targeting Israelis who promote boycotts against Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

Dovish lawmakers denounced both laws as antidemocratic attempts to stifle free expression.

Laws of the type defeated Wednesday show growing polarization in Israeli society.

Backers of the inquiry measure charged that foreign groups are funding local activists who are trying to delegitimize Israel.

The vote to kill the inquiry law was 57-28. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voted against it after urging members of his hawkish party not to back it. Most stayed away from the floor during the vote.