FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 11, 2016
Ambassador Shapiro’s Meeting with Justice Minister Shaked
The United States and Israeli governments maintain a robust dialogue and open consultation on a wide range of issues of mutual concern and interest. In this context, Ambassador Shapiro met with Minister Shaked yesterday, and deeply appreciated their respectful and productive discussion.
Among the topics discussed was the government’s draft NGO bill, which would require Israeli NGOs who receive a majority of their funding from foreign governments to be labeled as such. Ambassador Shapiro sought more information about the draft legislation from the Minister, and noted the U.S. government’s concerns on the matter.
The Ambassador noted that Israel is a strong and vibrant democracy, which gives substantial voice to all points of view and promotes a thriving, transparent civil society. He reiterated the United States’ view that such a free and functioning civil society is an essential element of a healthy democracy, and that governments must protect free expression and peaceful dissent and create an atmosphere where all voices can be heard.
Ambassador Shapiro and Minister Shaked agreed to continue their dialogue on this and other issues of mutual concern.