US amb. to 'Israel' urges Netanyahu to move away from NGO bill
US Ambassador to "Israel" Tom Nides sends Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a letter highlighting that the NGO bill could result in 'an international crisis'.
Following pressure from the United States and the European Union, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took the legislation to restrict foreign donations to non-governmental organizations in "Israel" off the table for review.
According to Axios, US Ambassador to "Israel" Tom Nides urged Netanyahu in a letter last week to put off the legislation.
In the letter disclosed by Axios, Nides wrote: "We didn’t threaten the Israelis or anything like that, but our message was that this bill is going to get Israel into an international crisis for something that isn’t worth it."
Initially, the bill, set to be voted on last Sunday, stated that NGOs receiving foreign donations will be forced to pay a 65% tax since they will not be recognized as nonprofit organizations.
Germany, France, the UK, and the Netherlands were among the European countries that also pressured Netanyahu to let go of the bill, Axios said.
While "Israel" argued that the bill was to "protect Israeli sovereignty," Axios revealed that German and UK Foreign Ministers had sent their Israeli counterpart Eli Cohen text messages denoting that the bill would have consequences on the international standing and image of "Israel" globally.
US Ambassador to 'Israel' to resign, citing 'personal reasons': Axios
Nides has informed US President Joe Biden's administration that he would be resigning for "personal reasons" this summer, Axios reported on May 10, citing US officials.
During a working visit to Washington last week, Nides informed Secretary of State Antony Blinken and White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan of his plans to step down, the report indicated.
It said Nides was expected to be replaced by his current deputy chief of mission Stephanie Hallett, a veteran Department of State diplomat with extensive experience in Middle Eastern countries.
In recent months, the US ambassador conveyed tough messages from Washington to Netanyahu about his government's judicial overhaul plans that would undermine the Israeli Supreme Court's powers, the report said.