JNF Transparency Bill Killed in Knesset

from The Times of Israel:

Ministers shoot down bill for JNF transparency

The Knesset’s Ministerial Committee for Legislation struck down on Sunday by a narrow margin a bill aimed at increasing transparency in the Jewish National Fund. The bill, presented by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, would have allowed the state comptroller to audit the nonprofit organization and publicize its transactions, operations, and financial records.

Following the Ministerial Committee’s decision, Livni stated that the Justice Ministry would attempt to legally revise the JNF’s current status and define it as a public-benefit corporation, a move that would force the JNF by law to make its records public.

“The JNF holds authority over operations that are, in essence, significant governmental functions, yet it is devoid of any form of criticism. This is an absurd situation in a democratic country, and it encourages problematic conduct, to say the least.”

… It is estimated that [JNF] holds more than NIS 4 billion (about $1,156,738,000) in liquid capital, according to Israeli business magazine the Marker.