Watchdog Says Its Exposure Spurred Norwegian Government to Nix Funding for Anti-Israel Group
JNS.org – A Jerusalem-based watchdog of non-governmental organizations said Monday that its efforts to reveal that an international funding mechanism supports anti-Israel initiatives have led Norway to abandon its position as a financial donor to the group.
NGO Monitor wrote in an email to supporters that the group had alerted Norwegian stackholders and “fully briefed” Israeli officials about its research into the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (IHL Secretariat), which — as the watchdog group wrote in September fact sheet — devoted $5.78 million of a $17.6 million total budget to 13 organization supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
The Israeli officials then raised NGO Monitor’s concerns with their Norwegian counterparts, the organization said, and “this, coupled with the negative media attention, led many Norwegian officials to acknowledge the depth of Israel’s concerns about this problematic funding scheme, ultimately leading [the Norwegian government] to leave the IHL Secretariat.”
Norway had joined the IHL Secretariat earlier this year and contributed about $300,000 to the group — though NGO Monitor stated it is “unclear how this funding was used” — before departing. Governments who continue to fund the organization include Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Denmark.
NGO Monitor added that it continues its efforts to get the Netherlands to follow Norway’s lead on departing from the IHL Secretariat.
The institute said its research was recently mentioned twice on the floor of the Dutch Parliament, but that the Dutch Policy and Operations Evaluation Department’s most recent review of government funding failed to “professionally, effectively, and impartially” analyze Dutch funding of groups with ties to terrorism and BDS.