Danish Foreign Minister Set to Announce $8 Million in Grants to Pro-BDS Palestinian NGOs
Denmark’s foreign minister is set to announce a grant of over $8 million earmarked for NGOs involved in the demonization of Israel, drawing protests from a leading Israeli watchdog.
The announcement by Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen is set for Thursday in Ramallah, the political center of the Palestinian Authority (PA). According to NGO Monitor, which reports on foreign funding of NGOs in Israel and Palestinian-controlled territories, Samuelsen will confirm the release of $8.3 million to an intermediary agency, the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat, which will then distribute the funds to Palestinian NGOs.
The Secretariat, which is based at Bir Zeit University in the West Bank, is jointly funded by the Danish, Swedish, Swiss, Norwegian and Dutch governments. According to NGO Monitor, “although these governments claim to oppose BDS, 65 percent of Secretariat funding is provided to NGOs that are BDS leaders.”
“All of these NGOs are campaigning on BDS and ‘lawfare’ – making allegations of Israeli war crimes,” NGO Monitor President Prof. Gerald Steinberg told The Algemeiner.
Among the groups receiving funds, Steinberg said, were Al Haq, a legal organization that has spearheaded accusations of war crimes and crimes against humanity at the Israeli security forces, and Adameer, which was launched by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a left-wing terrorist group within the PLO.
“The funding that the Danish government and others provide through the Ramallah framework does a tremendous amount of damage to the peace process and to human rights,” Steinberg said. “Ending that funding is long overdue.”
In a separate statement, Olga Deutsch, Director of NGO Monitor’s Europe Desk, criticized the Danish government for agreeing to the new funding without holding public hearings in the Danish parliament.
“Danish Members of Parliament should debate whether Danish taxpayers should transfer their hard-earned money to organizations that incite violence, glorify terror, and promote blatant antisemitism and BDS,” Deutsch said.