Netanyahu asks Denmark to stop funding BDS

Prime Minister Netanyahu meets Danish Foreign Minister following news that Denmark will assist organization supporting BDS.

Ben Ariel,

Samuelsen and Netanyahu
Samuelsen and Netanyahu
Haim Zach/GPO

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday evening met with Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen.

The two discussed bilateral cooperation in the field of innovation, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

Netanyahu also told Samuelsen that the true reason for the absence of a solution to the Israel-Palestinian Authority conflict is incitement and asked that Denmark halt assistance to Palestinian Arab organizations that support BDS activity.

Netanyahu’s request came the NGO Monitor organization revealed that Samuelsen will hold a series of meetings in Ramallah on Thursday, where according to documents published by the Danish government, he will announce an additional $8.3 million in Danish funding to the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (the Secretariat), which distributes funds to numerous anti-Israel organizations.

The Secretariat is a joint funding mechanism of the Danish, Dutch, Swedish, and Swiss governments, operating out of Bir Zeit University in Ramallah, noted NGO Monitor.

The group describes its goal as contributing "to the effective realization of adherence to human rights and international humanitarian law in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) and to influence the behavior of the relevant duty bearers, including Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the governing bodies/authorities in Gaza."

NGO Monitor noted that despite this, a large portion of the Secretariat's budget is distributed as core funding to radical Palestinian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that incite violence and terrorism; are active in global BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns against Israel; engage in legal warfare attempting to indict Israeli officials at the International Criminal Court (ICC); and employ demonizing rhetoric, such as making spurious charges of Israeli "apartheid" and "war crimes."

Olga Deutsch, Director of NGO Monitor's Europe Desk, said, "The decision of the Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs to make this one of his visit's priorities is alarming. That this decision was made without in-depth public hearings in the Danish Parliament is inconsistent with democratic practice and good governance. 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."

She added, "NGO Monitor has presented this information to the Danish government, including in a December 2015 appearance before the Parliamentary Foreign Policy Committee. We call for more responsible decision making by the Danish government."