Palestinian Authority BDS organizations receive major blow

Denmark announces cessation of funding for PA NGOs after Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs report exposes ties to terror.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen
Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen

The Danish Foreign Ministry announced Friday the cessation of financial aid, along with a more stringent vetting process, for the transfer of funds to Palestinian Authority (PA) NGOs.

The move came after Israel's Ministry of Strategic Affairs provided information to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that European funds are going to PA NGOs with ties to terrorist organizations. These NGOs also promote boycotts against Israel, the ministry noted. As a result, Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) sent a letter to the Danish Foreign Minister insisting Denmark cease funding these organizations.

In an official statement, Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen emphasized that he attaches great importance to ensuring Danish aid is used properly. It is for this reason, he wrote, that the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs began, in May 2017, a comprehensive examination of the funds distributed to PA NGOs. The results of those findings led the Danish government to conclude that there was a need to toughen the conditions and terms surrounding finances given to PA organizations.

According to the announcement, most of the Danish aid frozen in recent months will be returned to government coffers. Samuelsen made it clear that many organizations currently receiving Danish support will no longer continue to do so.

In recent years, Denmark has been a member of the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat, a European government funding mechanism based in Ramallah which includes Switzerland, the Netherlands and Sweden. Among the organizations supported by the Secretariat are Palestinian Authority NGOs which promote de-legitimization and boycotts against the State of Israel, and which are linked to “The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine” (PFLP) - an organization deemed a terrorist group both by the EU and the United States.

Examples of such NGOs include Al-Haq and Addameer, several of whose senior administrators have close ties to the PFLP, including Al-Haq's executive director Shawan Jabarin (who previously served jail time for his involvement with the terrorist group).

Responding to the Dutch announcement, Erdan said, "Friday’s announcement by the Danish Foreign Ministry is a significant win for the State of Israel, and a severe blow to our adversaries. It is absurd that these so-called Palestinian NGOs are promoting a distorted and false picture of Israel, and even worse, maintaining ties with terrorist organizations, while receiving European funding."

"It is for this reason I congratulate Foreign Minister Samuelsen for his just and resolute decision. I am glad that Denmark understood that the Danish taxpayer should not finance, directly or indirectly, Palestinian organizations which have direct connections to terrorist groups. I call on other countries in Europe to exercise the same moral responsibility and take similar steps."