Something was rotten in the State of Denmark, but it won’t be anymore. The Danish Foreign Ministry announced on Friday that they would be tightening the standards for providing aid to Palestinian Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) to better ensure that it is being used for appropriate activities. This follows the provision of Israeli intel to the Danes that some Palestinian NGOs receiving funding from Europe “have ties to terrorist organizations and promote boycotts against Israel,” according to an Israeli press release.
Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelson, in a press release on the Danish Foreign Ministry website, said his nation’s move followed a review started in May and means “a number of organizations that receive funding today will not receive Danish support in the future.” He went on to say that the Danes will “also carry out an additional rigorous control of the use of the funding in the future and follow up with documented claims about organizations that do not live up to their obligations.”
Israel was exuberant about the change. Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan was quoted in the Israeli press release as calling the Danish decision “a significant win for the State of Israel, and a severe blow to our adversaries.”
The Israeli press release said that some of the NGOs receiving money from a European funding mechanism “promote de-legitimization and boycotts against the State of Israel” and have ties to The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). The Israeli statement highlighted that the PFLP is considered a terrorist organization by the European Union.
Some of those NGO terrorist ties are at a high level. The press release noted that executive director Shawan Jabarin of the Al-Haq organization actually has spent time in Israeli prisons over “involvement” with the PFLP.
“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,” said Erdan in the press release. “…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.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was involved in the discussions with Danish officials on the issue, saying in a separate press statement from his office that he had spoken with Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Foreign Minister Samuelson, and in a recent meeting with European foreign ministers.
“I demanded that they all stop supporting organizations that support terrorism and promote boycotts of Israel,” said Netanyahu, who expressed hope about the future.
“Denmark has decided on this step; it is neither the first nor the last. We will continue with this line.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, December 24, 2017)