Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, and the Netherlands funding anti-Israel groups

Via NGO Monitor:
The Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (“IHL Secretariat”) posted its 2014 Annual Report on August 2, 2015.  Four governments – Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, and the Netherlands – have budgeted over $13 million (2013-2016) to numerous Israeli and Palestinian political advocacy NGOs via this framework, which is based at the Institute of Law of Birzeit University in Ramallah.

Information provided in the Annual Report highlights fundamental problems with the IHL Secretariat funding mechanism, including support for political warfare against Israel, adoption of extreme NGO demonization rhetoric, the singling out and targeting of Jewish communities abroad, and very limited focus on Palestinian human rights and alleged violations. 

The Annual Report shows the major dissonance between the activities of the IHL Secretariat and the declared foreign policies principles of the four donor governments.


  • The IHL Secretariat describes its objective as attempting to “influence the behavioural change of the Palestinian and Israeli duty bearers.” In sharp contrast, the NGOs funded by the IHL Secretariat, as well as the activities described in the Annual Report, target Israel almost exclusively. The IHL Secretariat refers to the 2014 Gaza War as the “War on Gaza” claiming that it “outstands as the most infamous, significant, and intensive set of HR and IHL violations in terms of scale, destruction and brutality….the worst war in recent years against Palestinian civilians and properties.” (sic, emphasis added)
  •     “Achievements” of IHL Secretariat-funded NGOs, referring to Breaking the Silence, include a reported “small but significant shift in the opinion of liberal Jewish communities in the U.S. regarding the Israeli army’s policies in Gaza and the occupation as a whole.” (emphasis added)
  •     The IHL Secretariat repeats extreme NGO demonizing rhetoric against Israel. There are also glaring factual errors and discrepancies in the document.
  •     The Annual Report also reflects a lack of transparency: some financial information on grants is hidden, as are the identities of those involved in setting priorities and funding decisions. Despite the very large amounts of taxpayer funds from the four donor countries, potential biases and conflicts of interest are impossible to check.    more

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