Release Date:  12 March 2009

(Jerusalem) – Jerusalem-based research organization NGO Monitor today released a report on the tens of millions of Norwegian Kroner (NOK) given annually by the Norwegian government to extreme NGOs that demonize Israel and fuel hostility.  The report details how public funds, which are directed to NGOs that operate in the Palestinian Authority and Gaza, fail to promote coexistence or Palestinian human rights and democracy. 

Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs allocated an estimated NOK 187million in 2006 to NGOs active in the Palestinian Authority and Gaza.  Many of these funds are utilized by influential Norwegian humanitarian and development NGOs such as Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA).  Yet, among its activities, NPA has aligned itself with campaigns that accuse Israel of ‘ethnic cleansing’, ‘apartheid’ and even regard Israel’s very creation as a ‘naqba’ (catastrophe in Arabic).  This highly damaging rhetoric alienates Israelis and contributes to a deep sense of animosity between Palestinians and Israelis.

Another well-known aid agency, the Norwegian Aid Committee (NORWAC) also receives significant funds from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  One of its leading representatives, Dr Mads Gilbert has repeatedly and falsely accused Israel of deliberately targeting civilians.  Gilbert is a radical left wing political activist and has expressed sympathy with the terrorist attacks on USA on September 11, 2001.    

Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) received almost NOK 300 million in 2007 from Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its development wing NORAD.  Far from being apolitical, impartial or fostering coexistence, NCA affords legitimacy to Hamas (a genocidal terror organization) by criticizing Norway’s policy of ‘withdrawing economic support’ to the ‘Hamas government’.  This stance directly contradicts the position of the Norwegian government from which NCA receives funds.  

Equally problematic is the money distributed by the Norwegian Representative Office to local NGOs in the Palestinian Authority and Gaza.  Among their grant recipients are Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) and Al-Haq.  Both organizations have spearheaded a frivolous ‘Lawfare’ campaign to prosecute Israeli military and political leaders in courts across the world on spurious ‘war crimes’ charges.  PCHR and Al-Haq have filed complaints against Shaul Mofaz, Avi Dichter, Doron Almog and others.  Yet the fact that not one of these cases has been upheld in the courts indicates that Norwegian public funds are being wasted by NGOs to advance their political agenda.  Meanwhile, Al-Haq is headed by Shawan Jabarin who has been denied exit visas by Israel and Jordan on account of his alleged ties to the terrorist group Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).   

 NGO Monitor’s Executive Director, Prof Gerald Steinberg said, “The Norwegian government must understand that the promotion of tolerance and coexistence in the Middle East is totally incompatible with the granting of funds to radical NGOs.  These organizations are engaged in a campaign to demonize and isolate Israel while they ignore the desperate need to promote human rights and democracy in Palestinian society.  Through providing this money, the Norwegian government is complicit in the continued bitterness in the region.”         


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Editors Notes:

Please click here or the link below to view the full NGO Monitor report on Norwegian government funding

http://www.ngo-monitor.org/article/norwegian_ngo_funding_boycotts_and_apartheid_rhetoric_instead_of_peace_and_coexistence

NGO Monitor was founded to promote transparency, critical analysis and debate on the political role of human rights organizations.  For more information, see our website at

http://www.ngo-monitor.org 

Other recent publications and reports by NGO Monitor include:-

Amnesty’s Gaza Report:  Abolishing Israel’s Right to Self-Defense – February 25, 2009 

‘Hijacked by Hatred’: British NGOs Use Christmas for Anti-Israel Attacks – December 23, 2008

NGO ‘Lawfare’: Exploitation of Courts in the Arab-Israeli Conflict – October 8, 2008

NGO Monitor's Executive Director is, Prof. Gerald Steinberg.

Members of NGO Monitor’s International Advisory Board include Elie Wiesel, Prof Alan Dershowitz, Sir Martin Gilbert and R. James Woolsey
 

For further information, comment or interviews contact Dan Kosky

+972 (0) 546-305-504

NGO Monitor – 1, Ben Maimon Blvd. - Jerusalem 92262 -   Israel – T: +972-2-566-1020

F: +972-77-511-7030

E: dan.kosky@ngo-monitor.org