Every year, the Swiss Federal government provides about 1 million Swiss francs to a framework based in Ramallah and known as the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat. From there, the money (along with similar amounts from Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands), is distributed to over 30 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) – some Palestinian, and others Israeli. More than half of these groups are active in BDS and lawfare campaigns (seeking to label Israeli officials as war criminals), and a number of Palestinian recipients have links with alleged members of the PFLP terror group.
Until very recently, this problematic government policy was largely hidden from view in Switzerland, including from the Parliament…This situation has now changed, and on Wednesday, the Parliament voted (111 to 78 with 4 abstentions) to “amend the laws, ordinances and regulations so that Switzerland can no longer subsidize, even indirectly, development cooperation projects carried out by NGOs involved in racist, antisemitic or hate incitement actions, or in BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaigns.”
By increasing the interaction between the Knesset members and their European counterparts, and providing the details regarding the damage done by irresponsible NGO funding, Israeli lawmakers can make a greater impact in the long term.