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DanWatch

Profile

Country/TerritoryDenmark
In their own wordsTo “expose companies with trouble in the ethics department.”

Funding

  • DanWatch describes itself as “a watchdog,” but its own financial reports reflect limited financial transparency and do not include detailed information on funding sources.
  • DanWatch’s gross profits for 2015 were DKK 2,638,700 (Approx. $384,000) (2014 DKK 2,314,631 – approx. $376,000)
  • DanWatch claims to be an “independent medium” to “investigate the accuracy of information from all sources.” However, the organization is commissioned for research, giving rise to questions about its independence.
  • DanWatch has received funding from the Danish government (Ministry of Foreign Affairs [Danida] and Ministry of Culture) and DanChurchAid.

Activities

Examples of DanWatch’s involvement in BDS

  • DanWatch initiated the project “Business on Forbidden Land,” focusing on Danish companies allegedly conducting business in Israeli settlements and opposing the marketing of Israeli goods produced in the West Bank.
  • On January 29, 2015, DanWatch posted a publication as part of its “Tourism on Stolen Land” project, funded by DanChurchAid, which targets seven Danish travel agencies for allegedly “systematically advertis[ing] occupied territories as Israeli” and violating the Danish Marketing Practices Act.
    • This publication was accompanied by a campaign accusing the firms of failing to inform “the tourists that they will find themselves in an illegal settlement…beyond Israel’s internationally recognised borders.” This is a political, and not a legal or ethical activity.
    • DanWatch claims that were are “ethical” problems in the advertisements, and it feared that the tours may help Israel reframe the conflict. Instead, DanWatch sought to create a litmus test for Danish travel agencies, forcing agents to accept the Palestinian narrative.
  • On September 26, 2014, DanWatch released a statement, “Danish trade with cosmetics from settlements: AHAVA,” implying that the Israeli cosmetic company AHAVA illegally extracts natural resources from the Dead Sea. This publication was reportedly a major catalyst that led several Danish retails stores to remove Ahava products from their displays.

Methodological Failures and Reliance on Biased Political Advocacy NGOs

  • DanWatch bases its research on some of the most unreliable, biased, and radical NGOs including Who Profits, ICAHD, and Al-Haq. These groups are all leaders in promoting anti-Israel BDS campaigns and political warfare based on double standards and false allegations.
  • DanWatch quotes frequently from Who Profits, a project initiated “in response to the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) on Israel,” and as “a key asset to the global movement of economic activism and BDS.”
  • In its November 2012 report, “The Israeli Settlements and International Law,” DanWatch cites Al-Haq, a leader in the anti-Israel “lawfare” and BDS campaigns. (General Director Shawan Jabarin has been denied exit visas by Israel and Jordan on account of his alleged ties to the PFLP terrorist organization.)
  • In a July 2014 article on the actions of the ISS private security group in Israel, DanWatch quoted ICAHD, which has no research capability and is strictly a radical political organization
  • In July 2014, DanWatch targeted Ahava and other cosmetics firms, quoting United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) repeatedly, which often in turn cites to the same political advocacy NGOs.
  • The January 2015 publication on tourism in Israel is mainly based on UN sources, such as OCHA, OHCHR (Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights), and UNISPAL (UN Information System on Palestine), which themselves rely on politicized NGOs.
FunderYearAmountProject
Danida2014-2017DKK 5 million
($837,494)
“CSR-Facility. Fonden DanWatch. A strengthened watchdog which shares all its knowledge and fosters a nuanced debate.”
2015DKK 5 million*
Approx. $740,000
CSR Pool “The Right to Food
2013 DKK 5 million
Approx. $740,000
CSR Fund: “Strengthen a watchdog who shares his knowledge and creates balanced debate.”
Danish Ministry of Culture2013DKK 70,000
Approx. $10,000
N/A
DanChurchAid2015DKK 196,000
Approx. $30,000
“for work on analyzes (sic) of the situation in the West Bank” in 2015

*Unclear if this is a duplication of other funding or if it is a separate grant

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