Danish Funding Update 2016
- The Danish government funds numerous Israeli and Palestinian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) directly through the Danish International Development Agency (Danida), the Danish Embassy in Tel Aviv, and the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat, and indirectly by outsourcing to church groups and aid organizations such as DanChurchAid and Oxfam GB. The Danish government also provides support to DanWatch, a vocal supporter of BDS (boycotts, divestment, and sanctions) against Israel.
- NGOs receiving Danish funding lead campaigns and political activities that are inconsistent with Danish government policies to promote peace and a two-state framework in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Many Danish-funded NGOs are centrally involved in boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) and lawfare campaigns.
Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat
- Denmark, together with the governments of Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Norway, comprise the joint funding mechanism the “Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat” (IHL Secretariat). This funding mechanism has a budget of $17.6 million dedicated for over four years. The funds are managed by the Institute of Law at Birzeit University (IoL-BZU) in Ramallah and a European multidisciplinary consulting company, NIRAS.
- The IHL Secretariat, via NIRAS, received over $5 million (2013-2016) from DANIDA (see screenshot below).
DANIDA funding to the IHL Secretariat 2013-2016
*DANIDA does not report a grant for 2015
- The IHL Secretariat funds highly politicized NGOs that promote BDS campaigns and engage in legal warfare against Israeli officials and companies that do business with Israel. Some of these NGOs have ties to terror, promote blatant antisemitism, distort facts, advance a “1948 agenda,” and exploit the false “apartheid” analogy, undermining peace and contributing to radicalization.
- NGOs funded by the IHL Secretariat include:
- BADIL (Secretariat core funding: $370,000) a leader in Palestinian “right of return” and international anti-Zionist boycott campaigns.
- Al-Haq (Secretariat core funding: $710,000) a leader in anti-Israel demonization through lawsuits (“lawfare”) and campaigns at the International Criminal Court, as well as BDS activities.
- Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) (Secretariat core funding: $710,000) accuses Israel of “crimes” in confronting Palestinians carrying out stabbing attacks. Calls Hamas rockets that injure Palestinians a “misuse of weapons.”
- NGO Monitor has extensively documented numerous concerns relating to the IHL Secretariat.
- Denmark provides limited direct funding to organizations in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. The Danish Embassy in Tel Aviv’s website discloses funding for a project with Bimkom. (No other information is available.) Bimkom also receives funding from the IHL Secretariat.
- Bimkom’s submissions to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits do not reflect Denmark’s support for the NGO.
- The Danish Representative Office in Ramallah does not appear to directly fund NGOs.
Direct Danish funding to Palestinian and European Organizations
|The Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights||2016||ICHR - Independent Commission for Human Rights - Palestine||$784,357|
|DanWatch||2016||CSR-Facility. Fonden DanWatch||$263,465|
|2015||CSR Pool “The Right to Food”||DKK 5 million*
|2013||CSR Fund: “Strengthen a watchdog who shares his knowledge and creates balanced debate.”||DKK 5 million
|Oxfam GB||2016||Transitional Programme 2014 2015||$1,037,041|
|DanChurchAid||2015||N/A||DKK 218.4 million (approx. $32 million)|
|2014||N/A||DKK 296.8 million
(approx. $38 million)
*Unclear if this is a duplication of other funding or if it is a separate grant.
The Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR)
- ICHR received $784,357 in 2016 (as of November 21, 2016) and $903,860 in 2014 from DANIDA. ICHR is a quasi-governmental Palestinian organization, established in 1993 with a declared mandate “to follow-up and ensure that different Palestinian laws, by-laws and regulations, and the work of various departments, agencies and institutions of the State of Palestine and the Palestine Liberation Organization meet the requirements for safeguarding human rights.”
- ICHR refers to explosions in Hamas military training camps and deaths in tunnels between Gaza and Egypt as human rights violations against Palestinians.
- DanWatch’s describes itself as an “investigative media and research center, that produces journalism in the interest of the public.” However, the organization leverages this allegedly “independent” position to politically attack Israel. As part of the BDS campaign against Israel, DanWatch has targeted Israeli and European corporations Ahava, G4S, and ISS, Israeli agricultural products, and tour operators.
- While DanWatch describes itself as “a watchdog,” its own financial reports show that DanWatch practices limited financial transparency and does not release detailed information regarding its own funding sources.
- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark (Danida) is currently providing a grant to DanWatch for a total of $837,494 (2014-2017) for a project called “CSR-Facility. Fonden DanWatch. A strenghened [sic] watchdog who shares all its knowledge and fosters a nuanced debate.”
- It is unclear if this is the same project funding that DanWatch receives through the Ministry of Foreign Affair’s CSR-Pool for DKK 5 million (approx. $740,000) for a project called “The Right to Food.”
- Previous funding included:
- 2013: DKK 5 million from the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ CSR fund, for a project to, “Strengthen a watchdog who shares his knowledge and creates balanced debate.”
- DanWatch bases its research on unreliable, biased, and radical sources active in the Arab-Israeli conflict, including Who Profits, ICAHD, and Al-Haq.
- Oxfam GB has received over $2.4 million from Danida through the Transitional Programme 2014 2015.
- Oxfam GB consistently paints a misleading picture of the Arab-Israeli conflict, departing from its humanitarian mission that is focused on combatting poverty.
- The organization provides grants to NGOs that further distort this mission, including Gisha, B’Tselem, Zochrot, Yesh Din, Breaking the Silence, and Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI).
- Most Oxfam GB statements erase all complexity and blame Israel exclusively for the conflict.
- In 2015 (latest available), DCA’s income was DKK 650.1 million (up from DKK 564.7 million in 2014). This included DKK 215.8 million from DANIDA (DKK 224 million in 2014), and DKK 2.6 million from the Danish Ministry of Culture’s lottery grants (DKK 2.7 million in 2014)
- In 2015, DCA’s expenditure in “West Bank/Gaza” was DKK 22.3 million, down significantly from 2014’s DKK 35.9 million.
- DCA partners with some of the most politicized NGOs active in the Arab-Israeli conflict, including BADIL, Breaking the Silence, B’Tselem, Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counseling (WCLAC), Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ), Maan Development Center, Palestinian Working Women’s Society for Development (PWWSD), Grassroots Jerusalem, Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement, Women’s Affairs Center (WAC), and Youth Empowerment Center (YEC).
- In addition, DCA “in cooperation with the Danish Council of Churches and the Inter-Religious Council, sends volunteers to the West Bank” with Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI).
- EAPPI consistently demonizes Israel, making accusations of “apartheid,” “war crimes,” and “Bantustans.” The NGO also calls the security barrier, which has saved countless lives from suicide bombings, “evil.”
- Participants often return to their home countries and promote BDS and other forms of anti-peace activities.
- Signatory to the 2012 report “Trading Away Peace,” which repeats the BDS agenda and calls on EU and individual European governments to wage political warfare through various forms of economic sanctions against Israel.
Screenshots from DANIDA OpenAid- November 21, 2016
Danish funding to the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat:
NIRAS also received Danish funding through the “Transitional Programme 2014 2015“
Danish funding to Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights (November 21, 2016)
Danish funding to Oxfam GB through the “Transitional Programme 2014-2015”
Danish funding to DanWatch