- The Danish government funds numerous Israeli and Palestinian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) directly through the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DANIDA), and indirectly through the United Nations, DanChurchAid, and aid organizations such as Oxfam Novib and Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).
- According to DANIDA’s Openaid website, in 2021-2025, the Danish government committed DKK 102.5 million ($13.7 million) to NGOs in the West Bank and Gaza.
- Many NGOs that receive 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 anti-Israel BDS and lawfare
- On December 22, 2017, following a review of its support for Palestinian NGOs, Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen announced that Denmark would tighten conditions for Danish assistance to Palestinian NGOs.
- In October 2018, the Danish Foreign Minister announced a new policy regarding “Explanations about the conditions for Danish support for Israeli and Palestinian civil society organizations” and stating that “The use of Danish funds for political purposes, including BDS activities, is unacceptable” and Denmark would no longer fund organizations “associating with a terrorist movement,” “violating human rights principles,” or “questioning Israel’s right to exist.”
Investigations into Problematic Danish Funding
- In May 2017, a Secretariat-funded NGO, Women’s Affairs Technical Committee (WATC), inaugurated a youth center in the town of Burqa, near Nablus. The center is named after Dalal Mughrabi, a terrorist who in 1978 murdered 37 civilians, including 12 children.
- In response, the Danish Foreign Minister stated that he would investigate funding to NGOs stating, “if any of these organizations crossed a line… if a leader of one of these organizations for example publicly announced that they want to get rid of all Jews, or kill all Jews, anything like that, of course we will immediately close down the support… If you end up in a way where you have an aggressive rhetoric, wanting to kill people or do illegal things, then of course we will immediately close down the support…”
- On June 2, 2017, after further investigation, the Danish Foreign Minister stated that he was “outraged that WATC, claiming to work for human rights, not just glorified a terrorist, but also abused the trust of a generous people like the Danish. It is totally unacceptable, and I cannot too strongly denounce it. Denmark and Danish tax money should under no circumstances be used for anything that in any way glorify or promote terrorism. Therefore, we now require of WACT that they pay Danish support back” (emphasis added).
Direct Funding via the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DANIDA)
- On October 19, 2018, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark announced “new agreements with seven Israeli and Palestinian NGOs on support for human rights work in Palestine.” According to the Ministry, “This reduces the number of supported NGOs from past 23 to now 7, as well as underpinning tighter criteria.” The NGOS included on the project, titled “Strengthening Human Rights and Democratic Accountability,” are Breaking the Silence, B’Tselem, Gisha, Public Committee against Torture in Israel (PCATI), Democracy and Workers’ Rights Centre, Women’s Affairs Center, and Women’s Studies Center.
DANIDA Funding to Palestinian NGOs
- In 2020-2021, Al-Haq received DKK 1.7 million
- Al-Haq is a leader in anti-Israel “lawfare” campaigns and BDS activities.
- On October 22, 2021, the Israeli Ministry of Defense declared Al-Haq a “terror organization” because it is part of “a network of organizations” that operates “on behalf of the ‘Popular Front’.”
- In May 2018, Visa, Mastercard, and American Express shut down online credit card donations to Al-Haq due to the group’s ties to the PFLP.
- Al-Haq General Director Shawan Jabarin is tied to the PFLP. As a result, his requests for Israeli exit visas have been denied on several occasions, and he has been denied entry by Jordan. In a series of court cases in 2007-2009, the Israeli High Court of Justice found Jabarin to be a senior PFLP activist (2007, 2008, 2009).
- In 2020-2022, the Independent Commission of Human Rights (ICHR) received DKK 16.8 million.
- In 2019-2020, the Democracy and Workers Rights Center (DWRC) received DKK 2.9 million.
- In 2019-2020, the Women’s Studies Center received DKK 4.5 million.
- Women’s Studies Center supports BDS campaigns.
- Falsely accuses Israel of “commit[ing] a massacre in the Jenin refugee camp.”
- Claims “[t]here has been an increase of acts of violence within society and against the Palestinian women, in particular, due to the violent conditions related to the Israeli occupation and the Palestinian territorial division in addition to prevailing culture and unfair legislations.”
- In 2020-2021, the Women’s Affairs Center received DKK 3.2 million.
- WAC accuses Israel of “clear war crimes” and perpetuating a “Nakba,” and is active in supporting BDS campaigns.
- Participates in discriminatory campaigns such as “Love in the Time of Apartheid Campaign: The Palestinian Campaign for Repealing Israel’s Racist Law Denying Family Reunification.”
DANIDA Funding to Israeli NGOs
- In 2019-2020, B’Tselem received DKK 8.5 million.
- B’Tselem actively pursues its political agenda of “international consequences” and international pressure on Israel via lobbying of the UN and European governments.
- In January 2021, B’Tselem launched a discriminatory and hateful campaign, under the banner of “A regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: This is apartheid.” As part of the campaign, B’Tselem attacked Israel’s role as a haven for the Jewish people (the Law of Return) and used the phrase “from the river to the sea” – echoing long-standing Palestinian terminology for the destruction of Israel. (Read NGO Monitor’s analysis: “From the “River to the Sea”: B’Tselem’s Demonization Crosses the Line.”)
- In 2019-2020, Breaking the Silence received DKK 5.9 million.
- Breaking the Silence makes sweeping accusations based on anecdotal, anonymous, and unverifiable accounts of often low-ranked soldiers. These “testimonies” lack context, are politically biased, and erase the complicated reality in the West Bank. In addition, they reflect a distorted interpretation of the conflict in order to advance the political agenda of Breaking the Silence activists, thereby fueling the international campaigns against Israel.
- In March 2020, Breaking the Silence alleged, “Israeli officials are now actively promoting an apartheid reality which itself blurs the lines, and our position [of not participating in ‘Israel Apartheid Week’ events on campus] may therefore have to change in the future accordingly.”
- In 2019-2020, Gisha received DKK 2.8 million.
- Gisha employs “apartheid” rhetoric and vocabulary based on international law and human rights to promote a partisan political and ideological agenda.
- In January 2021, Gisha published an article titled “Naming the reality,” writing that the “word apartheid evokes revulsion, as it should. There are undoubtedly differences between the apartheid regime in South Africa and Israel, but the thread that connects them is undeniable.”
- In 2019-2020, the Public Committee against Torture in Israel (PCATI) received DKK 2.8 million.
- Regularly circulates unverifiable allegations of Israeli torture, using them as the basis for campaigns in international forums and Israeli courts.
DANIDA Funding to NGOs Active in the Arab-Israeli Conflict (Amounts in DKK)
|Breaking the Silence||3,176,875||2,770,625||1,300,000|
|Public Committee against Torture in Israel (PCATI)||1,464,667||1,340,733|
|Women’s Affairs Center||1,816,032||1,433,708||1,530,938||1,100,000|
|Women’s Studies Center||2,555,843||1,936,934||925,000|
|The Democracy and Workers Rights Center (DWRC)||1,938,993||1,047,575||925,000|
|Independent Commission of Human Rights (ICHR)||6,300,000||5,362,107||5,121,516||6,300,000||6,443,523|
- DanChurchAid (DCA) (Folkekirkens Nødhjælp)
- In 2021, total income was DKK 917.9 million; total expenses were DKK 778 million, of which DKK 43.3 million was spent in the “West Bank/Gaza.”
- DanChurchAid (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). (See table below for further funding information.)
- On May 30, 2017, DanChurchAid posted a response to criticism against its partnerships with organizations and individuals with alleged ties to terrorism and that promote antisemitism.
- DCA acknowledged that “Jabrin [Shawan Jabarin, General Director of Palestinian NGO Al-Haq] was in prison for 9 months back in the 1980’s accused of helping two members of the organisation PFLP to travel for training.”
- DCA also defends its annual funding to the Palestinian NGO Badil (DKK 300,000) and attempts to deflect allegations of antisemitism associated with this funding by claiming that “the one [poster] from 2015 – was just submitted for a competition and as such is not a Badil product and was not published by Badil.”
- However, the 2015 drawing in question, which depicts a fist punching through the entire State of Israel, was indeed published by Badil.
- Badil’s website currently displays numerous similar images depicting the elimination of Israel. This includes a 2016 poster that contains the Badil emblem. In addition to its graphic publications, Badil maintains a narrative of Israel as a “settler colonial and racist state.”
- On December 30, 2019, BADIL and other Palestinian NGOs launched a “Palestinian National Campaign to Reject Conditional Funding,” which rejects new requirements in European Union grant contracts that prohibit grantees from working with and funding organizations and individuals designated on the EU’s terror lists. In the campaign, BADIL labeled this policy as “conditioned funding” and “so-called anti-terrorism clauses and policies…on preventing terrorism that affect the history and struggle of our people” (emphasis added), justified the use of violence, and claimed that the “Palestinian resistance factions are not terrorist organizations.” (see video clip).
- On May 7, 2020, BADIL published a position paper calling EU measures that bar funding to organizations on the EU’s terror lists “not only morally and politically unacceptable, but also illegal in consideration of international law.”
- In June 2020, DanChurchAid media officer Poul Kjar stated that following correspondences with BADIL, “cooperation with Badil should cease.”
DanChurchAid support for Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI).
- 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 activists consistently demonize 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.”
- Upon returning to their home countries, many EAPPI activists use their experience in the West Bank to promote anti-Israel campaigns, including promoting BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions).
- In 2021-2023, DanChurchAid granted EAPPI DKK 250,000.
- Denmark is providing DKK 5 million in 2021-2025 to NRC for “Resilience, Peace and Stability” in Gaza and the West Bank.
- Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) has been active in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza since 2009 and has offices in Jerusalem, Ramallah, Hebron, and Gaza.
- NRC leads massive and unprecedented political campaigns exploiting the Israeli legal system. In sharp contrast to NRC’s ostensibly humanitarian agenda, this massive program focuses on some of the most complex and sensitive political issues in the Arab-Israeli context. (Read NGO Monitor’s report “Flooding the Courts: The Norwegian Refugee Council’s European-Funded Proxy War.”)
- One of NRC’s principle projects in Israel, “Information, Counselling and Legal Assistance (ICLA),” exploits judicial frameworks to manipulate Israeli policy, bypassing democratic frameworks. Included in ICLA’s program goals is “supporting the PA both locally and nationally on casework.”
- In 2017-2020, Denmark provided $3.6 million to Oxfam Novib.
- Oxfam Novib is active in promoting an anti-Israel agenda.
- In June 2020, Oxfam Novib, alongside the Rights Forum and PAX, hosted a webinar on “understanding business activities related to illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories as a major human rights problem, and presenting ways to end the complicity of Dutch/European economic and political actors with the settlement economy.” The webinar endorsed the discriminatory UN database of businesses operating across the 1949 Armistice line, aimed at bolstering BDS campaigns against Israel.
- Oxfam Novib is funds and partners with a number of highly biased and politicized NGOs active in the Arab-Israeli conflict including Adalah, Al-Mezan, Bimkom, Coalition of Women for Peace, Culture and Free Thought Association, Emek Shaveh, Gisha, HaMoked , Miftah, Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC), Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS), Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ), Union of Health Work Committees, Women’s Affairs Center(WAC), Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counseling (WCLAC), and Yesh Din.\
- In 2020-2022, Danida granted DKK 4 million to Danwatch for “independent journalistic coverage of rights violations and abuses in developing countries.”
- DanWatch describes itself as an “independent media and research centre specialized in investigative journalism on global issues.” However, the organization leverages this allegedly “independent” position to politically attack Israel.
- As part of the BDS campaign against Israel, DanWatch targets Israeli and European corporations, such as Ahava, G4S, Integrated Service Solutions (ISS), Israeli agricultural products, and tour operators under the guise of “business ethics.”
- According to DanWatch, a “DanWatch-investigation” led to Danish pension fund, Sampension, to divest from four publicly traded Israeli companies.
- In contrast to DanWatch’s claim of being an “independent media and research centre,” publications regarding Israel are commissioned by organizations with a history of anti-Israel activities (i.e. DanChurchAid – see above).
- DanWatch’s “independent media and research” is based on unreliable, biased, and politicized NGOs including Who Profits, Israeli Committee against House Demolitions (ICAHD), and Al-Haq, as well as “legal opinions” of Richard Falk, the highly controversial former United Nations Special Rapporteur.“
United Nations Funding
- Denmark is providing DKK 20 million in 2021-2025 to the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FOA).
- According to FOA, implementing partners include the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC).
- The Union of Agricultural Work Committee (UAWC) is identified by Fatah as an official “affiliate” and by USAID-engaged audit as the “agricultural arm” of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a terrorist organization designated as such by the US, EU, Canada, and Israel. (For more information on UAWC’s PFLP ties, read NGO Monitor’s report “Union of Agricultural Work Committees Ties to the PFLP Terror Group.”)
- On October 22, 2021, the Israeli Ministry of Defense declared UAWC a “terror organization” because it is part of “a network of organizations” that operates “on behalf of the ‘Popular Front’.”
- Samer Arbid, UAWC’s accountant from 2016until his arrest in 2019, was indicted on 21 counts in Israeli military court. According to Israeli security officials, he commanded a Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror cell that carried out a bombing against Israeli civilians, murdering 17-year old Rina Shnerb, and injuring her father and brother. According to the Israel Security Agency (Shabak), Arbid prepared and detonated the explosive device.
UN-OCHA oPt Humanitarian Fund
- In 2019-2020, Denmark provided DKK 15,000,000 to the UN-OCHA occupied Palestinian territory Humanitarian Fund.
- Several PFLP-linked NGOs, including UAWC, UHWC, and PCHR are regular recipients of disbursements from the “occupied Palestinian territory Humanitarian Fund.”
DanChurch Funding to NGOs (amounts in Danish kroner (DKK) unless specified)
|Implementing partners||Funding - Total||Year / s|
|Breaking the Silence||450,000||2019-2022|
|Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ)||639,461||2017-2019|
|Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counseling (WCLAC)||450,000||2019-2022|
|Union of Health Work Committees (UHWC)||Undisclosed||2015|
|Women’s Affairs Center||1,250,000||2019|
|Who Profits||NIS 13,199||2017|
|Ma’an Development Center||14,378,319||2021-2023|
|Norwegian Church Aid||5,518,158||2016-2020|
|ACT Alliance EU||75,000||2020-2021|
|Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR)||300,000||2019-2022|
|YMCA- East Jerusalem||14,456,442||2021-2023|
|Human Rights Defenders Fund||450,000||2019-2022|
|Ma’an Development Center and Culture and Free Thought Association||3,749,004||2021|
|Ma’an Development Center and Women’s Affairs Center||1,307,418||2021|
Screenshots from DANIDA OpenAid – May 30, 2018
Danish funding to the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law IHL Secretariat
Danish funding to DanWatch
- MK Peri to Danish Parliament Speaker: Stop Funding BDS Lahav Harkov, The Jerusalem Post, June 8, 2016
- After Pressure from Israel, Denmark Reexamining Donations to Palestinian NGOs Barak Ravid, Haaretz, May 30, 2017
- Denmark Halts Donations to Palestinians Groups After PA Dedicates Women's Center to Terrorist The Tower, May 31, 3017