- 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).
- In 2013-2017, Israeli and Palestinian NGOs also received direct Danish funding through the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (Secretariat), a joint mechanism for funding NGOs, created by the governments of Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden, and the Netherlands.1
- According to DANIDA’s Openaid website, in 2019-2020, the Danish government committed DKK 99.8 million ($16.2 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).
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.
- In 2019-2020, Al-Haq received DKK 1,454,253.
- Al-Haq is a leader in anti-Israel “lawfare” campaigns and BDS activities.
- Al-Haq proposed sabotaging the Israeli court system by “flooding the [Israeli Supreme] Court with petitions in the hope of obstructing its functioning and resources.” In October 2013, Al-Haq and Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) held a meeting with the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to present a legal opinion that accused Israel of “widespread and systematic commission of international crimes and violations of international law.”
- The NGO’s General Director Shawan Jabarin is linked to the PFLP. According to the Israeli Supreme court, Jabarin “is apparently acting as a manner of Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde, acting some of the time as the CEO of a human rights organization, and at other times as an activist in a terror organization.”
- In 2019-2020, B’Tselem received DKK 8,470,000.
- 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 5,947,500.
- 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 2019-2020, Gisha received DKK 2,832,376.
- In 2019-2020, the Public Committee against Torture in Israel (PCATI) received DKK 2,805,400.
- Regularly circulates unverifiable allegations of Israeli torture, using them as the basis for campaigns in international forums and Israeli courts.
- In 2019-2020, the Women’s Affairs Center received DKK 2,964,646.
- In 2019-2020, the Women’s Studies Center received DKK 4,492,777.
- Women’s Studies Center supportsBDS 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 2019-2020, the Democracy and Workers Rights Center (DWRC) received DKK 2,986,568.
- In 2017-2020, the Independent Commission of Human Rights (ICHR) received DKK 22,922,084.
- 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.”
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||1,433,708||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)||5,121,516||6,300,000||6,443,523|
Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat
- Denmark, together with the governments of Sweden, Switzerland, and the Netherlands, jointly funded the “Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat” (Secretariat). This funding mechanism had a budget of $20 million for over four years (2013-2017). The funds were managed by the Institute of Law at Birzeit University (IoL-BZU) in Ramallah and the NIRAS consulting firm. (Read NGO Monitor’s report “Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat: Abusing Public Funds to Perpetuate Conflict.”)
- The Secretariat, via NIRAS, received approximately DKK 34 million for 2013-2017 (see screenshot below).
- The Secretariat funded 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 reported ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a terrorist organization designated as such by the U.S., EU, Canada and Israel; promote blatant antisemitism; distort facts; advance a “1948 agenda”; exploit the false “apartheid” analogy; and undermine peace and contribute to radicalization.
- On December 22, 2017, following a review of its support for Palestinian NGOs, the Danish Foreign Ministry announced that it would cease funding to the Secretariat, stating that the “majority of Danish aid to the organizations, which was suspended in 2017, will not be paid. The Ministry also confirmed that donor cooperation will end at the end of the year .”
- On January 9, 2018, Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen wrote to Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan, confirming that “The work of the Secretariat had ended as planned in 2017.”
- DanChurchAid (DCA) (Folkekirkens Nødhjælp)
- In 2019, total income was DKK 785.5 million; total expenses were DKK 776.7 million, of which DKK 27 million was spent in the “West Bank/Gaza.”
- According to DanChurchAid, “For the Middle East, we recorded the second highest activity totaling DKK 146.4 million, or 22.6%. Most activities took place in the West Bank/Gaza DKK 34.3.m was spent on activities in Palestine, where activities were aimed “at building resilient communities.”
- 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 2017-2019, DanChurchAid granted EAPPI DKK 328,995.
United Nations Funding
- Denmark provided DKK 87,084,557 in 2017-2020 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.”)
- 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 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.”
- Denmark provided DKK 3,000,000 in 2016-2020 to NRC for “Promoting Economic Development” in Gaza and the West Bank.
- 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.\
- 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.”
- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark granted $837,494 (2014-2017) to DanWatch 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.”
- 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.“
DanChurch Funding to NGOs (amounts in Danish kroner (DKK) unless specified)
|Implementing partners||Funding - Total||Year / s|
|Breaking the Silence||518,670||2018-2022|
|Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ)||639,461||2017-2019|
|Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counseling (WCLAC)||386,885||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||7,523,208||2018-2019|
|Norwegian Church Aid||5,518,158||2016-2020|
|ACT Alliance EU||75,000||2017-2019|
|Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR)||300,000||2019-2022|
|YMCA- East Jerusalem||6,140,460||2018-2022|
|Human Rights Defenders Fund||250,000||2019-2022|
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