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Denmark

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Country/TerritoryDenmark

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Overview

  • 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 (Secretariat), and indirectly through the United Nations, 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.
  • According to DANIDA’s Openaid website, in 2016–2018, the Danish government committed DKK 123.4 million ($18.6 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 campaigns.
  • 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.

 

Direct Funding

Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat

  • Secretariat funding bds cartoon, ngo monitorDenmark, 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.
    • The Secretariat, via NIRAS, received approximately DKK 34 million (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 alleged ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a terrorist organization designated as such by the U.S.EUCanada and Israel; promote blatant antisemitism; distort facts; advance a “1948 agenda”; exploit the false “apartheid” analogy: and undermine peace and contribute to radicalization.
  • On May 30, 2017, in response to criticism from the Danish media regarding funding to Women’s Affairs Technical Committee (WATC), the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement:
    • “The naming of the woman center, which did not include Danish co-financing, was made by the local village councils in Burqa on their own. Neither Denmark nor the NGO (WATC), which Denmark has cooperated with the project have been aware of it…Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen has already last week prompted a thorough review of the organizations we support. We must be absolutely sure that the Danish support will contribute positively to human rights activities in the Palestinian territories. It may prove necessary to withdraw support for some of them. And we are not part of new contracts with organizations in the Palestinian territories, before the outcome of the review” (emphasis added).
    • 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.”
  • 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 [2017].”
  • On January 9, 2018, Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen wrote to Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan, confirming; “The work of the Secretariat had ended as planned in 2017.”

 

NGOs funded by the Secretariat include:

Funding via Embassy/Representative Office

  • 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 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.

Funding via Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA)

  • The Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR)
    • ICHR received DKK 10 million (2017-2018) from Denmark.
    • 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.”

Indirect Funding

DanChurchAid (DCA) (Folkekirkens Nødhjælp)

DanChurchAid support for BADIL and Al-Haq

  • 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.”
  • In 2010 following correspondence with NGO Monitor, DCA agreed with NGO Monitor conclusions about another BADIL poster noting “that this caricature is anti-Semitic.”

DanChurchAid support for Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI).

NGO Grantees (amounts in Danish kroner (DKK) unless specified)

Information taken from DanChurchAid’s 2017 Project Overview. Amounts in NIS are based off information submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits.    

Implementing partnersFunding - TotalYear / s
EAPPI328,9952017-2019
Breaking the Silence300,0002016-2017
Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ)662,3702017-2019
Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counseling (WCLAC)308,0002016-2018
Union of Health Work Committees (UHWC)Undisclosed 2015
B’Tselem300,0002016-2017
PalVision4,542,3502016-2019
Badil300,0002016-2018
Women’s Affairs Center230,3192017
Who ProfitsNIS 13,1992017
NIS 13,8392016
Ma’an Development Center3,075,1932017-2018
Norwegian Church Aid5,518,1582016-2020
ACT Alliance EU142,5002017-2019
Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR)331,0002017
YMCA- East Jerusalem1,330,4922015-2018
Human Rights Defenders Fund100,0002017-2018

Oxfam GB

NGO Grantees (amounts in NIS)

Information for 2015-2017 based on quarterly reports submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits; 2013-2014 on annual reports.

NGOYearTotal Funding
Gisha201746,070
2016197,141
2015223,265
2014216,185
B'Tselem201426,163
Zochrot201425,878
201325,615
Emek Shaveh201563,000
Yesh Din20131,036,875

DanWatch

  • 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 ProfitsIsraeli Committee against House Demolitions (ICAHD), and Al-Haq, as well as “legal opinions” of Richard Falk, the highly controversial former United Nations Special Rapporteur.“

Danish funding to Palestinian and European Organizations

NGOYearProjectTotal
The Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights2018ICHR - Independent Commission for Human Rights - Palestine$780,500
2017$837,901
2016$784,357
2014$903,860
DanWatch2016CSR-Facility. Fonden DanWatch$263,465
2015$283,255
2014$290,774
2015CSR “The Right to FoodDKK 5 million* (approx. $740,000)
Oxfam GB2016Transitional Programme 2014 2015$1,037,041
2015$509,926
2014$889,885
DanChurchAid2017Partnership Agreement 2017DKK 63 million
(approx $10 million)
2016Partnership Agreement 2016DKK 63 million
(approx $10 million)

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

 

Appendix 1

Screenshots from DANIDA OpenAid – May 30, 2018

 

Danish funding to the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law IHL Secretariat

 

 

NIRAS (Secretariat) funding 2017

 

Danish funding to DanWatch

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