On July 28, the major German news magazine Der Spiegel reported that the German Ministry of Interior supports Israel’s 2021 decision designating 6 Palestinian NGOs as terrorist entities. Germany and other European governments are the major funders for these groups, providing millions annually.
This is a significant repudiation of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other European officials who claim that Israel did not provide sufficient proof linking these NGOs to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization. According to Der Spiegel, the Ministry of Interior found the evidence of these ties provided by Israel to be “substantial,” adding that it “could stand in court.”
Moreover, the Ministry labeled the German MFA’s criticisms of Israel’s designations as “reckless” and politically motivated. NGO Monitor has consistently urged European governments to review the publicly-available information linking these NGOs to the PFLP, and this development reflects our outreach and research.
In March, NGO Monitor Vice-President Olga Deutsch presented our research and policy analysis to German MPs in Berlin. This included our 80-page report, “Clear and Convincing: The Links between the PFLP and the European Government-funded NGO Network,” presenting the overwhelming, publicly available evidence that ties these NGOs and their leadership to the PFLP.
In this document, we highlighted the individual governments and financial institutions that have ended or cut back their relationships with PFLP-affiliated groups after reviewing the evidence.
In this context, the German-Israel Society (DIG) released an official statement stating, inter alia, that “NGO Monitor once again presented its findings on the PFLP connections of Palestinian NGOs financed from Germany, this time in a comprehensive report. The DIG has discussed these reports with officials in the federal government and parliament on several occasions.” He added that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs failed to address any of NGO Monitor’s findings and in order to continue funding NGOs they “must first refute the PFLP connections of these organizations, as documented in the NGO Monitor report.”
As the analysis in Der Spiegel demonstrates, the debate over German and European funding for these NGOs is growing. NGO Monitor will provide additional updates as developments take place.