[Opinion] Willful Blindness on the Palestinian NGO Terror Connection
Apparently, the Israeli Ministry of Defense (MoD)’s designation of six Palestinian NGOs (non-governmental organizations) as terror fronts is among the most pressing dangers to international security and stability, at least according the European members of the UN Security Council. Iran’s illicit nuclear program, China’s threats to invade Taiwan, and Putin’s threat to Ukraine are nothing in comparison to the Israeli findings that NGOs, exploiting the facades of human rights and civil society, have links to terror. In the UN, diplomats from France, Ireland and Norway, among others, made criticism of this Israeli policy a top priority—in part reflecting their own (unstated) roles as key donors to some of these groups.
This and similar moves are part of the general panic within the NGO industry, which has a great deal to lose if the Israeli government convinces officials and the wider public in these countries to take the links to terror seriously. The Palestinian NGOs are at core of a powerful and unregulated lobby that receives tens of millions of euros from European governments annually to vilify Israel, and the allegations regarding the role of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) have repercussions for the entire network. (The PFLP is listed as a terror organization by Israel, the U.S., European Union, Canada and Australia.) If the U.S. and key European governments agree that Al Haq, Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCIP), and the others are fronts for murderers, the credibility and financial support for NGO allies with whom they work on their campaigns of demonization (particularly the New Israel Fund network of NGOs) would also feel the heat.
As a result, representatives from the NGOs are doing round-the-clock interviews with sympathetic journalists, writing opinion essays in major media platforms, and pumping out a social media barrage to prevent the links between NGOs and terror from gaining a foothold. Their claims are familiar and predictable—the Israeli move is dismissed as yet another attempt to prevent criticism of human rights violations and to close the “space in which Palestinian civil society is able to function.” These slogans are repeated at every opportunity, while none of the NGO spokespeople, journalists-fans and ardent supporters among European and UN officials, and Members of Congress mention the core issue of PFLP terror.