(Jerusalem) – In light of the article published by the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet quoting Palestinians and accusing Israeli soldiers of stealing and selling Palestinian organs, NGO Monitor highlighted the demonizing role of NGOs funded by the Swedish government.

NGO Monitor’s June 2009 report detailing funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) examined over 20 recipient NGOs including:

  • The Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS, run by Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi), received SEK 97,461 via the Swedish Mission Council in 2008. Barghouthi referred to the Gaza conflict as a “horrendous massacre ,” and used terms like “ghetto,” and “apartheid” on a radio program. PMRS refers to the security barrier as the “apartheid wall ,” and claimed that Israel employs a “racist ideology” and inflicts “collective punishment” on the Palestinians.
  • The Swedish government dispersed (through Diakonia, Sweden’s largest humanitarian NGO) almost SEK 300,000 ($42,000) to Alternative Information Center (AIC) in 2008. AIC has compared Israeli military and political figures to Nazis and claims working with Peres Center for Peace is “morally disgusting” and that Shimon Peres is an “enemy” of “human rights and of peace”.
  • Sabeel received SEK 540,000 (distributed via Diakonia) in 2008. Sabeel is a leader in the anti-Israel church divestment campaign. Its Director, Naim Ateek promotes the one-state solution and regularly employs anti-Semitic theological themes, referring to the “Israeli government crucifixion system” which places “Jesus…on the cross again, with thousands of crucified Palestinians around him.”
  • In 2008, Sweden, with three other European governments, designated $6m for the NGO Development Center (NDC) in Ramallah. This money was distributed to 25 NGOs , including $400,000 to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) which often refers to terrorist attacks as “resistance ”.
  • Through 2008 NDC funds, $500,000 was directed to Al-Haq. In July 2008, Israel’s Supreme Court upheld a visa denial for Al-Haq’s General Director Shawan Jabarin, due to evidence that he is “among the senior activists of the Popular Front terrorist organization.”

NGO Monitor’s President, Prof Gerald Steinberg said, “The article in Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet accusing Israeli soldiers of stealing and selling the organs of Palestinians is not a surprise or isolated aberration, but rather the result of a long campaign of anti-Israeli demonization, based on manufactured ‘evidence’ repeated by Palestinian ‘eyewitnesses’.

The well-financed network of radical NGOs plays a major role in this demonization, and the Swedish government is a major source of funding. Expressions of modern anti-Semitism and blood libels are the logical results of this activity.

When NGO Monitor sent its draft report to the Swedish embassy in Tel Aviv and government officials in Stockholm, they refused to comment or to engage in a discussion of the implications of these reprehensible activities. Perhaps now, after the Aftonbladet report has highlighted the results of this demonization, they will reconsider and stop this destructive misuse of public funds”.

Editors Notes:

Please click here or the link below to view the full NGO Monitor report on Swedish government funding.

Other recent publications and reports by NGO Monitor include:

Al-Haq supported Lawfare in Canada – June 11, 2009

EU Funded NGOs Promote the Palestinian Narrative in Jerusalem – May 21, 2009

NGO ‘Lawfare’: Exploitation of Courts in the Arab-Israeli Conflict – October 8, 2008