Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs Anders Samuelsen is set to hold a series of meetings in Ramallah tomorrow (May 18, 2017), where according to documents published by the Danish government, he will announce an additional $8.3 million (DKK 56 million) in Danish funding to the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (the Secretariat), which distributes funds to numerous anti-Israel organizations. The Secretariat is a joint funding mechanism of the Danish, Dutch, Swedish, and Swiss governments, operating out of Bir Zeit University in Ramallah.
The Secretariat describes its goal as contributing “to the effective realization of adherence to human rights and international humanitarian law in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) and to influence the behavior of the relevant duty bearers, including Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the governing bodies/ authorities in Gaza.”
Despite this, a large portion of the Secretariat’s budget is distributed as core funding to radical Palestinian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that incite violence and terrorism; are active in global BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns against Israel; engage in legal warfare attempting to indict Israeli officials at the International Criminal Court (ICC); and employ demonizing rhetoric, such as making spurious charges of Israeli “apartheid” and “war crimes.”
The activities promoted by this funding framework are inconsistent with Denmark’s official support for the peace process and for a two-state framework.
Olga Deutsch, Director of NGO Monitor’s Europe Desk, explains, “The decision of the Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs to make this one of his visit’s priorities is alarming. That this decision was made without in-depth public hearings in the Danish Parliament is inconsistent with democratic practice and good governance. Danish Members of Parliament should debate whether Danish taxpayers should transfer their hard-earned money to organizations that incite violence, glorify terror, and promote blatant antisemitism and BDS.”
Deutsch continues, “NGO Monitor has presented this information to the Danish government, including in a December 2015 appearance before the Parliamentary Foreign Policy Committee. We call for more responsible decision making by the Danish government.”