As France prepares to host an international peace conference, a research brief published today by NGO Monitor documents French government support of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that support discriminatory BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns against Israel and with alleged ties to terror groups.
The French government funds numerous French, Israeli, and Palestinian organizations that support and promote BDS campaigns against Israel, despite the fact that such boycotts are illegal under French law.
One such grantee is The Platform of French NGOs for Palestine (The Platform). In a severe example of abuse of taxpayer money, The Platform received 40% of its budget from the French government for a project explicitly geared towards influencing elected officials, media, and public opinion regarding the Israeli-Arab conflict. The Platform supports boycott campaigns targeting Israel and partners with organizations instrumental in BDS efforts.
Other organizations funded by the French government that advocate for a boycott of Israel, again despite such boycotts being illegal under French law, include: Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS), La Cimade, Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC), Maan Development Center, Culture and Free Thought Association, and the Palestinian Hydrology Group.
Additionally, France directly and indirectly funds several other NGOs with alleged ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror group, including the Alternative Information Center (AIC), Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), and Al-Haq. UAWC, which received direct funding from the French Government from 2012-2014, was founded in 1968 by members of the PFLP and is an official PFLP “affiliate.”
According to Prof. Gerald Steinberg, President of NGO Monitor, “At a time when France is set to host a summit dedicated to peace, this type of financial support casts significant doubts on its ability to serve as an impartial host. The clear affiliations between these NGOs and terrorist organizations like the PFLP require immediate attention and concrete measures on the part of the French government. Any continued funding raises serious questions about due diligence and evaluation on the part of the French government, as well as compliance with both international law and its own domestic law.”