Jerusalem — Danish funds earmarked for humanitarian and development aid are transferred to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) promoting very damaging anti-peace agendas, Shaun Sacks of NGO Monitor told Danish lawmakers Wednesday, at a special session in the Danish Parliament.
Addressing the Foreign Affairs Committee and Foreign Policy Committee in Copenhagen, with representatives of three major Danish parties, Sacks explained how taxpayers’ money aimed at resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was transferred through third parties to projects contradicting the stated objectives of the Danish government.
Over the years, Denmark’s Parliament has passed motions calling for a negotiated solution based on the pre-1967 lines, the normalization of ties between Israeli and Arab countries, and an acceptance of Israel’s right to peace and security. Despite this, as Sacks told the committees, Danish funds have sponsored organizations acting against normalization and supporting a one-state framework.
A researcher at NGO Monitor, an independent Jerusalem-based research institute, Sacks shared a number of examples of problematic organizations directly funded by Denmark. For instance, Badil, a group that envisions the creation of “a de-Zionized Palestine of a single state” and supports BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) against Israel – both directly contradicting Danish policy – gets substantial government money. On top of this, the group has also published antisemitic cartoons on its website, awarding monetary prizes to the creators of some.
As seen in NGO Monitor’s research, presented to the MPs, Badil receives core budget funding of $260,000 from the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat, one of Denmark’s key channels for transferring development aid to NGOs.
Sacks referred to a recent official report evaluating Danish engagement in the region. Most of this activity is conducted through local NGOs, he explained. The report concluded there was “no evidence of overall progress towards improved accountability, transparency” and “no progress towards the two-state solution.” Denmark’s intentions are obviously good, Sacks told the Committee, but if it wanted to see a positive outcome it must demand the NGOs it supports act according to its official policies.
Denmark spends 0.85 percent of its Gross National Income, worth $2.9 billion, on foreign aid. There are only three countries in the world that expend a higher percentage of their income on such activities.