On January 31, 2018, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Danish Parliament will hold a consultation (Samrådsspørgsmål) asking the Foreign Minister to explain why the government has decided to amend its guidelines for support of Palestinian and Israeli non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
According to the terms of reference of the consultation, opposition members of the Parliament will question the role that Israeli authorities and NGO Monitor played in this decision.
NGO Monitor’s statement to members of the committee on this claim appears on the parliament website and here.
NGO Monitor Statement to Danish Foreign Affairs Committee:
NGO Monitor is a Jerusalem-based independent research institute, which provides detailed information and analysis, promotes accountability, and supports discussion on the reports and activities of political non-governmental organizations (NGOs) claiming to advance human rights and humanitarian agendas. We are a privately-funded, apolitical civil-society organization, and do not receive funding from any government. We neither have “foreign policy principles” nor endeavor to align ourselves with those of any government.
Unfortunately, some discussions that precipitated this hearing diverted from important issues such as accountability and due diligence in matters related to public funds, and instead attempted to question NGO Monitor’s independence and the credibility of our research. We respectfully, but firmly, note that any such slander during the hearing is entirely unacceptable and unbefitting the honorable setting of this Parliamentary Committee.
Our research is fully sourced – referencing official governmental documents – and is publicly available on our website to all interested parties. For more than 15 years, NGO Monitor has been calling for informed and detailed public debate on accountability and scrutiny in government funding to human rights and humanitarian groups. As documented in our extensive research, some of the organizations active in the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict violate the trust of donor governments and promote unacceptable activities, including antisemitism and incitement to violence. Some NGOs also have reported ties to recognized terror organizations.
Recent years have seen more awareness amongst governments across Europe, including the EU, Norway, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Spain. We welcome Denmark joining in this call for enhanced due diligence.
Development aid and cooperation, like any other governmental program, should be subject to public examination, government scrutiny, and independent evaluation. This is especially true in areas where well-intentioned government funds could potentially fund incitement and hamper peace efforts.
NGO Monitor will continue to provide in depth analysis and research on development and humanitarian aid, and the role of human rights and humanitarian organizations in the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict for the public benefit. It is our hope that through this research, public funds will not be used to support violent and hateful causes.