Last week, both the European Union and Switzerland finalized internal reviews of their Palestinian aid portfolios, which had been initiated following the October 7 massacre. The reviews found that there was reason for concern due to incitement, and Switzerland raised questions about the “political neutrality of some NGOs.” Both the EU and Switzerland took restrictive measures.
- The EU is revisiting its funding to two NGOs (projects totaling €8 million) over “allegations of incitement to hatred and violence after the 7 October 2023 events.” The EU will also introduce a new anti-incitement requirement in its contracts with NGOs.
The EU also revealed that, since it introduced an anti-terror requirement in its contracts in 2021, Palestinian NGOs involved in 11 projects totaling €14.3 million refused to sign the contract.
- Switzerland announced it will cancel contracts with 3 NGOs, receiving grants totaling a combined €600,000, over breach of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs’s Code of Conduct. This comes after Switzerland announced (October 25) the suspension of funds to 11 NGOs (5 Palestinian; 5 Israeli; 1 US-based) pending an internal review.
For years, NGO Monitor has been sharing relevant research and analysis with elected officials in both capitals. Most recently, in mid-September, NGO Monitor traveled to Bern to present a detailed report on how Swiss-funded NGOs incite to violence against Israelis and Jews and/or have ties to designated terror organizations.
In addition, in October, NGO Monitor published a report on “European-Funded NGOs Justify the Massacre of Israelis,” which it shared with members of the European Parliament.
NGO Monitor Statement:
“The EU and Swiss decisions are necessary and welcome steps. The EU’s introduction of a new anti-incitement requirement will hopefully lead toward better screening of Palestinian NGOs. We hope the language of this new condition is specific enough to address ongoing Palestinian NGO incitement, since similar existing policies are largely inapplicable in the Palestinian context.
Germany, Sweden, and Austria are due to release the findings of their internal reviews before the end of 2023, and we hope similar measures will be taken in all these countries.”