On November 17, 2017, the Israeli newspaper Makor Rishon exposed that the Ramallah office of the Heinrich Boell Stiftung (HBS) – a German government funded political foundation affiliated with the German Green Party – was co-sponsoring a conference, “The 1987 Intifada: History and Memory,” in commemoration of “the thirtieth Anniversary of the First Palestinian Uprising against the Israeli Occupation.” The conference, scheduled to be held in Gaza on November 24-26 and in Beirut on November 28-30, will feature speakers that are former or current members of the Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organizations.
One speaker, Hasan Yusuf, is a “Leader in the Hamas movement in the West Bank” (emphasis added) and was “arrested for several years by the Israeli occupation authorities.” Other speakers include Younis Aljaro, “a former leader in the Palestinian (sic) Front for the Liberation of Palestine [PFLP]… and Chairman of Board of Directors of [Al-Dameer] Human Rights Association in Gaza” (emphasis added).
NGO Monitor provided Makor Rishon with details on HBS’ funding and activities. As stated by Olga Deutsch, NGO Monitor’s Europe Desk Director, “NGO Monitor’s years-long research documents the repeated support and cooperation of HBS’s Ramallah office with radical organizations, including those with alleged ties to terrorist organizations.” These include Palestinian NGO Addameer (not to be confused with Al-Dameer), identified by Fatah as a PFLP “affiliate,” and Al-Haq, whose general director, Shawan Jabarin, was identified by the Israeli High Court of Justice in 2007 as a “senior activist in the PFLP terror group” (NGO Monitor translations).
Kerstin Mueller, director of HBS’s Tel-Aviv branch, stated in a response that “the conferences… are being held without the knowledge of the Heinrich Boell Foundation in Israel. The foundation in Israel is looking into the details of the event, and further states that an event celebrating the Intifada is against the position of the foundation in Israel” (emphasis added).
Following further media coverage in Germany and significant public pressure citing NGO Monitor research, HBS withdrew its support of the conference.