The diplomatic and political dimensions of the war in Gaza are now receiving significant attention. This is the context for “soft power” attempts to criminalize Israeli military operations and launch “fact-finding investigations.”
NGO Monitor, a Jerusalem-based research institute, has prepared the following information sheet on the major role of Danish non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the political war. Our detailed analyses of this and previous conflicts are available on our website (www.ngo-monitor.org), and our experts, including Prof. Gerald Steinberg of Bar Ilan University and president of NGO Monitor, are available for interview.
- As part of their larger campaign to demonize and delegitimize Israel, European politicized NGOs are pushing for an international investigation into alleged Israeli “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity” committed during the current Israel-Hamas conflict.
- Under the façade of balance and apolitical, universal human rights, these NGOs have been active in efforts to justify unprofessional UN investigations, as seen in the 2009 Goldstone report.
- In support of this campaign, Danish NGOs such as DanChurchAid, condemn Israel in statements that gravely distort international humanitarian law and repeat unsupported allegations of “deliberate, systematic, and widespread targeting of Palestinian civilians,” “collective punishment,” and similar claims.
- In addition, the Danish government provides funding, through direct and indirect processes, to Israeli and Palestinian NGOs that make legal and factual claims, without the necessary expertise or access to objective facts on the ground.
- As NGOs continue to make unfound statements that are often repeated in the media, it is essential that journalists and the public:
1) Recognize the central role of human rights NGOs in the political dimensions of war.
2) Closely scrutinize NGO allegations, in the same way claims by other political actors (i.e. politicians, government and military officials) are held accountable.
Statements by (DCA) DanChurchAid
- “We now appeal to the international community to spare no effort to bring the parties in conflict to end military operations, and to ensure the firm application of International Humanitarian Law as well as International Human Rights Law…However a cease fire will not be enough. Long-term solutions must found, based on security for Palestinians as well as Israelis, Palestinian right to self-determination, and respect for international humanitarian and human rights law. The international community should immediately redouble efforts to work effectively with the parties to agree to durable solutions that contribute to a just peace for all in the region.”
- “An employee responsible for the DanChurchAid humanitarian efforts in Gaza has been quoted in the Danish press for naming the recent Israeli attacks in Gaza as “genocide”.”
- DCA response to this statement: “As DanChurchAid is a humanitarian organisation with no mandate to make judgements on international law, DanChurchAid regrets this specific phrasing. Omar Al Majdalawi explains that he just conveyed the word he had constantly been hearing from desperate people who had left their homes and had come to schools to seek safe shelter and in the streets of Gaza but underlines this is not the view of DanChurchAid.”
These statements are part of a larger strategy used by anti-Israel NGOs, to delegitimize and demonize Israel, which includes boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) and “lawfare” campaigns.
Government funding for DanChurchAid
|Country||Funding Mechanism||Amounts (2012)|
|Denmark||Foreign Ministry||DKK 198 Million|
In addition, the Danish government has provided funding to a number of Israeli and Palestinian NGOs that have issued many unfound statements condemning Israel:
B’Tselem, Gisha, Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI), Hamoked, and Adalah – Joint statement to the Israeli Attorney General (July 21, 2014): “The reports and data which have accumulated thus far regarding the nature of the strikes and the level of injury to noncombatant civilians as a result of these strikes raise serious concern of severe violations of international humanitarian law, and specifically the laws of war…”
DCI Palestine: Press statement (July 17, 2014)- “The death and injury to children caused by Israel’s military offensive on Gaza demonstrates serious and extensive disregard of fundamental principles of international law…”
Danish Funding for Israeli and Palestinian NGOs
|B'Tselem||NDC*||NIS 1,594,770 (2012-2013)|
|DanChurch Aid||NIS 1,924,558 (2012-2013)|
|Gisha||NDC||NIS 413, 660 (2012)|
|Adalah||NDC||NIS 110,193 (2012)|
|ACRI||NDC||NIS 635,168 (2012-2013)|
|Hamoked||NDC||NIS 1,301,569 (2012-2013)|
|PCATI||NDC||NIS 1,177,712 (2012-2013)|
|DCI-P||NDC||Not Disclosed (2012)|