NGO Monitor is an independent apolitical research organization, focusing on the role and funding of NGOs claiming human rights agendas. As such, it does not support or oppose the proposed NGO transparency bill.
At the same time, in this context, it is important to note a number of developments in recent weeks – particularly the debates in a number of European parliaments regarding their governments’ funding for Israeli NGOs.
We believe that these developments provide an opportunity to open a formal dialogue between members of the Israeli Knesset and European parliaments in order to negotiate guidelines on this issue. The current NGO legislation could prevent such negotiations.
Specifically we note that:
- On June 16, the Dutch parliament approved a motion calling on the government to halt all funding for NGOs involved in the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign. This motion specifically mentioned the Ramallah based Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat which channels funding from the Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland and Sweden to various NGOs involved in anti-Israel campaigns.
- On June 13, the British Parliament held a debate on UK international aid including funding for politicized Israeli and Palestinian NGOs whose activities oppose British policy regarding peace and violence against Israel. Following this debate, the Department for International Development (DFID) announced intentions to review revise its funding.
- In Switzerland, 41 MPs called on the government to stop funding NGOs which have antisemitic, racist or BDS activities. This motion is being debated in the Foreign Affairs Committee.
As stated, NGO Monitor emphasizes the need for dialogue with European governments on the basis of agreed-upon guidelines that will prevent organizations that are active in anti-Israel or antisemitic campaigns, deny Israel’s right to exist, or support terrorism, from receiving funding.