After Pressure From Israel, Denmark Reexamining Donations to Palestinian NGOs

Netanyahu had asked visiting Danish foreign minister to look into funding of NGOs involved with BDS

File photo: Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen in Beijing, March 13, 2017.
File photo: Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen in Beijing, March 13, 2017. Reuters/Lintao Zhang

The Danish Foreign Ministry has begun a comprehensive examination of its donations to non-governmental organizations in the Palestinian Authority, according to a statement from the office of Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen.

The decision was taken, among other reasons, due to pressure from Israel, and accroding to the statement, was ordered by the foreign minister last week.

On May 17, Samuelsen visited Jerusalem and met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Danish and Israeli diplomats noted that during their meeting Netanyahu asked Samuelsen to cut Danish funding for Palestinian organizations and NGOs involved in inciting against Israel and promoting boycott, divestment and sanction measures against it.

Netanyahu even forwarded a list of Palestinian and Israeli organizations receiving Danish funding to the foreign minister and which Israel claims are involved with BDS efforts.

"We must be sure that Danish aid helps to advance human rights in the Palestinian territories in a positive manner," the statement said.

"It is possible that in wake of the examination we will be forced to stop our support of a number of Palestinian organizations. Until this examination is complete we won't sign any new grants for Palestinian organizations."