Israel’s decision to declare six Palestinian Non-Governmental Agencies (NGO’s) as terrorist organizations received objections from both European and US governments. The Europeans declared that they will continue funding these Palestinian NGO’s. According to Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz, these agencies are an arm of a terrorist organization that seeks the destruction of the state of Israel. The organization Gantz referred to is the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
The six agencies designated by Gantz as part of a terror organization last October include Addameer, Al-Hak, Bisan Center, Defense for Children International Palestine, The Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees. In the Defense Minister’s statement, he pointed out that, “These groups have received large sums of money from European countries and international organizations while using fraud and deception methods.” The money is used by the six agencies to help the PFLP promote terrorism, recruit members, and pay salaries to security prisoners and their families, as well as to fund active terrorists. Furthermore, the statement asserted that “the groups are controlled by the senior leadership of the PFLP and employ many members of the groups both in management jobs and on the ground – including activists who were involved in terrorism.”
On Monday, August 22, 2022, 17 European ambassadors responded to Israel’s Foreign Ministry request to stop their funding of these groups, stating that they will continue to fund them. The Europeans contended that Israel was unable to persuade them that the six designated agencies are terror supporting groups. Israel’s General Security Services (Shin Bet) provided the European states with hard intelligence that proved that these Palestinian agencies were involved in anti-Israel activities, including terrorism. Ned Price, the US State Department spokesperson said that he would require Israel’s Defense Ministry to explain why it has designated the six Palestinian NGO’s as terror organizations. For its part, the CIA declared that it did not find evidence that the six NGO’s are involved in terror. But then again, the CIA has missed things before, more than once…
It is rather revealing that these European states refused to honor Israel’s request to end the funding to enemies of the Jewish state. Reuters reported (July 12, 2022) that the foreign ministers of Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden (all western European members of the European Union) issued a joint statement that stated that they “Have not received substantial information from Israel that would justify reviewing their policies.” Most of the above listed European Members (EU) members have a shameful record on antisemitism, and Belgium, France, and Germany have an added record of releasing Palestinian terrorists with Israeli blood on their hands. Germany in particular, the nation and people that perpetrated the Holocaust should be the last state on earth to dishonor Israel’s request. Considering the fact that exactly 50-years ago, at the Munich Olympic Games, the Germans bungled the operation to save the Israeli athletes, ultimately causing their deaths, should have made the Germans more sensitive to the Israeli government request.
NGO Monitor, a globally recognized research institute promoting democratic values and good governance had this to say about Addameer, “Several of Addameer’s current and former employees, as well as lawyers that work for Addameer, have links to the PFLP. As an organization, Addameer regularly provides legal assistance to Palestinians accused by Israel of PFLP membership or activity on behalf of the terror group, such as PFLP General-Secretary Ahmed Sa’adat.”
Al-Hak is a leader in anti-Israel lawfare and Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns. It’s General Director, Shawan Jabarin has been linked to the PFLP. On March 25, 2022, Al-Hak brought a PFLP-affiliated member to appear before the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), an agency with an anti-Israel bias. NGO Monitor reported that Ubai Aboudi, Bisan Center Executive Director was arrested by the Israeli authorities on November 13, 2019. In June 2020, Aboudi was sentenced to 12 months in prison. Aboudi was convicted “of being a member and an activist of the PFLP, and was responsible for recruiting additional activists to the PFLP young people and students, as well as strengthening the PFLP infrastructure.”
Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCI-P) personnel have ties to the PFLP terrorist organization. DCI-P has appointed PFLP members to its board. The PFLP is designated by the US, Canada, and the EU as a terrorist organization. DCI-P role is to convince government officials, UN bodies, and the general public that Israel is systematically abusing Palestinian children. This campaign, known as “No Way to Treat a Child,” provides false and inaccurate information regarding Palestinian minors and their interaction with Israeli legal and security frameworks. Both the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees are associated with terrorist groups and incite youth against Israel.
European colonial guilt has prompted many of them to devote a great deal of funding to the Middle East in particular. The French had a specific interest in developing a close relationship with the Arab world especially under President Charles De Gaulle. There was also a bit of an antisemitic and anti-Israel bite in De Gaulle’s turn to the Arab world. While there was also a genuine desire to promote democracy and human rights in the region, funds were allocated without much accountability. Many of the Palestinian NGO’s that enjoy European financial support promote political agendas that are contrary to the European official government policies, such as anti-Israel BDS campaigns, anti-Israel lawfare campaigns, as well as aspects of the antisemitic and anti-Israel Durban Strategy. While exploiting the rhetoric of human rights, most of the Palestinian NGO’s support terror against Israel, clearly inciting against the Jewish state, and opposing the two-state solution.
While Israel as a proud democracy must respect Palestinian non-governmental agencies that allegedly support human, women, and children rights, in the case of the Palestinian NGO’s listed above, the hidden and yet major objective of these groups has been to damage the Jewish state. The EU states funding of some Palestinian NGO’s might be justified but many are not, since they seek to undermine a democratic state, and support terror against its people.
Some of the western EU members, particularly Ireland, and Sweden seem to identify the Palestinians and Palestinian organizations as underdogs, or as freedom fighters seeking statehood and human rights. The facts are however, that the Palestinians have been given more opportunities to assert their self-determination and sovereignty than most. Yet they have rejected them in 1937, 1947, 2000, and 2008. What the Palestinian NGO’s, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority really want is not to live side by side with Israel but to replace Israel. It is therefore Israel’s right and duty to defend itself – its sovereignty, and the well-being of its people.