Under pressure from Israel, the Danish foreign minister has reportedly ordered a review of his government’s donations to Palestinian Authority non-governmental organizations and will not approve any new funding until the probe is completed.
“We must be sure that Danish assistance contributes in a positive way to the advancement of human rights in the Palestinian territories,” Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen said in a statement.
“It’s possible, that following the inquiry we’re carrying out, we will have to halt funding for some Palestinian organizations,” he said. “Until we reach conclusions, we won’t be signing on any new grants for Palestinian organizations.”
In a meeting earlier this month, Israeli and Danish diplomats said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged Samuelsen to stop Denmark’s funding for Palestinian NGOs that are involved in anti-Israel incitement or promote boycotts of the Jewish state.
Netanyahu gave Samuelsen a list of organizations which receive Danish funds that Israel says are linked to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel.
On Sunday, the United Nations announced it had withdrawn support for a Palestinian Authority women’s center named for a notorious terrorist, saying the move was “offensive” and glorified terrorism.
The West Bank center was named after Dalal Mughrabi, who took part in the 1978 Coastal Road Massacre. Mughrabi and several other Fatah terrorists landed on a beach near Tel Aviv, hijacked a bus on Israel’s Coastal Road and killed 38 civilians, 13 of them children, and wounded over 70.
“The glorification of terrorism, or the perpetrators of heinous terrorist acts, is unacceptable under any circumstances,” the UN statement said. “The UN has repeatedly called for an end to incitement to violence and hatred as they present one of the obstacles to peace.”
The UN move came days after Norway’s foreign minister condemned the PA for naming the center after Mughrabi, demanding the country’s name be removed from the building and that the funds it donated for its construction be returned.
During his weekly Likud faction meeting on Sunday, Netanyahu revealed that he instructed Foreign Ministry Director-General Yuval Rotem last week to press Norway and the UN to pull their donations from the West Bank project.
The prime minister said Israel had made a point of pressing nations and organizations over this issue and would continue to do so.
“We implement this policy even with regard to our closest friends, and warn them we cannot accept it that friendly governments support organizations that glorify terrorism and act against IDF soldiers,” Netanyahu said. “It’s a process.”
At the faction meeting the prime minister also defended his new policy to boycott foreign leaders who meet with left-leaning NGOs, which Israel accuses of setting up Israeli soldiers for future prosecution in foreign tribunals.
“You can meet me. But you cannot meet with these organizations and also meet with me,” he said, adding that this message is sinking in.
“Our soldiers protect us. And we will protect them,” he concluded.
Last month, Netanyahu canceled on short notice a meeting with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel over the latter’s refusal to call off a meeting with Breaking the Silence — which Netanyahu has denounced as a group trying to get Israeli soldiers tried for war crimes.