Norway said set to cut funding for pro-BDS Palestinian NGOs
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Norway said set to cut funding for pro-BDS Palestinian NGOs

Oslo reported to say decision reflects support for Israeli-Palestinian dialogue and cooperation, opposition to boycotts of Jewish state

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende in Jerusalem, on January 12, 2017. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende in Jerusalem, on January 12, 2017. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)

Norway is reportedly set to cut funding for Palestinian NGOs that support boycotts of Israel.

Quoting a statement from the Norwegian government, Hadashot TV news reported Monday that the decision reflects Oslo’s support for Israeli-Palestinian dialogue and cooperation, as well as its opposition to boycotts of Israel.

“This is an additional and vital step for damaging boycott organizations,” Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan told the TV channel. “We will continue to work consistently to expose European funding for Palestinian organizations that delegitimize [Israel].”

Norway’s decision comes just days after fellow Scandinavian country Denmark said it will revoke funding from several Palestinian NGOs and tighten aid criteria for others after they were found to be tied to anti-Israel activities.

The Danish Foreign Ministry made the announcement Friday, saying it would implement a more stringent vetting process for the transfer of funds to Palestinian NGOs.

“It is important that there is confidence that Danish assistance is going for the right purposes,” said Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen.

Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen (L) meeting in Jerusalem with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on May 17, 2017. (Haim Zach/GPO)

Samuelsen said that, following an investigation, most of the earmarked funds will be returned to Danish government coffers. He added that many organizations currently receiving Danish support would no longer do so.

The move came after Denmark launched a review of its practices in May following a meeting where 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 that receive Danish funds and which Israel says are linked to the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign against Israel.

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