Swiss MP’s Demand Halt to Funding of Anti-Israel NGO’s

YERUSHALAYIM - The Swiss government has been giving heavy financial backing to anti-Israel NGO’s linked to terrorism and BDS, according to an expose in a Swiss newspaper.

The Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) has allocated millions to anti-Israel groups, in a front-page story that appeared in Switzerland’s Basler Zeitung on Monday.

The report also described a bipartisan motion sponsored by 41 members of the Swiss parliament demanding that the FDFA halt all direct or indirect funding to organizations engaged in “racist and anti-Semitic actions” or participating in the boycott of Israel.

“The detailed and unprecedented article…reflects the concerns of many MPs in Switzerland, who were surprised to learn of the very negative and counterproductive impact of their government’s funding for radical anti-peace NGOs,” Prof. Gerald Steinberg, president of the Yerushalayim-based NGO Monitor, told the The Jerusalem Post.

“As in the case of the EU and many individual states, the funding process, which supports Al-Haq [an NGO based in Ramallah] – the leader of the ‘lawfare’ campaign – and Breaking the Silence, as well as other Israeli groups, has been strictly hidden from the media and MPs until now,” he said.

Steinberg added: “The Swiss are core funders [along with Denmark, Sweden and Holland] of the International Humanitarian Law secretariat at Bir Zeit University in Ramallah. This money goes to more than 20 radical NGOs involved in BDS, political warfare against Israel and, in some cases, such as Badil, anti-Semitism. This funding expires at the end of 2016 and the Swiss are now debating renewal.”