Norway Denies Funding Anti-Israel Boycott

YERUSHALAYIM -

The Norwegian government denied a report alleging that it has begun indirect funding of the anti-Israel boycotts, The Jerusalem Post reported on Monday.

The watchdog organization NGO Monitor charged that in the second half of 2016 Norway allocated over $600,000 to the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat, which in turn channels money to the BDS movement.

The HR/IHL gave $5.78 million to NGOs supporting BDS during the past four years, equal to over half of its operating budget of $10.38 million. According to its figures, 80 percent of the group’s donations went to 24 NGOs. Of those, Monitor stated that 13 support BDS.
The Norwegian Embassy in Israel dispute Monitor’s allegation: “We do not find their characterizations to be representative of the work that these organizations are doing. Norway does not tolerate hate speech, efforts to delegitimize Israel, or anti-Semitism and have close dialogue with all our partners to make sure this is understood.

“Norway does not provide financial support to organizations whose main goal is to promote the BDS campaign,” the embassy added.
But Monitor President Prof. Gerald Steinberg stood by his organization’s analysis: “The objectives stipulated in the Norwegian agreement — promoting good governance and democratization — are entirely disconnected from the realities of the HR/IHL framework. None of these terms applies to the activities of BDS grantees, leaving major questions regarding the Norwegian government’s decision-making process and the requirement for due diligence.”
Among the recipients of HR/IHL funding is BADIL, which received $260,000 in 2015, and whose website states that the organization “has been fully committed to BDS campaigns from its very inception” and “rejects current proposed settlements such as the Roadmap for Peace and the Arab Peace Initiative.” BADIL also publishes posters calling for the elimination of Israel and cartoons featuring anti-Semitic imagery, NGO Monitor stated.

Al-Haq received $710,000 from the HR/IHL Secretariat in 2015, and spearheads agitation against Israel at the International Criminal Court, as well as BDS activities. Its director, Shawan Jabarin, is a senior member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorist organization.

It was also noted that the HR/IHL Secretariat, managed by the Institute of Law at Birzeit University in Ramallah and the NIRAS consulting firm in Sweden, enjoys contributions from Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden and the Netherlands.