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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Holland to confront BDS funding

After discovering that its foreign ministry had unwittingly allocated at least 10 million euros to organizations promoting BDS against Israel in the last five years, the Dutch foreign ministry has vowed to put a stop to it.
The Foreign Ministry under Rosenthal has begun to institute sweeping reforms to stop Dutch charities from funding anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) activities and NGOs that deny Israel’s right to exist.

The 15-page CIDI report named Palestinian and Dutch NGOs that were dependent on subsidies from the Dutch Foreign Ministry, including the Ramallah-based NGO Development Center (NDC) and the Interchurch Organization for Development Cooperation (ICCO), Oxfam Novib Cordaid and IKV Pax Christi in the Netherlands.

In the letter to CIDI Executive Director Ronny Naftaniel, Rosenthal wrote, “I would like to thank you for drawing my attention to the report by CIDI entitled ‘Dutch government unknowingly funding Israel-boycott and one-state solution initiatives,’ which lists Palestinian NGOs which are active in the Palestinian Territories and which are supported [financially] by the Dutch government.

I would like to begin by saying that I share your concerns regarding BDS activities.”


Rosenthal further noted in his letter to Naftaniel, “This message has been conveyed to Palestinian and Israeli partners, the Dutch aid organizations active in the Palestinian Territories and NDC in Ramallah, and during your meeting on March 22, 2011, with the director of the Dutch Foreign Ministry’s North Africa and Middle East department.

“The department, the Dutch embassy in Tel Aviv and the Dutch representative office in Ramallah are acutely mindful of the political sensitivities connected to the funding of NGOs operating in Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

A meticulous reappraisal of subsidy applicants remains necessary,” Rosenthal said.
Read the whole thing. If this starts a trend in Europe, it would be great.

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