By funding blacklisted NGOs, European governments are funding terrorism

European governments are acting as if they had been caught off guard by Israel’s October 2021 designation of six Palestinian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as terrorist organizations. Guilty of funding the six groups for years, governments have expressed “concern” and asked Israel to provide further evidence of the reasoning behind their appointment.

While these governments may like the public to believe that they are innocent players without prior information about Palestinian NGOs affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist group, the exact opposite is true. They have known this for years and yet they continued to fund these NGOs and support them in other ways.

The announcement by the Ministry of Defense, designating Addameer, Al-Haq, Bisan Center, Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCI-P), the Union of Agricultural Labor Committees (UAWC) and the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees ( UPWC) as terrorist organizations. points out that the groups ‚Äúconstitute a network of organizations active undercover on the international front on behalf of the Popular Front [Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine], to support its activity and promote its objectives “.

It adds that the groups received funding from the foreign government and used it for ‚Äúpayments to the families of security prisoners and the salaries of ‘shaheeds’ (martyrs) for activists, enlisting activists, promoting terrorist activity and strengthening the promotion of the activity of the Popular Front in Jerusalem and the distribution of the messages and the ideology of the organization “.

The evidence shown to governments by the Israeli authorities regarding the clear flow of funds from their foreign aid offices to PFLP-related activities could be new. But the documented links to the terrorist organization are far from it.

MEMBERS of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) point their weapons at an effigy representing US President Donald Trump while riding in a truck during a protest in Gaza City. (credit: REUTERS)

For more than 10 years, NGO Monitor has published reports documenting the links between numerous Palestinian civil society groups and the PFLP (full disclosure, I served as managing editor of NGO Monitor and liaison with Canada in 2016-2020). Using only open source information, often simple searches on Google and Facebook, the research institute has created, piece by piece, a clear network of leading foreign government-backed organizations serving dual roles in NGOs and in the terrorist group. .

NGO Monitor staff traveled to governments around the world and to the United Nations, presenting this information and showing government officials first-hand evidence linking the six NGOs to the terrorist group PFLP. Concerned members of parliament and senators have questioned their foreign aid offices on the public record about suspicious funding, but time and again governments have refused to take action and cut funding.

The issue of the NGO network linked to the PFLP even gained public and donor government attention in 2019, following the disclosure of a 50-person PFLP terrorist cell responsible, among other things, for the murder of the 17-year-old Israeli girl. years Rina Shnerb. . The cell included numerous members of these same government-funded NGOs. For example, UAWC accountant Samir Arbid was, according to Israeli security officials, responsible for commanding the PFLP terror cell that carried out the bombing.

It is therefore almost ridiculous for governments to denounce the Israeli decision to formally designate the groups and to use valuable international resources such as the UN Security Council to ask for more “credible evidence”. These governments, whether elected officials or government bureaucrats, have known for years that all six organizations had ties to the PFLP terrorist group.

Extensive, publicly available and verifiable evidence has been presented to them. Only now, because the government’s official designation of a terrorist group will finally put pressure on governments to act in accordance with their own national anti-terrorism laws and stop funding, they are up in arms and pretending they don’t know the risks. to use taxpayer funds to support such actions. groups.

We can only hope that the citizens of each of the countries guilty of financing these six organizations recognize this absolute lack of accountability and oversight and demand not only a cessation of funds but also a reform in the foreign aid system to prevent such occurrence. farce. again.

The writer was born and raised in Vancouver and lives in Jerusalem. She is a chief of staff in the Israeli venture capital sector, previously working as a political assistant to former MK Michal Cotler-Wunsh and as managing editor and liaison to Canada at NGO Monitor.

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