Denmark won’t fund groups that promote BDS or question Israel’s legitimacy

Denmark won’t fund organisations that have ties to terrorists, engage in attempts to boycott Israel or question its right to exist, the government said in what activists called a significant step.

Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen announced the new policy earlier this month in a document titled ”Explanations about the conditions for Danish support for Israeli and Palestinian civil society organisations.” It follows a foreign ministry audit launched last year amid growing discontent over politicisation and abuse of Danish aid funds.

“The use of Danish funds for political purposes, including BDS activities, is unacceptable,” read the guidelines, using the acronym of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

The other four guidelines mandate the defunding of any recipient caught “associating with a terrorist movement” or funding it; violating human rights principles or “questioning Israel’s right to exist.”

Olga Deutsch, the director of the Europe Desk at NGO Monitor, a Jerusalem-based organisation that investigates funding for organisations active on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, commended the Danish move.

“Switzerland and Norway addressed similar issues earlier this year, and we hope that Denmark’s guidelines will serve as an example for other European countries,” she told JTA.

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