Report: UN, European Governments Funding Anti-Israel Groups

Millions go to groups that promote anti-Israel and anti-Semitic views

The United Nations and European governments are pouring millions into groups that promote anti-Israel and anti-Semitic views, according to report by a NGO watchdog released ahead of the 2015 Global Forum for Combatting Anti-Semitism in Israel.

The government-funded groups include several that have promoted anti-Semitic cartoons and published claims that Jews use Christian blood to make Passover matzah, according to the report by watchdog group NGO Monitor.

"The ongoing government funding for NGOs that engage in anti-Semitic activities and rhetoric, governments highlight a persistent double standard: Hatred of Jews is tolerated in a way that would be unthinkable for other racial, ethnic, or religious groups," said NGO Monitor president Gerald Steinberg in a statement. "Jewish and Israeli targets are often denied the right to define what constitutes discrimination against them."

The NGO Monitor report cites Amnesty International, Sabeel, and Human Rights Watch as several of the groups that engage in anti-Israel rhetoric.

Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), a UK-based group that receives funding from the EU, UK, and Australia, which "utilizes politicized language accusing Israel of ‘indiscriminate attacks’ and ‘collective punishment’ against Palestinians while alleging that Israeli defensive measures are ‘arbitrary,’" according to the report.

MAP was founded by Swee Ang, who still serves as a founding trustee, according to the website. Last year, Ang promoted an anti-Semitic video by David Duke, and signed onto a letter in The Lancet medical journal accusing Israel of war crimes, according to NGO Monitor.

BADIL, another group critical of Israel, has been granted over a quarter-million dollars in funding over the next two years by Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, and the Netherlands, according to the report.

The organization held a cartoon contest in 2010, rewarding a drawing of a Hasidic Jewish caricature holding a bloody pitchfork and two keys labeled "U.S.A." and "UK" while crushing Palestinian children. It also published a cartoon of an octopus with a Star of David on its head. According to NGO Monitor, the images were later removed after complaints.

Another group, MIFTAH, which received funding from Norway and various UN programs in 2012 and 2013, published an Arab-language article on its website in 2013 that promoted blood libel.

"Does Obama in fact know the relationship, for example, between ‘Passover’ and ‘Christian blood’," stated the article, according to NGO Monitor. "[T]he Jews used the blood of Christians in the Jewish Passover."

MIFTAH later removed the article after it was flagged by a pro-Israel blogger and said it did not represent the group’s views.

NGO Monitor president Steinberg called on European governments to draw clear boundaries on what constitutes hate speech among the NGOs they fund.

"NGOs and governments must enact clear policies and establish where campaigns regarding Israel cross the line," said Steinberg. "Funders bear responsibility for the hate-filled activities and rhetoric of their grantees. Such funding, as well, must end."