Netherlands Defunds Palestinian NGO Israel Declared Terror Organization
The Netherlands stopped its funding of the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), one of six Palestinian NGOs Israel banned last year due to ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization.
The Dutch government had donated €21.5 million to UAWC, but suspended funding in 2020 after two senior UAWC officials were indicted for taking part in a bombing that killed Rina Shnerb, 17, in August 2019.
In a letter to the Dutch parliament released on Wednesday, January 5, two ministers wrote that the investigation found that 34 UAWC employees were active in the PFLP in 2007-2020, some at the same time as holding leadership positions in the terrorist group.
"The large number of board members of UAWC with a dual mandate is particularly worrying," Development Cooperation Minister Tom de Bruijn and Foreign Affairs Minister Ben Knapen wrote.
However, contrary to what Israel has said, the Dutch investigation did not find that UAWC itself was linked to the PFLP, organizationally or financially.
Still, the Dutch government criticized the UAWC board, saying that its behavior was a betrayal of trust. The ministers pointed out that the NGO’s own guidelines say employees may not be politically active and said the board should have been more transparent about those ties, and as such, they have decided to permanently stop funding UAWC.
The report also finds that several other Palestinian organizations could be viewed as "the social branch of the PFLP,” and De Bruijn wrote that the Dutch cabinet will look at its donations to other Palestinian NGOs, as well.
The full report was not made available to the public.
The Netherlands does not directly fund any other organizations banned by Israel in October, but it does finance Defense for Children International - Palestine through the UN and Al-Haq through a Dutch organization called SOMO.
The letter also said that the Netherlands will invest in new water and agriculture projects for the Palestinians. (JPost / VFI News)
When you go out to war against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and an army larger than your own, you shall not be afraid of them, for the Lord your God is with you, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. And when you draw near to the battle, the priest shall come forward and speak to the people and shall say to them, ‘Hear, O Israel, today you are drawing near for battle against your enemies: let not your heart faint. Do not fear or panic or be in dread of them, for the Lord your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory. - Deuteronomy 20:1-4