Israel Maintains Decision to Tie NGOs to Terrorism, As International Community Demands Evidence | JNS
In light of the turmoil that followed Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s announcement on October 22 that accused six NGOs of links to terrorism, Israel has now sent an envoy to Washington, DC, to explain why.
Joshua Zarka, deputy director general of strategy at the Foreign Ministry, told IDF Radio in an interview last week that the envoy “would give them all the details and present them all the information,” according to the report. a PA report.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Lior Hayat told JNS “we share information with countries and organizations which undoubtedly prove the various links of these NGOs with the PFLP terrorist organization.”
The Ministry of Defense designated the following six NGOs as terrorist organizations: Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCI-P), Union of Agricultural Work Committees, Al-Haq, Addameer, Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees (UPWC) and Bisan.
“These organizations present themselves as acting for humanitarian purposes; however, they serve as a cover for propaganda and funding for the PFLP, ”Gantz said in a statement. “These organizations have received large sums of money from European countries and international organizations, using various methods of forgery and deception,” he continued, adding that the funds are used to support the activities of the PFLP.
For years, Israel has suspected or known of the groups’ links to the PFLP, but has not called them terrorist groups. This last movement indicates a change in this approach.
These organizations have been described by Nour Odeh, a former spokesperson in the Palestinian Authority government offices, as the “crème de la crème of the human rights community”.
Based on its response to Israel’s announcement, the international community seemed to agree with Odeh’s assessment and his belief that by designating these NGOs as terrorist organizations, Israel is criminalizing Palestinian civil society and undermines the Palestinian struggle for freedom.
“It’s time for Europeans to freeze subsidies”
According to Yochanan Tzoreff, senior researcher at the Institute for National Security Studies, “some of the six NGOs have gained good reputations in international human rights forums, have obtained professional recognition and numerous awards… and have enjoyed assistance and funding from numerous governmental and non-governmental entities.
The question then is whether it is a trust issue. Don’t the United States and the European Union believe in Israel’s assessment? Are they really disbelieving the accusations that these six NGOs are linked to the PFLP? The evidence is supposedly accurate, as these organizations have already been exposed as having previous links to the PFLP.
Or is it a political issue? Are America and Europe just downplaying Jerusalem’s accusations because they want to be able to continue funding these organizations, which serve a broader political purpose by keeping the dream of a Palestinian state alive?
Further, the hazy streak of events that have taken place since Gantz’s announcement begs the question of why Israel has to explain anything at this point if it actually informed the United States of its decision first. place.
At a press briefing last week, days after Gantz’s announcement, US State Department spokesman Ned Price denied receiving any prior information on the matter.
“To our knowledge, it is correct that we have not received a specific warning on upcoming designations,” he said.
Adding to the confusion, Zarka said he had personally informed U.S. officials of Israel’s intention to ban the groups, and said he believed Washington might just want a more in-depth explanation of the decision.
“What will we have accomplished?” “
Tzoreff told JNS he believed that even if there was enough evidence to list these organizations as supporters or collaborators of terrorism, “that’s not the problem.”
According to him, Israel must consider the ramifications of such a decision and should also consider the strategic aspect, which in this case involves multiple NGOs, the European Union and the United States.
Tzoreff expressed concern that Israel may be under such pressure that it will be forced to reverse its decision “and then what will we have achieved?” ” He asked.
He suggested that instead of banning NGOs, Israel must sometimes learn to live with contradictions in order to avoid this type of international explosion.
The question, he asked, is “how do you do it intelligently and not in a way that complicates the situation?” “
“The Israeli security establishment is known for its professionalism and prudence in its long deliberations before taking measures such as the closure of Palestinian organs and institutions,” he wrote for the INSS. “It is possible to arrest people accused of terrorism, but closing an association or public body on a similar charge requires further thought and the inclusion of additional levels of government. “
Contrary to Tzoreff’s view that Israel may have had to take a different path, Yossi Kuperwasser, senior project director at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, told JNS that appointing these organizations “was the right thing to do. Since they serve as facades for the PFLP.
“Many of their agents are members of the PFLP,” he said.
If Israel is justified in its designation of these NGOs as aiding and abetting terrorism, the question must also be asked as to why Europe and America do not control these organizations? Or, if they have been, then why are they putting millions of taxpayer dollars into it?
Kuperwasser noted that the May 2021 Shin Bet presented the international community with hard evidence of NGO collaboration with the PFLP, and while some countries took note of the information and cut back on aid, others did. ignored.
He said that “those Europeans who insist on supporting these organizations are not doing their due diligence”.
Israel Post is upholding its decision to link NGOs to terrorism, as the international community demands that evidence appear first on JNS.org.