• Tue. Feb 7th, 2023

No money for hate? – Denmark’s new criteria for support to Israeli and Palestinian civil society organizations (Document)



In 2017, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs conducted a review of Denmark’s support for Israeli and Palestinian civil society organizations. It led to two overall conclusions. Firstly, that it would be appropriate to support fewer organizations so that there can be closer cooperation and better supervision. Secondly, the review showed the need for new and more precise criteria for cooperation.

During the consultation in the Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee on 31 January 2018 and in ongoing responses, the Minister of Foreign Affairs stated that Denmark will continue to support Israeli and Palestinian civil society organizations, and that the level of support will be maintained. Human rights are a priority in Danish development cooperation and including in the Country Program for Palestine.

Transitional Agreements

After a thorough preparation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has entered into agreements on Danish support for seven organizations in a transitional phase, while a long-term model is being prepared. These are four Israeli organizations (Public Committee Against Torture, Breaking the Silence, B’tselem and Gisha) and three Palestinian organizations (Women’s Affairs Center, Democracy and Workers’ Rights Center in Palestine and Women Studies Center), which together receive support for a value of 7,425,000 kroner.

Denmark has previously supported these seven organizations as part of a broader donor collaboration, which was scheduled to end at the end of 2017. The organizations, which Denmark now supports bilaterally, are all considered to be professional and to provide important work in the field of human rights.

In 2019, a new, long-term model for Danish support for Israeli and Palestinian civil society organizations will be organized with a view to promoting human rights in Palestine.


The following five criteria are included as contractual conditions in the agreements with the seven organizations that receive Danish support in a transitional phase. Cooperation with an organization can thus be suspended by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs if the conditions are violated. The conditions are relevant and factual, and their content is within the framework of the Act on International Development Cooperation (Act no. 555 of 18/06/2012).

Criterion 1 . The organization must at all times refrain from discrimination on the grounds of sex, race, ethnic origin or religion as well as from incitement to violence and hatred.

Criterion 2. The organization must at all times adhere to the fundamental principles of human rights defenders, including in statutes, on website (s) and in other external communications. This includes the recognition that human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interconnected regardless of gender, ethnic origin, nationality, religion, sexual orientation and other characteristics, and the willingness to implement, protect and promote human rights solely by non-violent means. .

Criterion 3 . The organization and members of its Executive Board and the Management Board may not be independently listed on EU or UN sanctions and / or terrorism lists. In addition, they may not be members of entities or groups listed on these lists. In addition, the organization may not make funds or financial resources available, directly or indirectly, to or for the benefit of individuals, entities or groups listed on these lists.

Criterion 4 . The organization may not use Danish funds to finance BDS activities. Furthermore, the organization may not outsource Danish funds for BDS activities.

Criterion 5. The organization’s communication must be in accordance with the goals of Denmark’s development cooperation to fight poverty and promote human rights, democracy, sustainable development and promote peace and stability. It follows that the organisation’s actions and communication, among other things, must not be inconsistent with the goal of Denmark’s involvement in Palestine to support the realization of a two-state solution for the Israel / Palestine conflict.

In relation to criteria 3-5, the following additional information can be provided:

(3) The criterion of links to terrorism relates to the fact that some Palestinian movements are listed on EU terrorism lists. From the Danish side, it is unacceptable if, for example. can be documented cases where leading members of one of Denmark’s partner organizations are also affiliated with a terrorist-listed movement, or the organization makes funds available for such. At the same time, it is very difficult to document such affiliations, and many undocumented rumors abound. It is therefore important to emphasize the need for real documentation, which is a basic principle in Danish development cooperation.

(4) In relation to the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) criterion, it is recognized that organizations have freedom of expression and that the BDS movement is considered by many to be a legitimate, non-violent, political strategy for to protest against the occupation. At the same time, it is essential for the Danish side that Danish-supported organizations focus exclusively on human rights work. It is not acceptable for Danish funds to be used for political purposes, including BDS activities. It should be emphasized that the criterion does not include activities that focus on information related to the settlements (such as reporting, documentation and analytical work). In line with UN Security Council Resolution 2334 and EU policy in this area, Denmark clearly distinguishes between the territory of Israel and the Occupied Territories.

(5) The last criterion concerns the communication of organizations. The basis for Denmark’s presence in Palestine and for the Danish country program is a clear policy of support for a two-state solution. It would be unacceptable if a Danish partner organization actively goes against this principle, e.g. by questioning the raison d’être of the State of Israel. At the same time, it is important to emphasize that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs respects the fact that human rights organizations are apolitical and therefore do not promote a single specific political solution. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is also aware that some actors have a very broad interpretation of what statements call into question Israel’s existence.

The Danish Representation Office in Ramallah will have an ongoing close dialogue with the organizations. If documented violations of the conditions are detected, the cooperation may, depending on the circumstances, be suspended by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The assessment of whether this step should be taken will look closely at how the partner organization reacts, including whether they seek to remedy the breach pointed out, as well as the seriousness of this.


Anders Samuelsen

Additional information

We have borrowed the headline from Allan Sørensen’s article about the criteria: “No Money for Hate” – Weekendavisen # 43 – on October 26, 2018 (OBS payment wall). It may seem that the article confuses support for NGOs with support for the Palestinian Authority – and the criteria are aimed at support for NGOs. However, there is no doubt that there is a need for them in relation to the Palestinian Authority – and for that matter in relation to UNRWA – the Special Agency for Arab Migrants from Mandate Palestine and Israel, as well as their millions of descendants.

PDF: Information on new conditions for Danish support for Israeli and
Palestinian civil society organizations. Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee,
Case / ID no. 2018-6017 Unit MENA. Dated October 5, 2018.

PDF: The new criteria briefly explained in English

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