German humanitarian organizations and a powerful Green Party think tank provide funds to a Palestinian NGO that employs convicted PFLP terrorists and advocates a boycott of the Jewish state.
The revelations were disclosed in an Israeli Strategic Affairs Ministry 22-page report issued last week titled: “The Money Trail: European Union Financing of Organizations Promoting Boycotts against the State of Israel.”
The German organizations Bread for the World, World Peace Service and the Green Party’s Heinrich Boll Foundation supply funds to Ramallah-based Palestinian human rights NGO Al-Haq, according to the donor section of Al-Haq’s website. World Peace Service is a German government agency.
According to the report, Al-Haq “is led by a former senior official of the EU-designated terror organization the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Shawan Jabarin, director-general of Al-Haq, served three years in prison for terrorist activities, and currently employs former PFLP activists, who were also incarcerated due to involvement in terror.”
The United States also designated the PFLP a terrorist entity.
The Strategic Affairs report noted Al-Haq “promotes boycotts against the State of Israel and has taken action against the State of Israel in the International Criminal Court and the United Nation Human Rights Council.”
The ministry detailed a running list of Al-Haq BDS activity against Israel. Al-Haq worked to pressure the UNHRC “to publish a ‘black list’ of companies with some connection to Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem.”
According to the report, “Al-Haq, along with several French organizations, published a report regarding a transportation infrastructure project, urging companies involved in the project to cancel their contracts with Israel’s authorities, and to declare their refusal to take part in any project directly or indirectly contributing to communities within the Judea and Samaria regions. In June 2018, Al-Haq published a statement calling for sanctions against the State of Israel.”
Olga Deutsch, the vice president of the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor organization, told The Jerusalem Post that the “German government should immediately stop funding the group [Al-Haq]. More importantly, Germany should work toward developing funding guidelines and selection criteria.”
She added that “especially governmental agencies that channel taxpayers money should not be funding Al-Haq. Under the guise of promoting human rights, Al-Haq promotes extreme rejectionist agendas and even had ties to the PFLP, a terrorist organization designated as such by the EU.” World Peace Service declined to answer Post email and telephone calls. Deutsch urged the Boll Foundation and Bread for the World to pull the plug on their funding streams for Al-Haq.
Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the head of the Jerusalem office of the international human rights organization Simon Wiesenthal Center, told the Post that “Every possible effort should be made to halt EU funding for any organization or NGO of any sorts which support boycotts of Israel. Support for boycotts of Israel are essentially a new form of antisemitism, which the EU purports to oppose.”
According to the Strategic Affairs report, Al-Haq’s funding amounts €296,600 in “direct multi-year financing of organizations promoting boycotts against the State of Israel.”
Al-Haq attacked Israel’s financial system, the ministry wrote, by co-publishing a report titled: “The Dangerous Liaisons of French Banks with the Israeli Occupation.” The pro-BDS report urges “French banks to withdraw direct or indirect financing of Israeli companies and banks which contribute to the development of the ‘settlements.”
In May, 2018, the organization UK Lawyers for Israel announced that credit card companies Visa, Mastercard and American Express pulled the plug on services to Al-Haq because of a link to a terrorist organization.
In addition to Jabarin, the convicted PFLP member who oversees Al-Haq, the group employs PFLP operatives who were incarcerated in Israel because of terror-related activities. The Strategic Affairs Ministry listed the men as Ziyad Muhammad Shehadeh Hamedian, who works as Al-Haq’s director of training. He was held in custody in 1996 and 2005-2007 due to terrorist activities carried out on behalf of the PFLP.
The report cited Zahi Abd-Al-Hadi Muhammad Jaradat, “who serves as “the director of Operations, Management and Donations, and oversees the organization’s budget. During 1988-1992, Jaradat was held in custody numerous times due to terrorist activities carried out on behalf of the PFLP.”
It also mentions Majed Omar Daud Abbadi, who worked for “Al-Haq as its director of Planning and Projects until 2016. He was arrested numerous times by Israeli security forces in the early 1990s for terrorist activities carried out on behalf of the PFLP.”
PFLP terrorists murdered five Israelis in a Jerusalem synagogue in 2014. An additional seven worshipers were injured in the terrorist attack, including a rabbi who went into coma and died of his wounds months later. A total of five rabbis were killed and an Israeli police officer.
Renate Vacker, a spokeswoman for Bread for the World, told the Post, “We emphasize once again that we do not promote organizations that challenge Israel’s right to exist, call for boycotts of goods from Israel or express antisemitism.”
She said Bread for the World does not finance Al-Haq but one project of Al-Haq that addresses the retention of human rights in the Palestinian territories in connection with Israelis, Palestinians and international people.
In response to the terrorism allegations, Vacker said “like the EU, we have no strong evidence that Shawan Jabarin, director of Al Haq, has ever been a member of PFLP. There is also no evidence that he calls for violence.”
Vacker declined to say how much funding Bread for the World provided to Al-Haq between 2015 and 2019. When asked if Bread for the World plans to terminate its funding for Al-Haq, she said no.
Deutsch, from the watchdog organization NGO Monitor, countered by saying “Al-Haq is a BDS group that proactively engages in lawyers against Israel but more dangerously is known for its ties to terror.” Al-Haq did not respond to a Post press query.
The Boll Foundation’s Ramallah office has launched antisemitic attacks against Israel, according to German Jews. The prominent German Jewish organization – Values Initiative – urged Boll in June 2018 to discharge Bettina Marx, the head of its Ramallah-based office, because she allegedly spreads contemporary antisemitism and defends Palestinian terrorism against the Jewish state.
“The willingness to condemn antisemitism is very high in the speeches of German decision-makers,” Dr. Elio Adler, chairman of Values Initiative, told the Post at the time. “But when it comes to putting words into action, we often see weakness. Some even a blind eye when antisemitism is right in front of them. This is why we call upon the heads of the Heinrich Böll Foundation to dismiss Mrs. Marx.”
Marx blamed only the Jewish state in a Deutsche Welle article for the collapse of the peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel.
“A verse in the Torah says ‘the voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground’,” quoted Weissberg from the biblical account of the slaying of Abel by his brother Cain.
“The people in these countries [where war crimes and genocide takes place] have no voice, and no prime minister is looking out for them. We need to think of them too, we can prevent much suffering in these countries and we need to take these people into consideration. Our rifles are being used against them,” she said.
She conceded the need to preserve relations with powerful countries but said that regardless it would still be possible to limit arms sales to smaller countries with bad human rights records.
“I have often thought about how I would have felt if I would have lived during the Holocaust, and I think the hardest thing would be the feeling of abandonment, that no one cares about us and it is very hard for me to hear that we are abandoning people.”
In 2017, the Myanmar military made public their purchase of three Super Dvora Mk III patrol boats, manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries, reportedly with weapons systems installed on them.
According to human rights groups, ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar’s northern region began in late 2016, and more than 900,000 Rohingya have fled the country since 2015 due to a campaign of mass arson, rape, massacres and other atrocities carried out by Myanmar security forces.
In August 2016, the Israeli global defense contracting company TAR Ideal Concept Ltd. published pictures on their website of Myanmar forces training with the Israeli-manufactured CornerShot rifle, seemingly with Israeli trainers.
A document it published with the pictures was titled “Israeli Corner- Shot now in service in Myanmar’s Special Operations Task Force.”
ACE Galil assault rifles manufactured by Israel Military Industries have also been sold to South Sudan, where atrocities have been carried out since the civil war there began in 2013, although the rifles were likely sold before the violence broke out.
Rabbi Avidan Freedman, an educator and activist in the National-Religious community, described Netanyahu’s response as “between evasive and outright deceitful,” pointing out that Weissberg asked about weapons sales not diplomatic relations.
He said Israel had been issuing export licenses for weapons to Myanmar up to August 2017, while reports of severe human rights abuses and genocide were made by the US Holocaust Museum in 2015 and the UN reported on mass killings of Rohingya in 2016.