Expose: Sweden Funds Radical Arabs
Sweden, which took over the presidency of the European Union last week, funds radical pro-Arab and anti-Zionist groups, according to the Israeli based NGO Monitor, headed by Prof. Gerald Steinberg, chairman of Political Studies at Bar-Ilan University.
NGO Monitor charged that Sweden cannot "play a positive role as a European leader" unless it changes it funding policies.
Sweden has not commented on the report, which shows that its Swedish International Cooperation Agency (SIDA) has donated millions of dollars to non-government organizations (NGOs) that ostensibly promote peace but which encourage anti-Israel activities. SIDA's website claims that funding for joint Israeli and Palestinian human rights campaigns "has helped to increase public support for a peaceful solution in both Israel and Palestine."
Among pro-Arab NGOs funded by Sweden are the Diakobia International Humanitarian Law project and Sabeel's Nabka Memorial Program. "Nakba" is the Arab term for the "catastrophe" of the re-establishment of Israel. Sabeel is a leader of the church divestment campaign, and its director Naim Ateek employs anti-Semitic themes and imagery in sermons promoting his "Palestinian Liberation Theology," NGO Monitor revealed.
Another recipient of SIDA funds is the Palme Center, which accuses Israel of "provok[ing] the al-Aqsa rising and the Oslo War, also known as the Second Intifada, and "disproportionate violence against civilians, unlawful executions and torture." Fighting in Gaza is also blamed on "the provocative Israeli occupation."
Other SIDA grantees, include the Alternative Information Center (AIC), Women's Affairs Technical Committee (WATC), Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS), and Jerusalem Center for Women (JWC), which demonize Israel with the rhetoric of "apartheid," "ethnic cleansing," and "massacres," according to NGO Monitor.
SIDA contributions in the Middle East were lopsidedly geared for the Palestinian Authority, where NGOs received $59 million in 2008, representing more than 70 percent of the SIDA budget for the region.
In addition, the Arab NGOs distributed some of the Swedish funds to other agencies that are not detailed in reports to Stockholm. Several of Diakonia's partner organizations are extreme pro-Arab groups that often are engaged in incitement against Israel such as the Alternative Information Center (AIC) that refers to the "Israeli occupation-regime" and the Arab-Israeli "colonial conflict."
AIC is against normalization with Israel, claiming that the collaboration of a Palestinian NGO with the Israeli Peres Center for Peace "is politically unacceptable, and morally disgusting. Shimon Peres is definitely an enemy of the Palestinian people, of human rights and of peace," according to AIC, quoted by NGO Monitor.
Another Swedish-funded NGO is Al Haq, whose director Shawan Jabarin has been denied exit visas by Israel and Jordan because of alleged ties to the Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization.
Sweden's agency also donated $400,000 to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), which refers to rocket attacks on Israeli civilians as part of the "resistance" and which accused the "Israel Occupation Forces" of booby-trapping explosive devices in a house where five children died in a "work accident" by terrorists.
NGO Monitor also revealed that $100,000 was given to Badil, which promotes the demand that five million foreign Arabs claiming ancestry in Israel be allowed to immigrate to the Jewish state. It backs a "targeted campaign to expose the lies of AIPAC and the Anti-Defamation League and to expose the Jewish and Zionist community's double standards regarding Nakba & Occupation."