Wednesday, 19 Jan 2022 - 17 of Shevat, 5782

Advocacy group calls on Belgian minister to stop funding terror-linked NGOs, follow example of the Netherlands

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Belgian Friends of Israel alluded to the recent decision by the Netherlands to stop funding the Palestinian NGO Union of Agricultural Work Committee (UAWC) due to its many close connections with the PFLP, designated by the EU as a terrorist organisation. Two members of the UAWC board are terrorists linked tot the bombing that killed 17-year-old Israeli girl Rina Shnerb in 2019.

BFOI also mentioned a statement by Israel’s ambassador to Belgium Emmanuel Nahshon that ‘’Belgium has received all necessary information regarding links between those NGOs and the terrorist PFLP.’’

Belgium must follow the example of the Netherlands and stop all public funding of Belgian NGOs that have links to the terrorist group Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), wrote advocacy group Belgian Friends of Israel (BFOI) in a letter to Belgian Minister of Development Cooperation Meryame Kitir.

The move by the adocacy group follows repeated calls by Belgian MP Kathleen Depoorter from the NV-A (New Flemish Alliance) party tot he minister urging her to take action.

Last week Depoorter tweeted that Kitir, who is a member of the Flemish Socialist party, must instigate an “external investigation” into the “money flows that can be linked to the PFLP”.

In its letter, BFOI cited research by NGO Monitor revealing that in 2017-2021 Belgium gave 1.28 million euos to NGOs closely tied to the PFLP.

BFOI also alluded to the recent decision by the Netherlands to stop funding the Palestinian NGO Union of Agricultural Work Committee (UAWC) due to its many close connections with the PFLP, designated by the EU as a terrorist organisation. Two members of the UAWC board are terrorists linked tot the bombing that killed 17-year-old Israeli girl Rina Shnerb in 2019.

BFOI also mentioned a statement by Israel’s ambassador to Belgium Emmanuel Nahshon that ‘’Belgium has received all necessary information regarding links between those NGOs and the terrorist PFLP.’’

“We support calls for an external investigation”, BFOI’s letter said. Minister Kitir “should announce such an investigation immediately. It needs to be external and therefore independent since there are grave doubts about the objectivity of your administration”.

BFOI explained these doubts by noting the appointment by the minister of her spokeswoman ‘’whose father-in-law was a PFLP terrorist.’’

According to the advocacy group, the spokeswoman had stated publicly that “it is our duty to continue this fight”. ‘’Her husband has published images glorifying PFLP terrorists, including his father brandishing a rifle,” it said.

The letter continued, “At no point have you distanced yourself from these words and actions. It is shocking that the minister who is responsible for funding Belgian NGOs, that are so closely connected with a murderous terrorist group, knowingly employs someone who endorses and has family ties to that group.”

Minister Kitir “must explain to Belgians why she has not followed the democratic example of the Netherlands and stopped public funding of NGOs linked to the terrorist group PFLP” concluded BFOI’s letter.

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