German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock does not want to let the attack by the Palestinian organization Hamas dissuade her from continuing to support humanitarian aid organizations in Palestine that are classified by Israel as close to terrorism.
Baerbock says: “I strongly condemn the terrorist attacks from Gaza against Israel. Israel has our full solidarity and the right under international law to defend itself against terror.” But she does not draw the conclusion from this, namely to immediately stop German support for dubious Palestinian organizations.
Baerbock’s team considers the NGOs on Israel’s terror list to be trustworthy
As documents from the Bundestag show, a dispute has been simmering between the Israeli government and the German Foreign Minister for months over the financing of six Palestinian non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The Israelis describe them as terrorist organizations, but the German side does not follow this view and supports the NGOs.
The Foreign Office, led by Baerbock, most recently responded to this in June corresponding request from the Left in the Bundestag pointed out. This makes it clear that the NGOs that are on the list of possible terrorist financiers in Israel have been checked by Baerbock’s team, but are still considered trustworthy.
On October 19, 2021, the Israeli Ministry of Defense declared six Palestinian non-governmental organizations in the occupied Palestinian territories to be “terrorist organizations.” Addameer, al-Haq, Defense for Children Palestinethe Union of Agricultural Work Committees, Bisan Center for Research and Development and the Union of Palestinian Women Committees.
The money does not flow directly, but through German aid organizations
The government classified the organizations as “terrorist” in accordance with an Israeli law from 2016. In doing so, it “effectively banned the activities of the affected NGOs,” the human rights organization Amnesty International said at the time. In doing so, it authorized the Israeli authorities to open their offices to close down, confiscate their assets, arrest and imprison their employees. All organizations are suspected of supporting terrorists in one way or another.
They still get money from Germany. It’s about 340 million euros from the Foreign Office and the Development Aid Ministry, some of which ends up with these groups. The money does not flow directly to the Palestinians, but through German aid organizations such as the Civil Peace Service – motto: “We are not afraid of conflict”, Medico and party-affiliated foundations.
The aid organization itself is aware of the “tightrope act,” as Medico describes it in a current statement: They are trying with partner organizations “to counteract the dynamics in Gaza and to counter the lack of prospects with solidarity support. This is a constant tightrope act – not because we have to fear that our help will fall into the wrong hands, but because it is clear that we will not be able to change the general conditions.”
Almost 20 EU countries see things differently than Baerbock’s house
Baerbock points out that the Foreign Office’s position on the Israeli attitude towards the six Palestinian non-governmental organizations in question corresponds to that of the foreign ministries of eight EU countries, including France and Italy. However, there are apparently almost 20 EU countries that see it differently. This also explains the information chaos that currently exists in Brussels on the subject.
In addition to the German money, around twice as much comes from the EU. EU Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi announced on Monday that it would no longer be paid.
Just hours later, a second commissioner spoke up and contradicted: “The EU’s humanitarian assistance to Palestinians in need will continue as long as necessary,” wrote Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Janez Lenarcic.