Recently Israeli security personnel raided the offices of several non-governmental organizations because of their close ties to Palestinian terrorist groups—receiving widespread condemnation, and not just from the usual corners. The State Department spokesman Ned Price said that American senior officials were “concerned” about the raids and stated pointedly that “independent civil-society organizations in the West Bank and Israel must be able to continue their important work.” Price added that the U.S. would examine any information about these groups passed on by Israeli authorities, but it had so far not seen any evidence it considered damning. Melanie Phillips notes, however, that ample evidence that the NGOs in question serve as fronts for terrorists is readily available in the public domain:
Since 2007, [the Israel-based group] NGO Monitor has published numerous reports based on open sources that have documented the close connections between a number of NGOs and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Last year, NGO Monitor identified a network of thirteen such groups, including the seven identified by Israel, linked to the PFLP and funded by European or other governments.
Moreover, some countries whose governments have expressed outrage at Israel’s action have themselves identified such links. [An] investigation commissioned by the United States Agency of International Development (USAID) described [one such Palestinian group], the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, as being the PFLP’s agricultural arm.
In 2020, the Netherlands government admitted that part of a Dutch aid package was used to pay the salaries of two of this agricultural union’s employees charged with murdering Rina Shnerb, a seventeen-year-old Israeli who was killed in 2019 by a roadside bomb in the disputed territories, and it temporarily halted those aid payments.
But how can these governments maintain that they have seen no evidence to support Israel’s claim? What they actually mean is that they reject Israel’s evidence. This may be because the political and diplomatic parts of government often don’t know what the counterterrorism and security parts are discovering. . . . What’s more likely, however, is that such governments simply refuse to engage with any evidence that would undermine their own strategy against Israel.