BDS IN THE PEWS
March 18, 2015
- Website: http://www.diakonia.se/en/Info/About-us/
- Founded in 1966 under the name of Swedish Free Church Aid. In 1984 the name of the organization was changed to Diakonia, meaning “care” and “service” in Greek.
- Diakonia’s regional office for the Middle East is located in Jerusalem.
- Aims “to be at the service of those who need our help, to work for change and to have faith in people's ability to make changes – not wait for things to happen by themselves.”
- According to its website, “The five basic themes of our work are human rights, democracy, social and economic justice, gender equality and conflict and justice.”
- Funding: 2013 revenue of SEK 473 million.
- Donors include: Sweden, European Union, and UN agencies. (See chart below for detailed funding information.)
- Political Advocacy: Diakonia’s “International Humanitarian Law” (IHL) program, which has its own online “Resource Center,” exploits international law, demonizes Israel, and promotes anti-Israel lawfare campaigns and a narrative based solely on Palestinian victimization. The IHL program focuses exclusively on Israel, and Diakonia does not conduct similar types of programs in terms of content or resources involving any other conflict region in the world.
- Funds some of the most highly biased and politicized NGOs active in the Arab Israeli conflict including: Alternative Information Center (AIC), Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), Physicians for Human Rights- Israel (PHR-I), Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP), and Sabeel.
- CWP is a leader of BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) campaigns and initiated “Who Profits” (now an independent NGO), which identifies targets for BDS activists.
- Sabeel is active in anti-Israel political campaigns, including church divestment campaigns; supports the “one state solution,” meaning the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state; and often utilizes overtly antisemitic language, such as deicide imagery, as well as replacement and supercessionist theology.
- Reflecting a lack of transparency, Diakonia does not publish amounts provided to NGO grantees. Funding information for some NGOs is available in NGO submissions to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits, in accordance with the Israeli transparency law, as well as NGO annual and financial reports. (See below for available funding information.)
- Diakonia’s website lists “Partners” such as Alternative Information Center (AIC) and Sabeel, as well as Al Haq, Al Mezan, BADIL, Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS), and others.
- Al Haq is a leader in the anti-Israel “lawfare” campaign and regularly submits politically motivated reports to the UN Human Rights Council and other international bodies. Al Haq’s General Director, Shawan Jabarin, has been denied exit visas by Israel and Jordan on account of his alleged ties to the PFLP terrorist organization.
- BADIL promotes a Palestinian “right of return,” meaning the end of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people. An antisemitic cartoon won a monetary award for 2nd prize in BADIL’s 2010 Al-Awda Nakba caricature competition. The cartoon is a blatant representation of classic antisemitic tropes, including a Jewish man, garbed in traditional Hasidic attire, with a hooked nose and side locks. He stands above a dead child and skulls, holding a pitchfork dripping with blood.
- Member of the ACT Alliance, APRODEV, Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) and others.
- ACT Alliance, APRODEV and EMHRN all play key roles in the international demonization of Israel and BDS campaigns.
- During the 2014 Gaza War, Diakonia published a statement (July 13, 2014) accusing Israel of “collective punishment,” “war crimes,” and “violations of international humanitarian law (IHL),” ignoring Hamas terror attacks against Israeli civilians and Israel’s legitimate right to self-defense.
- Diakonia Policy Advisor Joakim Wohlfeil posted a message on Twitter (July 24, 2014) stating: “The outside world must stop Israel’s violations of international law and the constant oppression of the Palestinians.”
- Diakonia’s submission to the Goldstone-UN fact-finding inquiry on the 2009 Gaza conflict similarly vilified and demonized Israel, making allegations of “collective punishment,” “war crimes” and “violation[s] of international humanitarian law.”
- The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine Israel (EAPPI) “extend[ed] a special thanks to Diakonia for providing their expertise on international law in contribution” to EAPPI’s core publication, “Faith Under Occupation” (jointly published with the World Council of Churches and the Jerusalem Inter-Church Centre). The publication places sole blame on Israel for the difficulties faced by Christians in the Holy Land and seeks to “disprove” what it calls “unfounded Israeli and Christian Zionist propaganda that Palestinian Christians are depopulating due to Muslim fundamentalism in Palestinian society.”
- Sponsored a March 2011 exhibit at the Army Museum in Stockholm about Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence (BtS). During an interview, BtS representative Itamar Shapira stated: “We are the oppressors, we are the ones that are violating human rights on a daily basis. We are creating the terror against us, basically... This is a war against civilians, a war against society.” (emphasis added).
- BtS utilizes anonymous and unverifiable “testimonies” of low level soldiers to make politically biased accusations against Israel that erase the complicated reality in the West Bank and reflect a distorted interpretation of the conflict, thereby fueling the international demonization campaign against Israel.
Partial list of donors based on information provided by 2013 annual report
||Amount (in thousands of SEK)
|Norwegian Association of the Disabled
|"Nordic Climate Facilities"
Partial list of Diakonia funding to highly politicized NGOs based on NGO submissions to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits and NGO annual reports
||Amount (NIS) and Year
|Alternative Information Center (AIC)
|Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI)
|Physicians for Human Rights -Israel (PHR-I)
|Coalition of Women for Peace
- Exchange with Diakonia on Breaking the Silence exhibition and allegations against NGO Monitor, NGO Monitor Correspondence, September 5, 2011
- Diakonia: An Analysis of Activities in the Arab-Israeli Conflict, NGO Monitor Reports, August 25, 2009
- Equal Value of all Human Life?, Ilya Meyer, The Jerusalem Post, December 6, 2008