BDS IN THE PEWS
September 06, 2015
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- Finland provides direct and indirect financial support for Israeli and Palestinian political advocacy NGOs via various national frameworks.
- Direct funding is distributed by the Finnish Embassy in Tel Aviv and the Representative Office in Ramallah.
- Indirect funding is channeled through FinnChurchAid (FCA) and KIOS, which receive funding from the Finnish government.
- In 2015- 2017, the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ proposed budget to FCA amounted to €28.2 million, €9.2 million of which was allocated for projects in 2015.
- FCA is highly active in promoting international BDS campaigns against Israel.
- While the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs acknowledges its support for a variety of organizations, it fails to reveal funding information or evaluation details of NGO projects, reflecting a lack of transparency and accountability.
- The Finnish Representative Office in Ramallah claims to fund 3-4 NGO projects per year in the West Bank and Gaza. However, it does not reveal funding amounts or which NGOs receive the funding.
- Finland pledged €23.35 million to the West Bank and Gaza for 2014-17 at the Cairo Conference on Palestine – Reconstructing Gaza in October 2014.
- This included €2.35 million channeled through UNRWA, FinnChurchAid (FCA), and the International Red Cross. These groups transfer funds to unknown NGOs in Gaza.
- Finland has also provided funds to the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI), Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD)-Finland, and Kepa, an umbrella organization that claims to promote multiculturalism in Finland.
- ICAHD is highly active in promoting anti-Israel BDS campaigns, explicitly advocates for the end of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people, and utilizes highly biased and politicized rhetoric, accusing Israel of “ethnic cleansing,” “genocide,” “collective punishment,” and “apartheid.”
- EAPPI sends “Ecumenical Accompaniers,” to “provide protective presence to vulnerable communities, monitor and report human rights abuses”; frequently uses inflammatory and demonizing rhetoric against Israel, engages in BDS campaigns, and promotes a Palestinian “right of return.”
- In response from pressure from BDS groups, Kepa denied the Jewish National Fund (JNF) in Finland entry to its World Village Festival. In response, Israel’s ambassador to Finland stated: “The existence of the Jewish state in [the Middle East] probably does not fit into the organizers' agenda. So KEPA...chose to accept general unspecified allegations and accusations raised from those who deny Israel's right to exist, and simply decided to get rid of this nuisance. I wonder which of KEPA's fundamental values: Sustainable development, Environmental protection, Fairness, Tolerance, Equality, Will for peace, Human rights and Democracy were served by this outrageous decision.”
Finnish Funding Based on Financial Reports Submitted to the Israeli Registrar od Non-Profits (Amounts in NIS)
Examples of Finnish funding recipients:
Zochrot- An Israeli NGO established with the aim of “rais[ing] public awareness of the Palestinian Nakba” (“catastrophe,” referring to the establishment of the state of Israel), and “recognizing and materializing the right of return,” which is equivalent to calling for the elimination of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. Zochrot supports a “One State Solution” or a “de-Zionized Palestine,” and promotes the Durban strategy of demonization, accusing Israel of “ethnic cleansing,” “ongoing destruction of Palestinian localities,” “expulsion,” “massacres,” and “disregard for the rights of refugees and displaced people.”
Hamoked– Petitions international bodies and the Israeli High Court of Justice, making inflammatory allegations of Israeli “apartheid,” “deportations,” “torture,” and “forcible transfers.” Hamoked also submitted a statement to the eventually discredited Goldstone report, holding Israel accountable for the human rights violations, while ignoring the role of Hamas and Palestinian terror in the 2008-9 conflict.
Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI)- PCATI engages in highly political activities, supporting the arrest and prosecution of Israeli officials in European courts. Also promotes unverifiable allegations of Israeli torture, while altogether omitting the context of terror, and has lobbied the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to open investigations against Israeli officials.
- No transparency in NGO funding, Dennis Mitzner, Jerusalem Post blogs, October 18, 2011
- Loathing in Helsinki, Dennis Mitzner, Jersualem Post blogs, October 10, 2011
- Finnish Funding for NGOs: Political Warfare under the “Peace” Façade, March 9, 2010
- NGO Monitor Report on FDC - March 6, 2006