BDS IN THE PEWS
September 20, 2015
- The Norwegian government provides millions of krone annually, through direct and indirect funding processes, to highly politicized NGOs (non-governmental organizations) that operate in Norway, Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.
- A number of these NGOs are active in BDS campaigns (boycott, divestment and sanctions) and other forms of demonization. Some groups have also promoted antisemitic rhetoric and have apparent links to terror organizations.
- The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), provide all funds listed below with one exception, as noted. However, the specific funding mechanism for each grant is not always clear).
- Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) received three grants totaling nearly $3.9 million in 2013-2015 including $544,050 from NORAD for general support and $3,143,400 from the MFA for emergency relief and to “Prevent further displacement and contribute to durable solutions by applying a rights based approach, encompassing emergency relief, early recovery and capacity building for local communities and governmental authorities.”
- In 2013-2014, NRC allocated over NOK 111.1 million (~NIS 51 million) in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. A major component of NRC’s work is a legal advocacy program that has financed hundreds of cases in Israeli courts, and designed to cause extensive damage to the integrity of legal processes in Israel.
- A lawyer affiliated with the NRC program stated that the objective of these cases are an attempt to “try every possible legal measure to disrupt the Israeli judicial system… as many cases as possible are registered and that as many cases as possible are appealed to increase the workload of the courts and the Supreme Court to such an extent that there will be a blockage.” (emphasis added)
- NRC maintains a “low visibility policy,” suggesting a deliberate attempt to prevent public scrutiny and to avoid accountability vis-à-vis the Israeli democratic process.
- Al Haq received $140,000 in 2014 from the MFA for a project to “capitalize [on]… the new status of the Palestinian State in the UN.”
- Al Haq is a leader in anti-Israel “lawfare” campaigns and BDS activities. The NGO’s general director, Shawan Jabarin, is allegedly linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a designated terrorist organization by the U.S., EU, and Canada.
- Miftah received $140,000 in 2014 from the MFA for core budget funding.
- Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) received $241,800 in 2014-2015 from the MFA.
- PCHR has engaged in lawfare activities throughout the world and also focuses on pursuing charges against Israel at the International Criminal Court, including meetings with ICC officials in Hague to “explore different avenues to bring justice to the victims of serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law.”
- Al Mezan has two grants - $674,741 in 2014-2018.
- Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) - two grants totaling $6,643,586 for 2012-2016. NPA is a leader and mobilizer of anti-Israel BDS (boycotts, divestments, and sanctions) campaigns. Promotes allegations of Israeli “apartheid,” “collective punishment,” “war crimes,” and “violations of international law and human rights.”
- Played a central role in lobbying the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) to divest from Israeli companies, promoting distorted factual and legal claims.
- Worked with the Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees (Fagforbundet) on 2012 report falsely alleged that Norwegian companies, through financial investments in Israel, are participating in international law and human rights abuses. The report was cited as a central resource for the GPFG campaign, as well as other BDS efforts.
- NPA funds the Union of Palestinian NGO Network (UPNGO}- members include Al Haq, Badil, Miftah, Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), and Addameer) and for “Conflict preparedness and resilience” (source unknown). One component of the latter grant is a “Pilot project for development and evaluation of measures to better protect the lives of individuals and the ability of communities in Gaza to withstand and recover from the impacts of the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.”
Indirect Norwegian funding
6. Who Profits– a leading BDS group- reported receiving 49,838 NIS in 2015 and 42,837 NIS in 2014 from the Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees (Fagforbundet) for research.
- Identifies targets for anti-Israel divestment and boycotts, playing a central role in BDS, initiating international campaigns targeting Israeli and foreign banks, security companies, civil infrastructure facilities, and private companies.
- Norway Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report, NGO Monitor Report, February 25, 2015
- Norwegian NGO-Statements on Israel's Military Operation Against Hamas: Exposing Israel's Demonization, NGO Monitor factsheet, August 3, 2014
- Exploiting Justice: How the UK, EU, & Norway Fund NGO Lawfare vs. Israel, NGO Monitor Report, February 20, 2014
- Norwegian-Funded NGOs Responsible for Norwegian Pension Fund Divestment, NGO Monitor Factsheet, April 2, 2014
- Will Norway Help Palestinian NGO Destroy ICC? 'Human Rights Group' Using Oslo Funds in Pressing Int'l Criminal Court to Target Israel, Gerald Steinberg, Ynet, August 16, 2013. Also published in Verdens Gang (Norway) "Misbruk av straffed" August 10, 2013; and Yediot Ahronot (Hebrew)
- Sins of Omission in Syria (Norwegian - Unnlatelsessynden i Syria), Editorial, Dagbladet, August 12, 2012
- Norwegian NGO Funding: Peace and Coexistence, or Boycotts and Apartheid Rhetoric?, March 9, 2010
- Norway and UK governments contribute to World Bank grant for Palestinians, April 12, 2008
- "Interview with Sarah Mandel on NGO Monitor's report on Norwegian Government NGO funding," (Norwegian) Avidar Norberg, Karmel February 01, 2007
- NGO Monitor Report: Norwegian Funding for Politicized NGOs, January 4, 2007