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BDS IN THE PEWS

 

 

 

Swedish Funding for Politicized NGOs Active in the Arab-Israeli Conflict

NGO Monitor August 30, 2015

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  • The Swedish government funds numerous Israeli and Palestinian NGOs through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), the Embassy in Tel Aviv, the Representative Office in Ramallah, and indirectly by outsourcing to Swedish aid organizations such as Diakonia and Kvinna till Kvinna.
  • One of SIDA’s “overall objectives” for funding in the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict is “Promot[ing] peacebuilding and the peace process.” However, as NGO Monitor’s research has shown, many NGOs receiving Swedish funding do not have a record that demonstrates competence to carry out this objective.
  • As of August 30, 2015, SIDA’s aid transparency website, OpenAid, shows that SIDA has funded 75 activities with the combined budget of $44.1 million in “Palestine” in 2015 thus far.
  • Revealing a lack of transparency, millions of dollars are diverted to “unspecified” projects, including over $26.6 million dollars from 2012-2015.
  • Additionally, Sweden, together with the governments of Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands, compose the joint funding mechanism of the Human Rights and International Law Secretariat (the “Secretariat”). This funding mechanism has a projected budget of $17.6 million over four years. The funds are managed by the Institute of Law at Birzeit University (IoL-BZU) and a European multidisciplinary consulting company, NIRAS. Sweden’s contribution to the Secretariat amounts to $4,713,504 (2013-2017). (See here for more on the Human Rights and International Law Secretariat).
  • In March 2014, the Secretariat announced $10.5 million in pooled funding, over three years, for 24 Israeli and Palestinian NGOs, including many groups that engage in legal warfare against Israeli officials and companies that do business with Israel, promote BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns, advance a “1948 agenda” (rejecting a state of Israel in any form and regardless of boundaries), use explicitly antisemitic imagery and language, and exploit the false “apartheid” analogy to demonize Israel. For more details on these groups, see “Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat: Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.”
  • In 2014, the “Secretariat” provided additional NGO funding “for the purposes of assisting and supporting national and international mechanisms” such as the UN Human Rights Council’s investigation, and the campaign to open cases against Israelis in the International Criminal Court.
  • In addition, the IHL Secretariat’s project funding cycle for September 2015 to August 2016, which focuses on complex and highly volatile issues related to Jerusalem, allocated an additional $1,325,517 to politicized NGOs that promote a Palestinian narrative, including PalVision, Ir Amim, Al-Maqdese for Society Development, Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem (CCPRJ), Emek Shaveh, PYALARA, and others.
  • Diakonia, which received SEK 170.5 million from Sweden in 2014 (SEK 20.3m of which was provided to "Palestine"), exploits legal rhetoric to demonize Israel, accusing Israel of "war crimes," "collective punishment" and "violations of international law." As of August 30, 2015, Diakonia received $1.6m from Sweden in 2015.
  • Kvinna till Kvinna received $1.4 million in 2014 from SIDA, with a committed total of $4.2 million for 2014-2017. While the organization claims to promote women’s rights and empowerment, it funds some of the most highly biased and politicized NGOs active in the Arab-Israeli conflict. For example, they fund the Coalition of Women for Peace, an leading advocate of BDS, and Terrestrial Jerusalem, which promotes the Palestinian narrative on Jerusalem.
  • The Church of Sweden, which received $951,094 from Sweden in 2014 and $367,088 in 2015 (accessed August 30, 2015), endorses and promotes the Kairos Palestine document. This document calls for BDS (boycotts, divestment, and sanctions) against Israel and denies the Jewish historical connection to Israel, as well as ignores the extreme harassment and violence committed by Palestinians against Christians.
NGO Destructive Activities Funding Swedish Funding Framework
Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP) Leader of boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaigns

NIS 109,872 (2014)

NIS 47,322 (2013)

NIS 118,066 (2012)

NIS 45,695 (2012)

 

Kvinna till Kvinna

Kvinna till Kvinna

Kvinna till Kvinna

Diakonia

Badil Leader of BDS campaigns; rejects the existence of a Jewish state; engages in antisemitic activities Not Disclosed Diakonia
Sabeel Supports a one-state framework; leader of BDS campaigns; uses antisemitic theology rhetoric 711,000 SEK Diakonia
Alternative Information Center (AIC) Rejects the existence of a Jewish state; supports BDS

NIS 483,860 (2013)

NIS 501,521 (2012)

Diakonia
Palestinian Nongovernmental Organizations Network (PNGO) Opposes peace talks; supports BDS

Not disclosed

Not disclosed

Diakonia

SIDA

Physicians for Human Rights- Israel (PHR-I) Under the guise of medical expertise and scientific fact, PHR-I promotes distorted and false narratives, aimed at demonizing Israel.

NIS 355,451 (2014)

NIS 375,865 (2013)

Diakonia
B'Tselem Regularly contributes to the international delegitimization and demonization of Israel through its politically motivated campaigns, which are characterized by repeated false or distorted factual and legal allegations, inaccurate research and skewed statistics. 

NIS 124,426 (2014)

NIS 271,631 (2013)

NIS 287,321 (2012)

Diakonia
Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) Active in lobbying Israeli and foreign diplomats, accusing Israel of implementing “racist,” “discriminatory” and “apartheid” policies. 

NIS 235,956 (2014)

NIS 274,210 (2013)

NIS 409,873 (2012)

Diakonia
Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) Promotes unverifiable allegations of Israeli torture, as the basis for politically motivated campaigns against Israel in international forums.

NIS 241,443 (2013)

NIS 359,713 (2012)

Kvinna till Kvinna
Ir Amim Promotes the Palestinian narrative of victimization. Although it has been described as “work[ing] toward coexistence in Jerusalem,” an Ir Amim official was quoted as saying that the group was “seeking to advance a political agenda, and was not an organization geared to promote coexistence.”

NIS 417,479 (2014)

NIS 568,199 (2013)

NIS 542,328 (2012)

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Swedish Embassy 

Swedish Global Conflict Prevention Pool

Terrestrial Jerusalem Promotes a one-sided narrative to the conflict, based on Palestinian victimization and Israeli aggression. NIS 121,467 (2013) Kvinna till Kvinna

 

Swedish funding via Diakonia, Kvinna till Kvinna and SIDA


Examples of Swedish funding recipients:
 
Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP), which describes  itself as “a feminist organization against the occupation of Palestine and for a just peace,” is a leader of boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaigns, particularly via the “Who Profits” campaign it initiated. The “Who Profits” website serves as an “online database and information centre,” initiated “in response to the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) on Israel...” CWP officials have been photographed holding a flag of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – an EU-recognized terrorist organization responsible for numerous attacks against civilians. (After NGO Monitor informed CWP’s funders of this image, it was removed from CWP’s Facebook page.)
 
Alternative Information Center (AIC) “strongly opposes ‘normalisation’, – meaning cooperation and positive interactions between Israelis and Palestinians. Founder and head, Michael Warschawski  has said that “one has to unequivocally reject the very idea (and existence) of a Jewish state, whatever will be its borders,” and has written that “Peace, or, better, justice, cannot be achieved without a total decolonization (one can say de-Zionisation) of the Israeli State.
 
Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO) is a Palestinian NGO umbrella organization comprising 92 Palestinian NGO member organizations. PNGO is one of the leaders of the political warfare campaign against Israel, and maintains a radical anti-peace agenda. In July 2013, PNGO opposed resumed negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians, in part because progress in the peace process harms boycott efforts.
 
Badil was founded to promote a Palestinian “right of return” and is a leader in international BDS campaigns. In 2010 it signed a document explicitly rejecting the Roadmap for Peace and the Arab Peace Initiative, in sharp contradiction to the goals and policies of its government sponsors. BADIL also holds annual “right of return contests” in which it has published antisemitic cartoons on its website, as well as imagery promoting a one-state solution and denying Israel’s right to exist. After the antisemitic cartoons were publicly revealed by NGO Monitor, Switzerland froze the funding for this NGO.
 
Sabeel supports a “one-state” framework for the Arab-Israeli conflict, meaning the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state.  Its “Vision for the Future” states, “The ideal and best solution has always been to envisage ultimately a bi-national state in Palestine-Israel… One state for two nations and three religions.” (emphasis added). The organization issued a paper, “Sabeel’s Call for Morally Responsible Investment, A Nonviolent Response to the Occupation,” calling on churches to “to divest/disinvest from companies and corporations that do not respond and comply with morally responsible investment and business practices.” Sabeel uses antisemitic deicide imagery against Israel and consistently disparages Judaism as “tribal,” “primitive,” and “exclusionary.” 
 

Sweden Essentials:

 

ESSENTIALS
Secretariat Funding Provides Backbone for NGO Contributions to the UN Report on Gaza, NGO Monitor Report, June 24, 2015

Human Rights and International Law Secretariat, NGO Monitor factsheet, February 8, 2015

Sweden Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report, NGO Monitor Report, February 25, 2015

Is there a connection between Swedish Aid and Hamas Institutions?, Tobias Peterson, The Jerusalem Post, April 27, 2015

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