BDS IN THE PEWS
August 27, 2012
Israeli NGOs and projects funded by the UK in 2011-12 include:
(Information from correspondence with British Embassy in Tel Aviv, August 2012)
- B’Tselem: Visual Impact: Deterrence, Accountability and Public Awareness – £30,000 (£135,000 in 2010-11)
- Ir Amim: Exposing and Challenging Settlement in the Heart of East Jerusalem – £33,390 (£127,850 in 2008-09)
- Peace Now: Settlement Watch – 2011-12 – £60,000
- Peace Now: Settlement Watch - Uplift – £40,000
- Terrestrial Jerusalem: Graphic materials, action alerts, analyses – £15,000. This group claims to “deliver information, maps and data about the full spectrum of Jerusalem-related developments which could impact either the political process of permanent status options. It also provides specific policy proposals regarding Jerusalem issues being discussed or negotiated at any given time.” Founder Danny Seidemann has stated that Israel’s actions in Jerusalem were “contributing to the transformation of a resolvable national-political conflict into an intractable mix of jihad, war of mitzvah, and Armageddon – a religious war driven by the Biblical imagery.” (₤30,000 in 2010-11)
- Yesh Din: Law Enforcement – £36,000 (£350,755 in 2008-2011)
- Shatil (NIF): Housing Rights in Akko – £20,000
- Shatil (NIF): Housing Rights in Lodd – £20,000
- Arab Centre for Arab Planning – £19,810
Israeli NGOs that had previously received UK funding and are no longer listed:
Palestinian NGOs and projects funded by the UK in 2010-11 include:
- Defence for Children International – Palestine Section (DCI-PS) – ₤12,500 from MENA CP, approved December 2010. DCI-PS is active in anti-Israel BDS (boycotts, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns, including making allegations of “war crimes” at the UN Human Rights Council. It published a poster referring to Israeli security measurements as “a central pillar of the Apartheid-like system of discrimination in place in these areas.”
- Holy Land Trust (HLT) – ₤10,000 from MENA CP and ₤5000 from Bilateral Program Budget in 2010-11. HLT is heavily involved in the BDS campaign and conducts highly politicized tours targeting church leaders and the international community. HLT suggests that its participants “limit information” given to Israeli airport security and hide the reason for their visits.
- International Peace and Cooperation Center (IPCC) – ₤400,030 from MENA CP in 2010-11. IPCC focuses on planning and zoning issues in Jerusalem and the West Bank. Alleges that the motive behind the security barrier is “redrawing the borders of the Israeli Jerusalem Municipality,” and that Israeli policy in Jerusalem “aims to segregate and paralyze the urban fabric” of the city. Claims that Jerusalem city officials ensure that Palestinians “know who’s the boss and where their place is!!!”
- Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) – ₤85,397 from MENA CP and ₤69,907 in 2010-11 from the Strategic Programme Fund. ICHR refers to explosions in Hamas military training camps and deaths in tunnels between Gaza and Egypt as human rights violations against Palestinians.
- Bilateral Programme Budget support for Shadia Mansour’s Visit to Palestine (£2000 in 2010/11.). Mansour is a British hip-hop artist, who sang “they came and destroyed our houses; they came and killed our children” to young Palestinian children and who collaborated on a song containg the lyrics “Israel is a terrorist state,” “Israel equals misplacement and ethnic cleansing,” and “Zionism is not compatible with Judaism, the hijacked faith.”
- The UK government funds Palestinian and Israeli NGOs through two frameworks:
- The Middle East and North Africa Conflict Pool (MENA CP), managed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for International Development (DFID), and the Ministry of Defense. This framework includes the Strategic Programme Fund and the Conflict Prevention Pool.
- The Bilateral Programme Budget (BPB) is managed locally, usually through the Embassy in Tel Aviv or Consulate in Jerusalem. It provides funding for small-scale NGO projects.
- UK funding is generally aimed at “support[ing] efforts to achieve a two-state solution, that sees a viable Palestinian state existing in peace and security alongside Israel.” The specific objective for the MENA CP funding is “to improve the environment to make a successful peace process more likely to happen or, in the absence of such a process, reduce the likelihood of severe and widespread violence.”
- Although some NGO grantees reflect universal human rights and humanitarian principles, others pursue an intensely partisan and divisive agenda. These NGOs employ the rhetoric of “apartheid,” “ethnic cleansing,” and “war crimes” in their reports, and are involved in BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns. As the evidence demonstrates, such activities politicize human rights and contribute to the conflict, rather than promoting peace.
- In correspondence with NGO Monitor, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) stated: “The UK Government does not support the BDS movement,” and “we have been very clear that the boycotts movement is not productive... it could be deeply corrosive.”
- The UK government operates transparently regarding NGO funding, providing regular updates on Embassy and Consulate websites. However, the decision making and evaluation processes lack transparency, leaving key policy questions unanswered.
- In June 2011, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office released a tabe entitled “NGO’s in the Middle East Funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.” According to the table, in 2010, the British government financed projects in Bahrain – £3,698; Iraq – £509,503; Israel – £615,183; Palestinian Authority – £501,271; Lebanon – £101,348; Syria – £62,239; Yemen – £163,554.
- UK Funding for NGO Political Advocacy, NGO Monitor Factsheet, March 11, 2014
- Analysis of UK government funding for Israeli and Palestinian political advocacy NGOs: 2008-2011, NGO Monitor Reports, April 22, 2011
- Freedom of Information decision on funding for Mideast NGOs, UK Information Commissioner's Office, March 14, 2011
- NGO Monitor's submission to the International Development Committee Inquiry on the Humanitarian and Development situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, March 20, 2008
- NGO Monitor Submission to the House of Lords Sub-Committee C (Foreign affairs, Defence and Development policy) Inquiry into “The European Union and the Middle East Peace Process”, March 14, 2007
- Aluf Benn, British embassy funding Israeli NGO study on impact of separation fence, Haaretz, February 6, 2007
- UK parliamentary select committee on International Development discusses NGO Monitor's evidence on Christian Aid and UK funding for NGOs that work in Israel and with Palestinians." (Hear recording at 1hr 2min 28 secs)
- NGO Monitor’s Submission to the International Development Committee Inquiry on Development Assistance and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, October 12, 2006