Click for a compilation of articles highlighting NGO Monitor’s contributions to the broader conversation about NGOs, funding, and accountability in Australia. These include blogs and op-eds written by NGO Monitor and staff, as well as articles citing NGO Monitor, or otherwise relevant to our mission.
Overview of AusAid funding in the West Bank and Gaza
- The Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) is “the Australian Government agency responsible for managing Australia’s overseas aid program…The fundamental purpose of Australian aid is to help people overcome poverty.”
- In 2010-2011 AusAID provided $5.5 million to Australian NGOs, including APHEDA, Actionaid Australia, CARE Australia, and World Vision Australia.
- This funding is conducted within the framework of the Australia Middle East NGO Cooperation Program (AMENCA II). The main goals of this program are “improving food security and the livelihoods of Palestinians and strengthening the community organisations that provide them with basic services.”
- The Australian NGOs partner with and provide funding to Palestinian NGOs in the West Bank and Gaza, some of which are active in BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns and other anti-Israel demonization.
- APHEDA, one of the Australian NGOs, engages in activities that fuel the conflict and do not promote humanitarian objectives. It campaigned for an arms embargo against Israel, uses demonizing “apartheid” language, endorses the so-called “right of return,” and partners with organizations promoting BDS and “lawfare” tactics. Its Middle East tours have served as the basis for BDS campaigns in Australia. APHEDA was criticized by Australian Senator Eric Abetz for its work with a pro-BDS Palestinian NGO (August 2011).
Examples of Politicized Palestinian Partners
- CARE Australia, via its West Bank branch, uses AusAID funding for a joint project with Ma’an Development Center and the Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ).
- ARIJ claims it is a “non-profit organization dedicated to promoting sustainable development in the occupied Palestinian territories and the self-reliance of the Palestinian people through greater control over their natural resources.” In contrast, its research is highly political and biased. A December 2008 publication labels Jerusalem’s mayor a “racist” who supports “ethnic cleansing.” ARIJ’s political agenda is further demonstrated by its support for BDS campaigns.
- In 2009, Ma’an Development Center published “Boycotts, Divestment & Sanctions: Lessons learned in effective solidarity,” a guide to grassroots and international BDS campaigns. Instances of delegitimization of Israel include a “Case Study” about a farmer from Qalqiliya, which refers to “consecutive occupation governments since 1948.”
- These activities are entirely inconsistent with promoting peace based on mutual understanding and reconciliation.