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  • The Belgian government, through the Directorate-General for Development Cooperation (DGD, a branch of the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs), provides millions of euros to highly politicized non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that promote anti-Israel narratives, lawfare, and BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns. Some of these organizations have ties to terrorist groups.
  • According to Belgian officials, the Belgian government no longer provides direct funding to Israeli and Palestinian NGOs. However, “recognized Belgian NGOs” provide funding to local Israeli and Palestinian NGOs through “co-financing programmes” co-funded by DGD, with DGD providing a maximum of 85% of the total grant.

Click for a compilation of articles highlighting NGO Monitor’s contributions to the broader conversation about NGOs, funding, and accountability in Belgium. 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.

Indirect Funding to Israeli/Palestinian Political NGOs

Broederlijk Delen

  • Brussels-based Broederlijk Delen, a Catholic development and peace organization, is a major funder of numerous highly politicized NGOs active in the Arab-Israeli conflict.
  • In 2016, DGD provided nearly €5 million to Broederlijk Delen, including €304,000 for Broederlijk Delen’s projects in “Israel/Palestine” (see table below).
  • Broederlijk Delen’s grantees include the Palestinian NGOs Defense for Children International – Palestine, which has alleged ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization, and Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counseling, whose field worker Manal Tamimi has employed violent and virulently antisemitic rhetoric and imagery on social media.
  • Broederlijk Delen was a signatory to the 2012 NGO report “Trading Away Peace” that repeats the BDS agenda, calling on the EU and individual European governments to impose various forms of economic sanctions on Israel.
  • Supports the “Made in Illegality” project, a settlement boycott campaign based in Belgian and France.

Information on Israeli NGOs for 2017 was taken from quarterly reports submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits; 2013-2016 from Broederlijk Delen annual reports.

NGO20172016201520142013
ZochrotNIS 19,984€70,000 (including €52,000 from DGD)€40,000 (including €32,000 from DGD)€40,000 (including €32,000 from DGD)€50,000 (including €40,000 from DGD)
Breaking the Silence€65,000 (including €52,000 from DGD)€40,000 (including €32,000 from DGD)€40,000 (including €32,000 from DGD)€25,513
GishaNIS 42,126€60,000 (including €48,000 from DGD)€60,000 (including €48,000 from DGD)€60,000 (including €48,000 from DGD)€60,000 (including €48,000 from DGD)
Adalah€50,000 (including €40,000 from DGD)€50,000 (including €40,000 from DGD)€50,000 (including €40,000 from DGD)€45,000 (including €36,000 from DGD)
Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counseling€50,000 (including €40,000 from DGD)€60,000 (including €48,000 from DGD)€40,000 (including €32,000 from DGD)€30,000
Defense for Children International – Palestine€40,000 (including €32,000 from DGD)€40,000 (including €32,000 from DGD)€40,000 (including €32,000 from DGD)€20,000
HamokedN/AN/AN/A€30,000
Parents Circle Families Forum€30,000€20,000€20,000N/A
Kerem Navot€10,000

Oxfam-Solidarité

  • Oxfam-Solidarité is the Belgian branch of Oxfam International, an international NGO that claims to work on poverty-related issues.
  • In 2014, Oxfam-Solidarité’s budget for its activities in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza was €1.1 million.
  • Oxfam Solidarité does not publish financial information, reflecting a lack of transparency and accountability. Funding data in the table below is taken from Oxfam Novib’s (Netherlands) “atlas” website.
  • Oxfam Solidarité’s Palestinian grantees include Health Works Committee (HWC), United Health Works Committee (UHWC) (partners since 1990), and Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) (partners since 1998). These three organizations all have alleged ties with the PFLP terrorist organization.
  • Oxfam Solidarité provides funding to UAWC (€289,060) and the Israeli politicized NGO Gisha (€349,871) for a project in Gaza entitled “Protecting Lives in Closed Borders.” Oxfam explains that “This project is funded by Direction générale Coopération au développement et Aide humanitaire (DGD) of the Belgium Government.”
  • Oxfam Solidarité provides funding to the Israeli politicized NGOs Bimkom (€220,283) and Yesh Din (€205,883) for a project in the West Bank (Area C) entitled “Integrated Protection in Area C.” The project “is funded by Direction générale Coopération au développement et Aide humanitaire (DGD) of the Belgium Government.”
  • In 2013, DGD provided €1.6 million for a project that was implemented by either Oxfam-Solidarité or Oxfam Italia (details unclear). It also appears that UAWC was Oxfam’s local partner on the project. Documents relating to this project, as well as all documents concerning DGD-funded projects carried out by NGOs in the Palestinian Territories, were removed from the DGD’s database. The office of the Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs did not respond to NGO Monitor inquiries about the deleted documents.
  • Catherine de Bock, Oxfam-Solidarité’s “policy officer for the Middle East,” worked (2014-2015) for the Palestinian organization Badil, which promotes a so-called Palestinian “right of return,” promotes BDS campaigns against Israel, is active in lawfare attempts to prosecute Israeli military officials in international and European courts, and publishes antisemitic images on its website.
    • Referring to two relatives who were killed by the IDF, De Bock wrote on Facebook, “Abu Ali died in the struggle for a free Palestine and so did his nephew Basel two days ago. It is our duty to continue their fight, enduring a better future for the Palestinian people.”
      • “Abu Ali” is De Bock’s father in law, Ibrahim Mohammed Alaraj, a PFLP terrorist who was killed by the IDF in 2002.
      • “His nephew Basel” is Basel al-A’araj, killed in a firefight with the IDF. He was arrested by the Palestinian Authority in April 2016 “for planning attacks against Israelis and imprisoned for six months.” According to Israeli officials, he “was allegedly part of a terrorist cell planning to carry out attacks on Israeli targets,” and he “Al-A’araj directed the cell and was responsible for purchasing the weaponry.”
  • In 2003, Oxfam Belgium produced a poster of an “Israeli orange” dripping with blood to promote anti-Israel boycotts. The caption read: “Israeli fruits have a bitter taste…reject the occupation of Palestine, don’t buy Israeli fruits and vegetables.” Following protest initiated by NGO Monitor over the antisemitic “blood libel” overtones, Oxfam withdrew the campaign.
  • Oxfam-Solidarité stated that “Recognition by Israel of ethnic cleansing of 1948 would be a positive first step to solve a problem 60 years old and for the recognition of the right of return of refugees.”
NGO20172016201520142013
Health Work Committees (HWC)N/AN/A€123,388€137,850€367,850
Bimkom€22,028€198,255N/AN/AN/A
Yesh Din€102,941€102,942N/AN/AN/A
Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC)€260,154N/AN/AN/AN/A
Palestinian Medical Relief Services (PMRS)N/A€87,600€45,462€214,338N/A
Union of Health Workers CommitteeN/A€63,034€35,549€157,227N/A
Gisha€314,884N/AN/AN/AN/A

Third World Health Aid/Médecine pour le Tiers Monde/Geneeskunde voor de Derde Wereld (TWHA/M3M/G3W)

  • Third World Health Aid is a Belgium-based organization that claims to work on issues related to health rights.
  • TWHA’s grantees include Health Works Committee (“partners since the early 1990’s”) and United Health Works Committee, two Palestinian health organizations that are active in Jerusalem and the West Bank, and Gaza, respectively; each has a history of anti-Israel activities. Both organizations have ties to the PFLP terrorist organization (see NGO Monitor’s report The European-Funded NGO PFLP Network for details).
  • The precise amount transferred to each NGO is unclear. In the wake of the 2014 Gaza war, TWHA raised €65,000 for UHWC.
  • According to TWHA’s annual reports (2015, 2014, and 2013), the organization’s budget sources for its activities in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza include DGD and Wallonie-Bruxelles International (WBI), a local governmental agency of the Wallonie-Bruxelles Federation, the French community of Belgium.
  • Omitting his conviction by an Israeli court of being a PFLP member, THWA claimed that the detention of its “colleague” David Ghoul, the coordinator of the youth program of HWC, “demonstrates that his work bothers, that working with young people lacking future and hope to give back them confidence disturbs the Israeli government.”
    • The Israeli High Court of Justice decision on his matter [19274-07-15] states, “The defendant decided to join the organization [PFLP]… Due to the closure of the [Nidal] center, the organization began to operate covertly through the ‘Health union committees – Jerusalem’…On 09/06/15 the Defense Minister announced that the association is an unlawful association…”
  • In a 2013 publication, bearing the Belgium Development Cooperation logo, TWHA stated: “One of the most flagrant examples of how a sovereign state has been undermined is the decades-long occupation and colonization of Palestine, which began in 1948 when Palestinians were driven en masse from their villages in what is now Israel” (emphasis added).
  • TWHA supports the “Made in Illegality” project, a settlement boycott campaign based in Belgium and France, and promotes the suspension of the EU-Israel Association Agreement.
  • The organization is a signatory to a BDS Movement statement urging a Belgian firm (Jan De Nul Group) to abandon an Israeli port building project. It also supports an arms embargo against Israel, stating, “our country cannot support the occupation of Palestine, by illegal colonists, with sales or purchases of arms with Israel.”
NGO20172016201520142013
Health Work Committees and Union of Health Workers CommitteeN/A€176,635€172,131€152,588€131,693

Solidarité Socialiste

  • Solidarité Socialiste partners with and funds MA’AN Development Center, Bisan Center for Research and Development (Bisan), and Popular Art Center (PAC), but does not detail amounts provided to each of the organizations.
    • Bisan:
      • According to Palestinian organizations Samidoun – Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network and Addameer, Bisan’s Executive Director Eteraf Rimawi was arrested six times by Israeli forces between 1995 and 2014. Rimawi was reportedly sentenced for 16-months in prison and fined NIS 5000 in 2000. During his detention in 2008, an Israeli military judge affirmed that “Eteraf was active in political activities related to the PFLP.”
      • Israeli military judge Doron-Dorani reportedly stated at a judicial review hearing: “Eteraf Rimawi is an activist in an illegal organization and is active within his area of residence along with others that are currently in detention. Eteraf was arrested a number of times and he is back to his previous actions.”
      • Rimawi has posted photos of alleged terrorists on his Facebook account. In July 25, 2014, he posted a photo of Hashem Abu Maria, a DCI-P employee, who was hailed by the PFLP as a “commander” after his death in 2014, referring to him as a martyr. He also posted a eulogy for Mohammed Assi, a terrorist member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization who allegedly planned a bombing attack on a bus in Tel Aviv in 2012 and was killed by the IDF in 2013. In his eulogy, Rimawi stated: “You leave with dignity and pride, you leave without being able to prepare for it…. from dawn … You refused to surrender to murderers or to waste the moments that separated your determination from their bullets. You brought victory to all determination.”
    • Popular Art Center
      • In February 2016, PAC organized a ceremony in honor of “Palestinian martyrs” whose homes were demolished, featuring the “father of the martyr Baha Eleyan” (NGO Monitor translation) as a speaker. Eleyan was one of two terrorists to board a bus in Jerusalem in October 2015 armed with a gun and a knife, murdering three and injuring seven. The same ceremony featured a musical performance captioned “no to laying down guns” (NGO Monitor translation).
      • The cover photo of PAC’s Facebook page is a public invitation to a children’s festival prominently featuring a drawing of a slingshot. On March 2, 2017, PAC’s Facebook page promoted a BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) event with a posterdepicting angry protesters throwing rocks (see screenshots below).
  • In 2013, Solidarité Socialiste’s budget for activities in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza was €312,177. The Belgian organization did not disclose its funding in 2014 or 2015.
  • According to Solidarité Socialiste’s 2016 annual report, Solidarité Socialiste’s budget for its programs in the West Bank and Gaza was €1.244 million for the 2014-2016 period.
    • DGD funding for Solidarité Socialiste projects in the West Bank in those years was €368,474, €390,572, €385,525 respectively.
  • Solidarité Socialiste supports the “Made in Illegality” campaign, a settlement boycott campaign based in Belgium and France and promotes the suspension of the EU-Israel Association Agreement.
  • Solidarité Socialiste accuses Israel of “systematically [seeking] to exercise control over Palestine, sporadically occupying its territories and regulating the circulation of its residents and goods.” Solidarité Socialiste describes the Palestinian economy as “an economy of occupation” and states that “the wall had the effect to paralyze the economy of the Palestinian territories.”

Caritas International (Belgium)

  • In 2015, Caritas International received €2.1 million from the Belgian government (DGD).
  • Caritas International promotes a biased and one-sided view of the Arab-Israeli conflict, supporting the annual International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. During the 2014 Gaza War, Caritas officials repeatedly condemned Israel, calling for “the lifting of the blockade on Gaza” while failing to mention the many rocket attacks on Israeli civilians emanating from Hamas-controlled Gaza.
  • Caritas International partnered Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR) in 2015-2016 for a €125,671 project “La campagne des oliviers” (the Olive Tree Campaign).

Information for 2013-2015 was taken from annual reports submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits.

NGO20172016201520142013
Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR)N/AN/ANIS 128,504NIS 73,664NIS 124,082

Indirect Funding to Israeli and Palestinian NGOs via International Organizations

Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC): €1.3 million and €1.2 million from DGD in 2016 and 2015 respectively.

  • NRC, along with Action contre la Faim, ACTED, Première Urgence Internationale’s Spanish branch, and Gruppo di Volontariato Civile, leads the “West Bank Protection Consortium.”This consortium was established in 2015 “at the initiative of DG-ECHO and five EU Member States (Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain, Sweden)” and claims to “protect Palestinians in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, from individual and mass forcible transfer.” It is unclear if the funding provided from the Belgian government was designated for this project or for separate NRC activities.
  • One of NRC’s principle projects in Israel, “Information, counseling, and legal assistance (ICLA),” exploits judicial frameworks to manipulate Israeli policy, bypassing democratic frameworks.
  • 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 partners with the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), which has direct ties to the PFLP terrorist organization, and the Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC), a leader in lawfare campaigns against Israel through its Legal Assistance Projects (ICLA). Due to a lack of transparency, there is limited information regarding amounts disbursed to NRC’s implementing partners.

Direct Funding to Belgian NGOs Active in the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Association Belgo-Palestinienne

  • Association Belgo-Palestinienne (ABP) is a Belgium based organization that has received direct Belgian government funding (Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles) since 2005, including €99,476 in 2015, €102,136 in 2014, and €94,825 in 2013.
  • ABP is active in discriminatory BDS campaigns against Israel.
  • Pierre Galand, ABP’s director and a former Belgian Senator, is also the President of ECCP (a Brussels-based association of NGOs working with the UN Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People). Galand is the general coordinator of the Russel Tribunal (a court that uses a legal façade to create an image of neutrality and credibility, and to accuse Israel of “apartheid,” “war crimes,” “crimes against humanity,” and “genocide”) and the former head of Oxfam-Belgium (one of the leaders in the demonization campaign against Israel).

Intal Globalize Solidarity vzw

  • Intal Globalize Solidarity vzw (intal) is a Belgium-based organization that has received direct Belgian government funding (Région Bruxelloise, Région Flamande, Maribel Social) including €104,547 in 2016, €105,069 in 2015, €106,075 in 2014, and €117,548 in 2013.
  • Intal calls for “the end of Zionism as the State of Israel’s ideology,” a “right of return for all Palestinian refugees, ” and “the end of Israel as a state in which Jews must at all price be the majority and where non-Jewish populations are discriminated against.”
  • Intal is active in discriminatory BDS campaigns against Israel.

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