- The European Union (EU) provides substantial funding to politicized NGOs active in the Arab-Israeli conflict through various funding mechanisms including the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO), EU Peacebuilding Initiative (EUPI), European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI), and the Civil Society Organisations – Local Authorities (CSO-LA). Due to the highly complex and poorly coordinated nature of EU aid and to the lack of a consolidated database differentiating between NGOs and other types of organizations, it is impossible to determine the exact amount or proportions of EU funding to civil society organizations.
- In 2018-2019, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) and the European Parliament’s (EP) Committee on Budgetary Control (CONT) published reports on transparency and accountability in EU funding to NGOs. The reports noted significant structural issues with EU monitoring and control mechanisms, especially as they related to the activities of beneficiary organizations receiving funds. (See below for further information regarding these reports.)
- On May 17, 2017, the European Parliament passed a resolution concerning the Middle East peace process, which “stresses the responsibility of relevant EU authorities in continuing to ensure that no EU funding can be directly or indirectly diverted to terrorist organisations or activities that incite these acts” (emphasis added). Contrary to this statement, the EU funds organizations that incite violence and/or justify terror. Many of these organizations also have ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a designated terrorist entity in the EU, US, Canada, and Israel.
- Many organizations receiving EU funding lead campaigns and political activities that are inconsistent with the EU’s policies of supporting a two-state framework to the Arab-Israeli conflict, promoting peace, and rejecting BDS.
- The EU expressly opposes BDS. When confronted by evidence of funding for NGOs with agendas or values that contradict EU policy, the EU’s recurring response is that it “funds projects submitted by NGOs, in line with [the] EU’s fundamental principles and values, but not NGOs themselves.”
Lack of NGO transparency and accountability [ECA/CONT REPORTS]
- In 2018, following significant discussions in Brussels regarding the issue of EU funding to NGOs—which NGO Monitor actively participated in—the ECA issued its special report “Transparency of EU funds implemented by NGOs: more effort needed.” The report concluded that the Commission “was not sufficiently transparent regarding the implementation of EU funds by NGOs.”
- While the ECA highlighted that transparency “should cover the entire process and all implementation layers, from selection of NGO-led actions, through the collection of information on these actions and its disclosure,” the Commission suffered from significant shortcomings. Examples include:
- The Commission “not having comprehensive information” particularly with regards to “networks of international NGOs and projects under indirect management.”
- The Commission “does not always collect and check information on EU funds implemented by NGOs appropriately.”
- “Commission systems do not always record information on funds received by all the beneficiaries of a contract.”
- “In external action, the Commission does not have comprehensive information on all NGOs supported.”
- Similarly, in 2019, the EP and CONT released their report, “Democratic accountability and budgetary control of non-governmental organisations financed from the EU budget.” This study was a follow up to a 2016 study of the same name, which noted significant shortcomings related to transparency, information management, and accountability. Many of these same issues remain unresolved in the 2019 update. Examples include:
- A noted lack of transparency with the Commission and the FTS database, with report authors noting that “information on disbursements is managed by individual Commission departments and is not published.”
- Compliance with Commission contractual requirements “still does not ensure transparency and accountability where EU funds are concerned.”
- Concerning recommendations from the 2016 report, the authors noted, “Recently updated Commission visibility and communications guidelines do not address key systemic recommendations made in the previous study that were intended to make information more easily accessible, and to provide a longer-term picture of the role of EU funding to individual NGOs.”
The European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR)
- The European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) is one of the EU’s major financial assistance programs and has a budget of over €1.3 billion for the period of 2014-2020. This funding is aimed at providing “assistance to the development and consolidation of democracy, the rule of law and the respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms.”
- Many of the NGOs chosen by EIDHR to promote the principles of human rights and democracy, particularly in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, are highly politicized and consistently present partisan positions. Some of these EU-funded organizations have engaged in activities that stand in direct contravention to official EU policy, such as referring to Israel as an “apartheid state” and supporting lawfare and boycott efforts (BDS). Such politicized agendas and activities are inconsistent with the ideals and principles of EIDHR, as well as EU foreign policy. (For more information on EIDHR, read NGO Monitor’s report “The European Instrument for Democracy & Human Rights (EIDHR): EU Funding to Israel, West Bank, and Gaza 2014-2017.”)
Incitement to Violence/Ties to the PFLP
- In 2017, EIDHR granted €699,236 for a project titled “Strengthening Community Resilience and Social Cohesion in East Jerusalem on Both Sides of the Separation Wall.” The project included five Palestinian NGO recipients, including Union of Palestinian Women Committees (UPWC), Defense for Children International–Palestine (DCI-P), Health Work Committees (HWC), and Bisan Center for Research and Development Association, all of which have ties to the PFLP.
- The Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees (UPWC) is identified by Fatah as an official “affiliate” and by USAID as the “women’s organization” of the PFLP. UPWC is also active in supporting BDS campaigns and utilizing inflammatory rhetoric.
- Several past and current Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCI-P) board members and employees have ties to the PFLP. DCI-P leads the campaign exploiting children to promote demonization of Israel. Many of its allegations are false and part of attempts to smear Israel with allegations of “war crimes” and promote BDS.
- Former HWC Executive Director Dr. Majed Nassar has alleged ties to the PFLP. According to a 2007 document, Israel has prevented Dr. Majed Nassar from traveling “since 2001,” a decision upheld by the Israeli High Court. Daoud Ghoul, director of development projects and programs in Jerusalem, was convicted by an Israeli court of being a PFLP member.
- Bisan Center for Research and Development has reported ties to the PFLP. Izzat Abdulhadi, a former director of Bisan, is reported to be a PFLP member. According to the Palestinian organizations Samidoun – Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network and Addameer, Bisan 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 5,000 in 2000. During his detention in 2008, an Israeli military judge affirmed that “Eteraf was active in political activities related to the PFLP.”
- Ma’an Network received €427,200 (2016-2019) for a grant titled “Media for Change: Leveraging Media Initiatives to Promote Participatory Engagement in the Peace Process.”
- On August 1, 2017, Ma’an Network published an article in Arabic titled “Song in Hebrew in Defense of Al Aqsa Mosque,” featuring a video by the same name. The video shows footage of terrorist attacks committed against Israelis, accompanied by a Hebrew song with the lyrics “I will clean my country of every Jew / I will strive for it with all my being” (NGO Monitor translation). The article reports that the video “promises to clean Palestine of Jews, and protests against Israeli security measures,” with additional commentary claiming that “Israel deteriorated the situation in Al Aqsa mosque when it installed metal detectors in the entrance to Al Aqsa compound” (NGO Monitor translation). Following widespread condemnation, Ma’an removed the article from its website and the video from its YouTube account. To date, Ma’an has neither condemned the video, nor apologized for featuring it uncritically.
- The Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO) and Hurryat are co-grantees of a €261,914 grant (2016-2019) titled “Torture is a humiliation of dignity.”
- In June 2017, PNGO condemned Norway for pulling funding from the Women’s Affairs Technical Committee (WATC) due to the latter’s naming of a youth center after Dalal Mughrabi, a terrorist who in 1978 murdered 37 civilians, including 12 children. PNGO referred to Mughrabi as a “Palestinian Woman Freedom Fighter,” stating that “PNGO believes this is another form of foreign domination and oppression calling Palestinian resistance a terrorist resistance against Israeli occupation…PNGO stands strong against conditional funding, especially when it threatens Palestinian right to resist foreign domination, exploitation, oppression and occupation” and that “there is a difference between freedom fighters and terrorists” (emphases added).
- In 2017-2020, Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counseling (WCLAC) received a €405,780 grant for a project titled “Promoting Women’s Common Marital Property Rights within the Marriage Institution.”
- Manal Tamimi, a former field worker of WCLAC, frequently utilizes antisemitic and violent rhetoric and imagery on social media. In September 2015, Tamimi tweeted, “Vampire zionist celebrating their Kebore day by drinking Palestinian bloods, yes our blood is pure & delicious but it will kill u at the end.” In August 2015, Tamimi tweeted, “I do hate Israel ,i (sic) wish a thrid Intefada (sic) coming soon and people rais (sic) up and kill all these zionist settlers everywhere.” On December 8, 2016 she similarly tweeted that “we will keep resisting until the last Zionist either got killed or leave Palestine.”
- In 2017-2020, Al-Haq received €296,600 from EIDHR for “Empowering Palestinian Civil Society to Promote the Effective Reporting and Implementation on International Rights Instruments Palestine acceded to in 2014.”
- Al-Haq is a leader in anti-Israel “lawfare” campaigns and BDS activities.
- Al-Haq General Director Shawan Jabarin has ties to the PFLP terrorist organization and, as a result, has been denied exit visas by Israel and Jordan. According to the Israeli Supreme court, Jabarin “is apparently acting as a manner of Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde, acting some of the time as the CEO of a human rights organization, and at other times as an activist in a terror organization.”
- According to a 1995 Israeli submission to the UN, Jabarin was convicted in 1985 for recruiting members for the PFLP. Jabarin was also found guilty of arranging PFLP training outside Israel and was sentenced by Israeli courts to 24-months imprisonment, of which he served nine. In 1994, Jabarin was again arrested for alleged links and placed in administrative detention for six months. An Israeli statement to the UN notes that he “had not discontinued his terrorist involvement and maintains his position in the leadership of the PFLP.”
NGOs that Promote Antisemitism and BDS
- In 2017-2020, EIDHR granted €300,000 to MIFTAH for a project titled “Youth as Human Rights Defenders.”
- The organization describes terror groups as “resistance fighters” and utilizes anti-Israel rhetoric, such as accusing Israel of perpetrating “massacres,” “cultural genocide,” “war crimes,” and “apartheid.”
- In March 2013, Miftah published an article written by Nawaf al-Zaru that repeated the antisemitic blood libel that Jews use Christian blood to bake Passover matzah.
- In 2017-2019, EIDHR granted €444,777 to the Land Research Center to “Secure Palestinians’ Land and Housing Rights.”
- In 2015-2018, EIDHR granted €561,100 to the Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC) for the “Protection of marginalized Palestinian Communities in East Jerusalem and Area C of the West Bank through Legal Aid, Outreach and Advocacy.”
- JLAC is highly active in promoting BDS campaigns, lobbying international bodies, and utilizing highly inflammatory rhetoric.
- In 2010, JLAC published the first edition of its book We Have Names, We Have a Homeland, which alleges that “brutality and sadism is the true face of Zionism and the State of occupation” and accuses Israel of “savage,” “abhorrent,” and “fascist” practices. The book continues to ask, “Has the history of humanity ever known such brutality as practiced at the hands of Israel…?”
Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO)
- DEVCO is responsible for “designing European international cooperation and development policy and delivering aid throughout the world.” In this capacity, DEVCO is “responsible for formulating EU development policy and thematic policies in order to reduce poverty in the world, to ensure sustainable economic, social and environmental development and to promote democracy, the rule of law, good governance and the respect of human rights, notably through external aid.”
- In 2017, Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCI-P) (see above) received €981,298 for a project titled “Prevention, mitigation, and rehabilitation for Palestinian children exposed to torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.”
- In 2016-2019 Al-Dameer and PNGO received €446,482 for a project titled “Contributing to the respect, protection and promotion of the right to association in the Gaza Strip.”
EU Peacebuilding Initiative (PbI)
- Formerly known as the European Partnership for Peace (PfP), the global objective for the EU’s Peacebuilding Initiative is to “support and promote the conditions for a sustainable resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through civil society and citizens’ positive engagement.” Specifically, the program seeks to “contribute to addressing the underlying causes and to re-build the conditions for a dialogue between Israeli and Palestinians.” To facilitate this goal, the program has a budget of €9,400,000 for 2018-2019.
- In 2016-2019, Applied Research Institute- Jerusalem (ARIJ) and Land Research Center (LRC) received €474,732 from PbI for “Advocating for a Sustainable and Viable Resolution of Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.” As part of the project, the NGOs launched an EU-funded website that features blatant propaganda and allegations such as “Throughout the years of occupation of the Palestinian territory, Israel has engaged in excessive and disproportionate violations of every existing humanitarian code” (emphasis added) and refers to the Israel Defense Force as the “Israel occupation Forces.”
- The website provides a platform for ARIJ and LRC’s distorted historical account, claiming that “The State of Israel was founded on approximately four-fifths of Palestine, taking more land than the United Nations’ 1947 Partition Plan had proposed,” and that “During and after the 1948 War, a transfer policy was carried out and four out of every five Palestinians in the area inside Israel became refugees.” This “historical” summary omits the context of an Arab rejection of partition and an Arab-initiated war against Israel, and falsely alleges an Israeli “transfer policy.”
- ARIJ is among the leaders of the political warfare against Israel, seeking to further boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS), false accusations of Israeli “apartheid” and “racism,” and support for a Palestinian “right of return”, which is inconsistent with two-state solution.
- In 2016-2019, PbI granted €488,098 to the Oxford Research Group (ORG) and PalThink for Strategic Studies (PalThink) for a project titled “Building Strategic Capacity: Empowering Civil, Political and Emerging Constituencies in Palestine and Israel.”
- ORG’s main project on the Arab-Israeli conflict, The Palestine Strategy Group, published a strategy report that supports “resistance in all its forms including the growing global movement for boycott sanctions and divestment” (emphasis added). Dr. Husam Zomlot, part of ORG’s Middle East Team and co-founder and coordinator of its Palestine Strategy Group, claimed in an interview on BBC (BBC Interview, 20 Aug 2014 from 39:21) that “They [Israelis] are fabricating all these stories about beheading journalists in Iraq… it happened somewhere else in Iraq, as if they are fabricating also the story of the Holocaust, that it happened in Europe, not the story itself, but the reason why they are doing this, and using so many other examples, to justify their murder of a nation.”
- In 2015, PalThink’s Meet the Youth initiative focused “on strengthening the Palestinian youth and their engagement in civic and political life in Gaza,” by inviting Hamas’ Basem Na’im and the PFLP’s Kayed al-Ghoul to speak with teenagers.
- In 2016-2019, PbI granted €480,000 to the Israeli NGO Parents Circle Families Forum (PCFF) for “Building Engaged Communities through the Power of Reconciliation.”
- While PCFF advocates for “reconciliation,” “dialogue,” and “knowledge of the other,” it exploits the grief of families and the language of peace to promote a highly divisive, contentious, and narrow personal agenda.
European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI)
- Formerly known as the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI), the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) is the main instrument to foster “human rights and fundamental freedoms, the rule of law, equality, sustainable democracy, good governance and a thriving civil society,” among other goals. ENI has a budget of over €15 billion for 2014-2020 and operates in 16 partner countries.
- Despite the aim of the partnership being to further “cooperation, peace and security, mutual accountability and a shared commitment to the universal values of democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights,” the ENI funds several organizations whose values and actions stand in direct contravention to the principles listed above.
- In 2017-2019, ENI provided €365,803 to I’lam for a project titled “The Creation of the Freedom Protection Council: Ensuring democratic space for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Israel.”
- According to the project’s strategic action plan, the council was founded out of a “burning need in Israeli society,” which—according to the council—is “rapidly deteriorating away from basic democratic and liberal values.” One of the council’s stated goals is to “fight against these dangerous trends” being advanced by the “messianic-nationalist right” government currently in power.
- I’lam rhetoric includes accusations of “ethnic cleansing,” “apartheid,” “collective punishment,” “war crimes,” and “racism.”
- In 2017, ENI granted PalVision €176,734 for a project titled “Bringing Culture and Art to the Streets of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.”
- In 2016-2019, ENI provided €1,495,377 to DanChurchAid and PalVision for a project titled “Promoting Change and Youth leadership in East Jerusalem.”
Civil Society Organisations – Local Authorities (CSO-LA)
- Officially a program belonging to the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI), the CSO-LA thematic programme is “aimed at strengthening the capacity of civil society organisations and local authorities are a pre-condition for a more equitable, open and democratic society through support to their ‘own initiatives’ (sic).”
- The Palestinian NGO Karama Organization received a €833,588 four-year CSO-LA grant titled “Proud and productive food security entrepreneurs in Palestinian refugee camps” (2016-2020). Karama falsely claims that “As a result of the [second] Intifada, Israel adopted the policy of eliminating potential enemies of the Israeli state, killing thousands of innocent civilians and destroying their homes” (emphasis added).
Grants based on information provided by various EU websites and the EU’s Financial Transparency System
EU Funding to Israeli NGOs
*Data taken from the Israeli Registrar of Non-profits
|NGO||Donor (as reported by NGO)||Year||Sum||Project|
|ACRI||European Union||2018||670,571||Project for the Elimination of Discrimination and Institutional Racism|
|108,353||Freedom of expression in Israeli democracy|
|90,804||Human rights in planning|
|2017||90,613||Activities to promote the rights of the Bedouin in the Negev|
|414,161||Freedom of expression in Israeli democracy|
|2016||202,130||Project on immigrants’ rights|
|531,438||Freedom of speech in the Israeli democracy|
|28,253||Arab minority planning rights|
|2015||444,198||Human rights protection of residents in area C|
|65,737||Developing education plan against rasicm|
|Adalah||European Commission||2015||221,476||Freedom of speech project for Arab youth|
|57,643||Human Rights among Arabs-Bedouins in the Negev|
|B’Tselem||European Commission||2018||279,269||The present reality in Hebron|
|377,393||Project on Communities in danger of deportation|
|53,260||Project against torture|
|26,953||Project for Detaining Minors in East Jerusalem|
|126,803||Project for Detaining Minors in East Jerusalem|
|European Endowment for Democracy||2017||9,199||Human rights defenders project|
|2016||34,010||Human rights defenders project|
|European Union||2016||402,230||Supporting communites at risk of displacement project|
|Embassy - EU||2015||3,852||Supporting communities at risk project|
|European Commission||2015||138,358||Detention of minors project|
|2015||132,088||Supporting detentions project|
|2015||540015||Supporting communities at risk project|
|2015||532,023||Supporting project against torture|
|European Endowment for Democracy||2015||84,712||Human rights defenders project|
|Baldana||European Union||2018||60,753||A project to raise the awareness of young people about freedom of expression|
|2017||90,164||Supporting the project 'Preventing women’s murder in the arab society', cooperation with the NGO 'Kayan - Feminist organization'|
|337,855||Supporting the project "Human Rights - Freedom of Expression and Expression in Arab Society" in cooperation with Adalah - The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel|
|2015||532,241||Supporting freedom of speech project and rising awareness to proper use of the social media, with 'Adalah' and 'Hamala'|
|482,635||Supporting the project 'Preventing women’s murder in the arab society', cooperation with the NGO 'Kayan - Feminist organization'|
|481,079||Supporting freedom of speech project and rising awareness to proper use of the social media, with 'Adalah' and 'Hamala'|
|441,657||Supporting the project 'Preventing women’s murder in the arab society', cooperation with the NGO 'Kayan - Feminist organization'|
|Bimkom||European Union||2018||599,736||Research on Area C Planning|
|479,694||Urban Renewal Project|
|2017||383,920||City renewal project|
|2016||111,614||Planning rights for Lod|
|69,596||Planning rights in Area C|
|2015||79,565||Planning rights of recognized Bedouin towns|
|486,531||Recognizing Bedouin towns in the Negev|
|Breaking the Silence||European Union Delegation||2018||634,520||Public activity|
|European Commission||2015||518,321||Educational activity|
|Emek Shave||European Union||2018||659,952||Public activity for pluralistic Jerusalem|
|227,716||Public and legal activity relating to archeology and residents of East Jerusalem|
|EIDHR||2017||388,734||Watch project, legal and public activity related to archeology in era C in the west bank|
|2015||499,249||Watch, writing report and public activity regarding archaeological sites in the west bank.|
|Hamoked||European Union||2018||579,493||A joint project with Emek Shaveh on the subject of protecting the rights of residents of East Jerusalem|
|87,556||A joint project with B'Tselem on the issue of the protection of minors imprisoned in East Jerusalem|
|2017||333,376||Defending residency of Palestinians in East Jerusalem|
|2015||426,245||Joint project with B’tselem on defending imprisoned minors in East Jerusalem|
|Ir Amim||European Endowment for Democracy||2016||51,614||Overall use for the organization|
|2015||43,151||Overall use for the organization|
|49,920||Overall use for the organization|
|Kerem Navot||EU via Applied Research Institute - Jerusalem||2016||6,895||Funding research|
|Mossawa||European Union||2018||644,958||Accompanying organizations to increase awareness of the rules of management, their exposure to other associations and their guidance in managing various projects|
|2016||21,070||advocacy for cultural rights|
|63,016||youth camp, groups of young people from different countries meet, live together and work on joint projects for short periods|
|7,252||advocacy for cultural rights|
|99,248||Strengthening the society and lobby the decision makers Joint project of a number of NGOs|
|2015||413,878||Strengthening the society and lobby the decision makers Joint project of a number of NGOs|
|141,410||Strengthening the institutional and cultural organizations and lobby the decision makers. Joint project of a number of NGOs|
|Negev Coexistance Forum||European Union||2018||220,093||To advance the rights of around 240,000 Bedouin citizens of Israel living in unrecognized and recognized towns and villages in the Naqab (Negev) desert in the south of Israel|
|2015||19,480||Recognition of land rights advocacy project|
|PCFF||European Union||2018||740,468||Donation for bi-annual project of know the other’s narrative and group meetings|
|2017||611,196||NIA project for dialogue and discussion of groups from both peoples. (probably refers to first quarter)|
|2015||1,010,400||Donation for bi-annual project of know the other’s narrative with group meetings and lectures to different audience.|
|PHR-I||European Union||2015||10,158||Promoting health rights for the disadvantaged hurt by the citizenship law and promoting the public activity of the NGO|
|Public Committee Against Torture in Israel||Turkish Human Rights Foundation||2015||83,873||Legal Activity|
|Rabbis for Human Rights||European Union||2016||78,068||Promoting human rights in the Israeli legal system|
|Women’s Fund for Human Rights (Machsom Watch)||European Union||2015||60,855||Implementation organization activity|
|Yesh Din||European Commission||2018||525,976||Military Police Investigation Project|
|46,052||Lands project and law enforcement with Emek Shaveh|
|2015||159,480||Lands project and Law enforcement (via Emek Shave)|
|334,280||Lands project and Law enforcement|
|83,145||Lands project and Law enforcement|
|Social TV||European Union||2018||319,732||Preparation of articles as part of seminars for journalists|
- The EU, Terror-Funding and Israel's Transparency Bill Ron Jontof-Hutter, The Algemeiner, August 17, 2016
- Letter from 4 German Members of the European Parliament regarding the proposed NGO Law
- MEPs Send an Open Letter on Israeli Government NGO Bill Julie Ward MEP
- Letter to PM Netanyahu from German-Israeli Parliamentary Friendship Group on NGO Law
- John Gatt-Rutter and the EU´s Middle East Fantasies Gerald steinberg, BlogActiv, August 30, 2015
- Europe´s NGO Jihad Against Israel Susan Warner, Gatestone Institute, August 27, 2015
- Kidnapped Israeli Teens Compel Scrutiny of Hamas's International Finances Matthew Levitt, The New Republic, June 24, 2014
- Europe's Unaccountable Palestinian Aid Michael Theurer, The Wall Street Journal, April 9, 2014
- Foreign Diplomats, Mainly European, Participate in Popular Resistance Activities in Judea and Samaria The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, October 30, 2013