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  • The European Union (EU) provides substantial funding to highly politicized NGOs active in the Arab-Israeli conflict through various funding mechanisms. 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 2015, the European Parliament’s (EP) Committee on Budgetary Control (CONT) commissioned a study on “Democratic accountability and budgetary control of non-governmental organisations funded by the EU budget.” On 16 March, 2017, CONT published a draft for a motion for a European Parliament resolution based on the study’s findings. The draft directly refers to “other studies on the topic of NGO financing, such as the ‘Value for money’ series of reports by NGO Monitor.” Consequently, the issue of EU funding to NGOs is now being widely debated in Brussels.
  • Organizations receiving EU funding lead campaigns and political activities that are inconsistent with the EU’s policies of promoting peace and a two-state framework in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

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

Incitement to violence

  • 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.
  • Manal Tamimi, an employee of the EU-funded Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counseling (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.”
  • Far from condemning her actions, WCLAC filed a complaint with the United Nations over the “Frequent targeting of Palestinian human rights defender: Mrs. Manal Tamimi.”
  • UN Special Rapporteur Michael Lynk had included Manal Tamimi in his report targeting Israel, describing her as “leader of the protest movement” and giving her the prestigious title of Human Rights Defender. In response to NGO Monitor’s complaint to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Commissioner’s office stated that “the information you have provided has been taken seriously and the reference to Manal Tamimi will be removed from the edited version of the report.”
    • On May 9, the NGO Monitor received a letter stating that the report had been updated and was accessible on the OHCHR website. This edited version contains no references to Manal Tamimi, and the original report has been removed. The report can now be accessed here (symbol number A/HRC/34/70).
  • WCLAC, together with two other partner organizations, received €2.5 million from the European Union’s East Jerusalem Programme for a project ending April 2019. In February 2017, Tamimi was invited to speak at an EU-funded conference in Barcelona on “preventing violent extremism.”
  • An EU “Cultural Diplomacy” grant of €200,000 (2015-2017) was given to three Palestinian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for the stated purpose of “increase[ing] public awareness of EU core values…” Among the recipients is the Ramallah-based group Popular Art Centre (PAC).
    • In February 2016, PAC organized a ceremony in honor of “Palestinian martyrs” whose homes were demolished, featuring the “father of the martyr Baha Eleyan” as a speaker (NGO Monitor translation). 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).

Support to BDS organizations

  • NGO Monitor reviewed a number of EU regional funding programs designated for Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, and found that 29 out of 100 EU grants administered through the frameworks reviewed fund BDS organizations (€16.7 million out of €67.1 million – roughly 25%). 42 out of 180 EU grantees in total support BDS – either through participation in activities and events, signing of petitions and initiatives, and/or membership in explicit BDS platforms. Several organizations were the recipients of more than one grant.

Lack of transparency

  • The EU fails to abide by minimum standards of transparency and accountability, and its selection process of project funding is secret. The EU does not reveal information about selection committee members or their considerations. Moreover, project evaluations are not released, making it impossible to independently verify that projects achieve their stated goals and reflect the foreign policy objectives of the EU.
  • NGOs and NGO projects are selected for EU funding by unknown officials in local EC offices. They may have close connections to the NGOs that receive funding, a clear conflict of interest, or may be guided by ideological considerations. Despite requests from Members of European Parliament (MEPs) and NGO Monitor, the names and backgrounds of the decision makers have not been released.
  • Limited funding information is available on the websites of the Delegation of the EU to Israel in Tel Aviv and the EU Technical Assistance Office in East Jerusalem. (See Table A below for available funding information.)1

Funding Mechanisms

Monitoring Israeli Colonizing activities in the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza is a joint project between the Applied Research Institute in Jerusalem (ARIJ) and the Land Research Center (LRC). The project, funded by the European Union, aims at inspecting and scrutinizing Israeli colonizing activities in their different forms in the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza, and to disseminate the related information to policy makers in the European countries and to the general public” (emphasis added).

Click to read Parliamentary Questions Related to NGO Monitor Research

Table A

Grants based on information provided by various EU websites and the EU’s Financial Transparency System

NGOFunding and YearsEU Funding FrameworkProject Title
I'lam€365,803 (2017-2019)ENPIThe Creation of the Freedom Protection Council: Ensuring democratic space for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Israel
Women Against Violence€299,966 (2017-2019)ENPIThe Working Group for Equality in Personal Status Issues
Adalah€717,994 (2013-2016)EIDHRCombating Impunity: Torture and CIDT Prevention, Accountability and Rehabilitation in Israel/oPt
Baladna and Adalah€244,371 (2015-2017)EIDHRPromoting and Protecting Freedom of Expression Rights of Arab Youth in Israel
Baladna and Kayan€231,939 (2014-2016)EIDHRArab Youth Against "Honour Killings"
B'Tselem and ACRI €233,043 (2014-2015)EIDHRProtecting and Advancing Palestinian Minors' Rights in the Military Justice System
B'Tselem and Bimkom€250,000 (2015-2017)EIDHRMaintaining Human Rights of Vulnerable Palestinian Communities at Risk of Forced Displacement in Area C
Bimkom and ACRI€250,000 (2014-2016)ENPI (sub-instrument unspecified)Promoting Recognition of Bedouin Villages based on their Rights, Needs and Active Participation
ACRI, The New Israel Fund- Shatil, and Sikkuy€253,289 (2016-2017)EIDHRFreedom of speech and combatting hate speech in Israel
B'Tselem and HaMoked€204,576 (2016-2017)EIDHRYouth in Detention: Preventing mistreatment of detained Palestinian minors in East Jerusalem
Hamoked€654,423 (2013-2016)EIDHRWriting Wrongs: Restoring Justice and Dignity to Victims of Torture
Breaking the Silence and Ir Amim€236,000 (2016-2017)EIDHREducating for Change: Human Rights Education in Israeli Society
Comet-ME€486,913 (2014-2015)ENPI (sub-instrument unspecified)Provision of sustainable energy services to the communities of the South Hebron Hills in Area C of the West Bank
Mossawa€499,700 (2017-2019)ENPILocal Action for National Impact: Strengthening Arab Civil Society in Israel
€246,725 (2014-2015)EIDHR

Strengthening Democratic Participation of the Arab Minority 
€250,000 (2014-2016) *with four other NGOsEIDHRTogether for a Better Future: The Coalition against Racism in Israel
Rabbis for Human Rights€197,000 (2012-2015)EIDHRLegal Aid to Combat land takeovers and displacement of Palestinians in the South Hebron Hills, Hebron district and Bethlehem region
Associazione Comunit Papa Giovanni XXIII and Rabbis for Human Rights€288,177 (2015-2017)ENPI/PfPLand of Hopes and Dreams - Spreading Nonviolent Conflict Transformation in the West Bank
Yesh Din€180,000 (2014-2016)EIDHRThe Road to Dispossession:Promoting the right to property and State adherence to the Rule of Law in the West Bank
Yesh Din and Emek Shaveh€240,000 (2016-2017)EIDHRLands and Cultural Heritage Rights in Area C of the West Bank
Parents Circle Families Forum (PCFF)€480,000 (2017-2019)ENPINarratives in Action: Building Engaged Communities through the Power of Reconciliation
€479,555 (2014-2015)ENPI/PfPAcross Two Narratives: The Israeli-Palestinian Narrative Experience
Physicians for Human Rights – Israel (PHR-I) and Hotline for Refugees and Migrants€868,627 (2013-2016)EIDHRON.TO: Stopping the torture of refugees from Sub-Saharan countries along the migratory route to Northern Africa
Applied Research Institute- Jerusalem (ARIJ)€471,542 (2014-2016)
DCI/NSA-LATowards Better Services in the Vulnerable Communities of the oPt through engaging Palestinian Non State Actors in Local Community
Applied Research Institute- Jerusalem (ARIJ) Land Research Center, and Kerem Navot€497,040 (2014-2016)ENPI/PfPAddressing Israeli Actions and its Land Policies in the oPt
Oxfam Novib and Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR)€411,861 (2014-2016)EIDHRStrengthening human rights and access to information
Handicap International, National Society for Rehabilitation, and Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS)€743,206 (2014-2017)DCI/NSA-LAFostering multistakeholders mobilisation for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in their community in marginalized areas of oPt
CARE Osterreich and Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS)€588,947 (2013-2014)DCI/NSA-LASANAD: Women participation in community health development 
Oxfam Novib, Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS), Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling (WCLAC), Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC)€2,500,000 (end date 12/2016) ENPI/East Jerusalem ProgrammeProtect the rights and improve resilience of vulnerable communities in East Jerusalem - Phase II
Y-care and YMCA- East Jerusalm€491,083 (2012-2017)DCI/NSA-LAEmpowering socially excluded young women in the oPt to become economically active and advocate for their rights with local decision-makers
Save the Children Denmark,Ma'an Development Center, and Save the Children International€599,568 (2012-2015)DCI/NSA-LAJORDAN VALLE [sic] YOUTH FOR CHANGE
Palestinian Hydrology Group €391,772 (2014-2016)EIDHRStrengthen capacity of Civil Society organisations in C area and Seam Zone to promote water as human right issue
Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and Palestinian Centre for Democracy and Conflict Resolution€496,727 (2014-2015)EIDHRPromotion and Improvement of Housing, Land and Property (HLP) Rights for Women in the Gaza Strip
Palestinian Centre for Democracy and Conflict Resolution (PCDCR)€483,339 (2014-2015)EIDHRProtective Environment for Children from Sexual Abuse
DanChurch Aid PalVision€1,495,377 (end date 02/2019)ENPI/East Jerusalem ProgrammePromoting Change and Youth leadership in East Jerusalem
PalVision (and two other NGOs)€950,000 (end date 02/2016)ENPI/East Jerusalem ProgrammeYouth Actors for Positive change in East Jerusalem

Footnotes

  1. FAdditional funding information is available based on Israeli NGO financial reports to the Israeli Registrar of Non Profits, as mandated by the Israeli transparency law; see Table B below for detailed funding information).

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