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Background

The German federal government provides millions of euros to political advocacy NGOs in Israel and the Palestinian Authority, through a variety of frameworks, including German federal funding programs of the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the German Federal Foreign Office, government-funded church aid, and independent development NGOs.

Officially, the funding is aimed at “combating poverty, securing food, establishing peace, freedom, democracy and human rights, shaping globalisation in a socially equitable manner, and preserving the environment and natural resources.” In contrast to these stated moral objectives, research reveals that German federal funding is allocated to, amongst others, organizations that promote anti-Israel BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) and “lawfare” campaigns, anti-Zionism, promotion of a “one-state” vision, antisemitism, and violence.

Lack of Transparency

German federal funding frameworks are severely lacking in terms of transparency and public scrutiny. Selection processes, precise amounts, project evaluations, and sometimes partner organizations are not made publicly available. Precise amounts are only available for Israeli NGOs, which are required by law to report to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits.

According to reports submitted by Israeli NGOs, in 2012-2015 alone, €4 million of German taxpayer money was allocated to 15 Israeli NGOs (this may be a partial amount, as not all Israel NGOs adhere to the submission requirements), 42% of which went to organizations that promote BDS and/or “one-state” visions.

Funding Frameworks

Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

Civil Peace Service:

The BMZ program Civil Peace Service (ZFD) “sends experts to international partner organisations in order to prevent the outbreak of violence without military action and to strengthen the force of civil society.” The program is entirely funded by BMZ.

ZFD projects:

German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ):

The GIZ leads several projects in the West Bank, many in partnership with local NGOs. These projects are commissioned and paid for by BMZ.

GIZ Projects:

Church aid frameworks:

Since 1962, BMZ is obligated under German law to provide financial support for the development work of church-aid organizations, with two church NGOs chosen as representatives – the Catholic Misereor and the Protestant Development Service (EED), today merged with Brot fuer die Welt (BfW).

According to data from the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits, 71% of total German funding to Israeli NGOs active in the Arab-Israeli conflict in 2012-2015 came from BfW/EED and Misereor.

German Federal Foreign Office

  • Human Rights Defenders Fund (HRDF) (NIS 99,436 in 2015): Executive Director Alma Biblash, the fund’s only documented paid employee, has referred to Israel as “racist” and “murderous,” as well as a “temporary Jewish apartheid state.” Biblash also supports BDS campaigns and promotes a Palestinian “right of return.”
  • Physicians for Human Rights- Israel (PHR-I) (2014: NIS 551,226): Uses façade of medicine to advance a narrow political agenda and falsely accuse Israel of “war crimes.”

Political Foundations (Stiftungen)

German “politische Stiftungen” – political foundations affiliated with parliamentary parties – are funded by the Federal Ministry of the Interior, the Federal Foreign Office, and the BMZ in direct proportion to the seats held by the parties affiliated with them.

  • Heinrich Boell Stiftung (HSL – affiliated with the Green Party):
    • Partners with the Ma’an Development Center, which published “Boycotts, Divestment & Sanctions: Lessons learned in effective solidarity” (2009), a guide to grassroots and international BDS campaigns.
    • HSL published a statement of solidarity with Palestinian NGO Al-Haq (see above), endorsing its attempt to prosecute Israel at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
  • Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung (affiliated with Die Linke):
    • Funds Zochrot (2013-2014: NIS 161,674) – see above.
    • Partners with Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ) (funding details unavailable): ARIJ supports anti-Israel BDS and employs rhetoric of “ethnic cleansing,” “transfer,” “land grab,” and “colonialization activities”, claims Israel is guilty of “excessive and disproportionate violations of every existing humanitarian code.”
    • Partners with Bisan Center for Research and Development, a signatory to the Support Statement of Palestinian Feminists in Palestine and Diaspora published in February 2016, which accuses Israel of “colonial and racist oppression” and endorses BDS.

German Funding to Israeli NGOs

*Data taken from the Israeli Registrar of Non-profits

NGOYearDonorAmount (in NIS)
Who Profits-מי מרוויח2015Bread for the World- EED (Church aid group)28,751
Who Profits-מי מרוויח2014Medico International61,607
The Social TV-הטלוויזיה החברתית2014Rosa Luxemburg (Political Foundation)21,995
Breaking the Silence-שוברים שתיקה2014Medico International (Funded in part by BMZ and German Foreign Ministry)40,000
Breaking the Silence-שוברים שתיקה2014Misereor (Church aid group)603,977
Zochrot-זוכרות2014Rosa Luxemburg (Political Foundation)60,235
Zochrot-זוכרות2013Misereor (Church aid group)123,684
Zochrot-זוכרות2012Misereor (Church aid group)118,607
CWP-קואליציית נשים לשלום2015Kurve Wustrow99,877
CWP-קואליציית נשים לשלום2015Bread for the World-EED (Church aid group)84,550
CWP-קואליציית נשים לשלום2014Kurve Wustrow 563,783
CWP-קואליציית נשים לשלום2014Bread for the World-EED (Church aid group)69,371
CWP-קואליציית נשים לשלום2013Kurve Wustrow 599,930
CWP-קואליציית נשים לשלום2013Bread for the World (Church aid group)119,877
CWP-קואליציית נשים לשלום2013Medico International (Funded in part by BMZ and German Foreign Ministry)47,800
Physicians for Human Rights-Israel2014Medico International (Funded in part by BMZ and German Foreign Ministry)80,000
New Profile2014Bread for the World (Church aid group)180,000
Comet-ME2012German Foreign Ministry and others2,000,000
Bimkom2013Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
Federal Government Agency for International Cooperation
196,000

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