- The government of the Netherlands provides millions of euros annually to political NGOs active in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
- The funds are transferred directly through government entities (MFA, Embassy in Tel Aviv, Representative Office in Ramallah) and the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (the “Secretariat”), and indirectly via NGOs that receive government support.
- Some of the NGOs receive grants from multiple government frameworks.
- In May 2016, Dutch MPs Voorderwind (Christian Union), Ten Broeke (VVD), and Van der Staaij (SGP) submitted written questions to the Minister of Foreign Affairs about indirect Dutch support for the BDS movement.
- On June 16, 2016, a majority of 78 out of the 150 members of the Dutch Parliament adopted a resolution that demanded the government review and halt, as soon as possible, all direct and indirect funding to radical NGOs that support BDS against Israel.
Human Rights and Humanitarian Law International Secretariat
- Together with Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, and Norway, the Netherlands funds Israeli and Palestinian NGOs through The Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (the “Secretariat”). This funding mechanism has a projected budget of $17.6 million over four years, including $13 million for NGOs. The funds are managed by the Institute of Law at Birzeit University (IoL-BZU) and a European multidisciplinary consulting company, NIRAS. The Dutch contribution is €2.9 million (2014-16).
- 13 out of 24 Core fund recipients support BDS
- 11 out of 20 project fund recipients support BDS
- Core fund recipients that support BDS receive $5.78 million out of $10.48 million
- In February 2014, IoL-BZU published a 15-page report, “Advocating for Palestinian Rights in conformity with International Law: Guidelines” (English and Arabic). This document is a strategic manual for exploiting legal terms and rhetoric to demonize and isolate Israel internationally (“lawfare”), as well as to emphasize that Israel regardless of its borders is among “racist regimes which are absolutely prohibited in their entirety.” This report was posted prominently on the Human Rights Secretariat Facebook page.
- Through the Secretariat, Dutch funds are redirected to several politicized NGOs, such as BADIL, which promotes “resistance” and “martyr” rhetoric, and promotes anti-peace initiatives and a “one-state” framework. The organization also promotes the Palestinian “right of return” and leads international BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) campaigns, by also engaging in blatant antisemitic activities. In 2010, BADIL signed a document explicitly rejecting the Roadmap for Peace and the Arab Peace Initiative, in sharp contradiction to the goals and policies of its government sponsors. BADIL also sponsors annual “right of return contests” in which it has published antisemitic cartoons on its website, as well as imagery denying Israel’s right to exist. After the antisemitic cartoons were revealed by NGO Monitor in 2010, the Swiss government announced a funding freeze for this NGO; it appears that funding has been renewed.
- In August 2014, The Secretariat announced “emergency funding” to nine Israeli and Palestinian NGOs to “document the violations by all parties of human rights and international humanitarian law arising from the armed conflict.” Switzerland donated CHF 100,000 to this fund. All nine of these NGOs (Al-Dameer, B’Tselem, Badil, Breaking the Silence, DCI-Palestine, Al Mezan, Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Women’s Affairs Center, Women’s Affairs Technical Committee) have extensively accused Israel of unsubstantiated “war crimes,” while disregarding clear Hamas human rights violations. In addition, some of these NGOs played a pivotal role in providing dubious and inaccurate statements to the discredited 2009 UN Goldstone.
- In September 2014, the Secretariat approved project funding for the period of September 2014 to August 2015. Over $1.2 million was authorized for 20 NGOs, many of which accuse Israel of “de-Palestinization,” “apartheid,” “colonization,” “collective punishment,” “forced displacement,” violations of “cultural and religious rights,” “repression,” “restricting movement,” “water theft,” and a “ghettoization project,” as well as support BDS campaigns and agendas. Funding was directed also to the “Stop the Wall Campaign,” a leader of international BDS against Israel, for an overtly political project “To contribute to a situation of accountability and respect for human rights by all duty bearers by creating mechanisms to implement the ICJ decision related to the separation Wall.”
Funding via Embassy in Tel Aviv
- The Dutch government directly funds a number of Israeli political advocacy NGOs. The Embassy in Tel Aviv does not publish details of NGOs funded; however, the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits provides information on Dutch Embassy funding to Israeli NGOs.
- According to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits (Rasham Ha-Amutot), the Embassy allocated NIS 315.663 for the years 2013-2014. (The Embassy announced that it would not accept proposals for the year 2013 .)
- Yesh Din – NIS 29,700 (2014) and NIS 120,300 (2012) for a project headlined “Lands Project and Law Enforcement.” In its reports, activities, and partnerships, Yesh Din systematically alleges that Israel and its security forces are unaccountable to the rule of law. This is part of a wider “lawfare” strategy of pressing “war crimes” cases against Israeli officials in foreign courts and in the International Criminal Court (ICC).
- Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I) – NIS 59,386 (2013) for the “Promoting health rights for the disadvantaged hurt by the citizenship law and promoting the public activity of the NGO.” PHR-I exploits a medical narrative and makes false and distorted allegations to advance a political agenda of delegitimization and demonization of Israel.
- Bimkom – NIS 154,474 (2013) for “Planning Support to unrecognized Bedouin villages.” Bimkom regularly attacks Israeli policies, including the security barrier, while completely omitting the context of terror. Regarding the complex Negev Bedouin issue , Bimkom often uses politicized language, distorts facts and delegitimizes Israel.
- Ir Amim – NIS 72,103 (2014 – general funding). Its stated mission “seeks to render Jerusalem a more equitable and sustainable city for the Israelis and Palestinians who share it.” However, Ir Amim’s activities consistently promote a one-sided narrative, ; accusing Israel of attempting to “Judaize” Jerusalem and promoting the Palestinian narrative; and alleging without evidence that the security barrier’s supposedly “demographic rationale therefore outweighs its security rationale.”
Funding via Representative Office in Ramallah
- Highly politicized NGOs funded through the Representative Office in Ramallah include Al Haq, Al Mezan, Defence for Children International – Palestine Section (DCI/PS), HaMoked (Israeli), the Independent Commission for Human Rights, The Jerusalem Media and Communication Center, Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC), The Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs (PASSIA), the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), the Palestinian Hydrology Group, the NGO Development Center, and Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counseling (WCLAC).
- Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC) received almost €8 million in 2010-2012. PARC publicly supports BDS, utilizes demonizing rhetoric as “apartheid” and other racially charged language and falsely accuses Israel of “war crime[s].”
- The Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) in partnership with the Palestinian Hydrology Group (PHG) received €8 million (2013-2016). UAWC exploits its environmental mandate in order to demonize Israel and to promote BDS initiatives. According to the Israeli NGO Shurat HaDin, UAWC is closely affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a designated terror organization by the US, EU, UK, and Australia. Similarly, the Palestinian Hydrology Group promotes an anti-Israel agenda instead of pursuing its stated environmental mandate. Specifically, PHG is part of Stop the Wall, a grassroots network organization engaged in BDS and demonizing Israel through international advocacy .
- The Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) – more than €2 million (2011-2016) ICHR is a quasi-governmental Palestinian organization, established in 1993 with a declared mandate “to follow-up and ensure that different Palestinian laws, by-laws and regulations, and the work of various departments, agencies and institutions of the State of Palestine and the Palestine Liberation Organization meet the requirements for safeguarding human rights.” ICHR refers to explosions in Hamas military training camps and deaths in tunnels between Gaza and Egypt as human rights violations against Palestinians.
- Large-scale indirect funding for political advocacy NGOs is channeled through Dutch Christian aid-organizations: Interchurch Organization for Development Cooperation (ICCO), Kerk in Actie (KIA) and the Catholic Organization for Relief and Development Aid (Cordaid).
- Oxfam NOVIB and other Dutch aid groups also indirectly fund these NGOs.
- ICCO- €82 million (84% of total budget) in 2012 and €76.9 million in 2013 from the Dutch government.
- ICCO partners with NGOs promoting BDS and antisemitic rhetoric and imagery, including BADIL (amount not disclosed on ICCO’s website) and Electronic Intifada (€200,000 between 2006-10), Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP), Al Haq, Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI), Defense for Children International – Palestine Section (DCI-PS), Addameer, and others. Also works with the World Council of Churches (WCC), a leader in anti-Israel church divestment campaigns. Some of these organizations also promote a “one-state” solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict – in other words, the elimination of Jewish self-determination rights.
- In 2010, following parliamentary discussions and NGO Monitor reports, ICCO significantly decreased transparency regarding activities in the Mideast and its funding for highly politicized Israeli, Palestinian, and international partner NGOs.
- Oxfam Novib – more than €88.7 from the Dutch government (2013-2014), and receives further governmental funding including through IMPACT, an alliance headed by Oxfam NOVIB, which received €373.7 million (2011-2015).
- Oxfam NOVIB is active in promoting an anti-Israeli agenda, including through its partnership with the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) on projects attempting to obtain foreign arrest warrants against Israeli officials.
- Oxfam Novib sponsored several PCHR conferences promoting the use of universal jurisdiction statutes against Israeli officials. These events were used as strategy sessions to bolster war crimes cases (“lawfare”) throughout the world against Israeli officials.
- PCHR also promotes “resistance” rhetoric.
- In 2009, Oxfam Novib sponsored Electronic Intifada Executive Director Ali Abunimah’s participation in an event organized by the Nederlands Palestina Komitee (the Palestine Committee of the Netherlands). In his presentation, Abunimah repeatedly advanced allegations of “ethnic cleaning” and “colonization,” employed terms such as “apartheid,” and advocated BDS.
- Kerk inActie (KIA) runs projects co-financed with the government, but does not detail which ones. KIA partners include Sabeel and Al-Mezan, NGOs active in BDS campaigns. Sabeel utilizes antisemitic themes and antagonism of Jews in its rhetoric.
- Cordaid – €88.4 million (2013) from the Dutch government.
- Despite a lack of transparency on Cordaid’s part, NGO Monitor’s research shows that Holy Land Trust, COHRE, and Ma’an Development Center receive Cordaid funding.
- In 2014, Cordaid partnered with Ma’an Development Center on a project of €167,000. Ma’an Development Center is a Palestinian NGO that promotes BDS and uses a highly demonizing rhetoric, such as referring to Israel as a colonizing state.
ICCO’s Indirect Funding of Electronic Intifada
- In November 2010, NGO Monitor revealed that ICCO had transferred Dutch government funds to Electronic Intifada (EI). Dutch FM Uri Rosenthal told the Jerusalem Post, “I will look into the matter personally.”
- In January 2011, Minister Rosenthal had a “frank and open discussion” with ICCO, noting that EI’s activities are “directly contrary to Dutch government policy.” The Minister dismissed ICCO claims that its funding of EI comes from private donations as “disingenuous.”
- ICCO refused to change its policy and defended support for BDS and EI as “a peaceful and legal way to push for an end to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.”
- See NGO Monitor’s website for details on antisemitic and demonizing rhetoric from EI and Ali Abunimah.
Secretariat Core Funding Recipients (2014-2016)
|NGO||Total Grant (USD)||August 2014 Emergency Funding||Additional Core Funding (2016)
|Al Dameer||230,000||Amount Unknown||$50,000
|Al Mezan||415,000||Amount Unknown||$80,000
|Breaking the Silence||300,000||Amount Unknown||$120,000
|Defence for Children International- Palestine Section||578,000||Amount Unknown||$160,000
|Democracy and Workers' Rights Center in Palestine (DWRC)||300,000||---||
|Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR)||710,000||Amount Unknown||
|Palestinian Working Women Society for Development||532,000||---||$50,000
|Physicians for Human Rights- Israel (PHR-I)||300,000||---||
|Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI)||356,000||---||
|The Jerusalem Legal Aid & Human Rights Center||410,000||---||
|Women Affairs Technical Committee||500,000||Amount Unknown||$30,000
|Women Studies Center||350,000||Amount Unknown||$50,000
|Women's Center for Legal Aid and Counseling||710,000||---||
|Women's Affairs Center||520,000||---||
See here for Secretariat Project Funding Recipients.
Funding via Embassy in Tel Aviv
Funding via Representative Office in Ramallah
|NGO||Amount and Year
|Oxfam Novib||Not Transparent
|Kerk in Actie||Not Transparent
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