- The Norwegian government, via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), and the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat, provides tens of millions of kroner (NOK) through direct and indirect funding processes to politicized NGOs operating in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.
- Organizations receiving Norwegian funding lead campaigns and political activities that are inconsistent with Norway’s policies to promote peace and a two-state framework in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Some groups have also used antisemitic rhetoric and have apparent links to terror organizations.
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.
- As of June 1, 2016, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs allocated NOK 5 million ($600,000) to the Human Rights & International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (IHL Secretariat).
- Norway joins Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands in funding the IHL Secretariat. This funding mechanism has a budget of $17.6 million over four years. The funds are managed by the Institute of Law at Birzeit University (IoL-BZU) in Ramallah and a European multidisciplinary consulting company, NIRAS.
- The IHL Secretariat funds highly politicized NGOs that engage in “lawfare” against Israeli officials and companies that do business with Israel, promote BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns, advance a “1948 agenda,” exploit the false “apartheid” analogy to demonize Israel, and even promote antisemitic propaganda.
- NGO Monitor has extensively documented numerous concerns relating to the IHL Secretariat.
- As of January 2017, Norway’s funding information shows that its support for the IHL Secretariat ended in 2016. There is no indication that Norway intends to continue this funding.
Direct Funding to Israeli/Palestinian Political NGOs
- According to information available on the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs/NORAD website (as of August 31, 2016), the Norwegian government has committed funds of over NOK 200 million (over $24 million) to politicized organizations active in the region for 2016. These funds are distributed via NORAD, the Embassy in Tel Aviv/Israel, the Representative Office in Al Ram/Palestine, the Secretariat and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 2015, overall development aid to “Palestine” amounted to NOK 630 million.
- Miftah (NOK 3.2 million for 2015-16; also received NOK 1 million in 2014)
Utilizes anti-Israel and antisemitic rhetoric. Describes terror groups as “resistance fighters” and accuses 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.
- Al Haq (NOK 3.2 million for 2015-16; also received NOK 1 million in 2014)
- Al Haq is a leader in anti-Israel “lawfare” campaigns and BDS activities. The NGO’s general director Shawan Jabarin is allegedly linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a designated terrorist organization by the U.S., EU, and Canada. Click here to read NGO Monitor’s unofficial translation of the decision by the Israeli High Court of Justice.
- Al Haq proposed sabotaging the Israeli court system by “flooding the [Israeli Supreme] Court with petitions in the hope of obstructing its functioning and resources.” In October 2013, Al-Haq and Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) held a meeting with the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to present a legal opinion, accusing Israel of “widespread and systematic commission of international crimes and violations of international law.”
- Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) (NOK 1 million for 2016; previously NOK 1 million for 2015)
- Regularly describes Israel’s policies as “apartheid” and accuses Israel of “ethnic cleansing,” “war crimes,” and the “Judaization of Jerusalem.”
- On March 15, 2010, condemned the rededication of the Hurva Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem as a “war crime,” and called on EU member states to boycott Israeli goods in protest. The Hurva Synagogue, built during the 1700s, was destroyed by Jordanian forces after they attacked and expelled the Jewish population of the Old City in 1948.
- Palestine Strategy Group (NOK 1.32 million for 2016)
- Supports a “one state reality.”
- Its Post-Oslo Strategy supports “resistance in all its forms,” including BDS: “Our power is the steadfastness of our people, the justice of our cause and resistance in all its forms including the growing global movement for boycott sanctions and divestment. Our strategic aim is to convert legitimacy power into real transformation on the ground.”
- Dr Husam Zomlot, co-founder and coordinator of the Palestine Strategy Group, claimed in an interview on BBC (BBC Interview, 20 Aug 2014 from 39:21) that Israel “fabricated” the beheading of James Foley “like they are fabricating the story of the Holocaust, that it happened in Europe.”
- Breaking the Silence (over NIS 150,000 in 2015 and NIS 160,000 in 2014)
- Active in promoting “war crimes” charges against Israel. These charges were based on anonymous and unverifiable hearsay “testimonies.”
- Yesh Din (over NIS 480,000 in 2014)
- On May 6, 2016, Yesh Din’s legal advisor, Adv. Michael Sfard, appeared on behalf of the organization before the UN Security Council and presented data allegedly indicating a “lack of enforcement that enables the continuous violence against Palestinians, which is part of a long-term effort to dispossess them of their lands.” This is part of Yesh Din’s broader “lawfare” strategy of manipulating data about Israeli law enforcement and pressing “war crimes” cases against Israeli officials in foreign courts and in the International Criminal Court (ICC).
- Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) received NOK 30.6 million for 2016 and NOK 25.4 million for 2015 for activities in the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem. The NRC also receives funding from Sweden, the UK, and the EU.
- NRC received a NOK 15.4 million grant in 2015 to be implemented by the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH).
- Between 2011 and 2014, NRC received over NOK 89.8 million from Norway for activities in the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem.
- NRC supports politicized “Litigation of public interest cases …through Israeli courts and international mechanisms” in 2016. Previously, NRC funded over 4,000 cases and legal interventions in Israeli forums.
- A lawyer affiliated with the NRC program stated that the objective of these cases is 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)
Norwegian People’s Aid
- NPA received NOK 49.86 million in 2016. It previously received two grants ($1,692,600 for 2015-2016 and $4,950,986 for 2012-2015 implemented by Union of Palestinian NGO Network).
- Leader and mobilizer of anti-Israel boycotts, divestments, and sanctions (BDS) campaigns.
- In June 2016, NPA worked with the Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees (Fagforbundet) to publish a second draft of their May 2012 document, “Dangerous Liaisons,” which falsely alleged that Norwegian companies, through financial investments in Israel, are participating in international law and human rights abuses. The original document was cited as a central resource for the GPFG campaign, as well as other Norwegian BDS efforts. The document relies heavily upon Israeli BDS NGO Who Profits.
- Promotes allegations of Israeli “apartheid,” “collective punishment,” “war crimes,” and “violations of international law and human rights.”
- One of NPA’s partner organizations is Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC). UAWC was founded in 1968 by members of The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and is an official PFLP “affiliate.” USAID identifies UAWC as the “agricultural arm” of the PFLP.
- Played a central role in lobbying the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) to divest from Israeli companies, promoting distorted factual and legal claims.
Norwegian Church Aid (NCA)
- Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) received over NOK 29 million starting in 2016, to be implemented with a number of problematic partners.
- Published a “Country plan 2011-2015: The occupied Palestinian Territory with Israel and faith-based organisations in the Middle East,” together with the ACT Alliance, presenting a highly biased and politicized view of the conflict and accusing Israel of “excessive use of force,” “demolitions,” “displacement,” “harassment,” using “human shields,” and promoting the Palestinian narrative of “Nakba” [meaning the establishment of Israel is a “catastrophe”].
- NCA sends Norwegian members to the World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) program. EAPPI consistently demonizes Israel, making accusations of “apartheid,” “war crimes,” and “Bantustans”; calls the security barrier, which has saved countless lives from suicide bombings, “evil.”
Indirect Funding to Israeli/Palestinian Political NGOs
In addition to direct funding, Norway also provides in funding to
- Who Profits (49,838 NIS – 2015; 42,837 NIS – 2014 from Fagforbundet [Labor Union])
- Initiates international BDS campaigns, targeting Israeli and foreign banks, security companies, civil infrastructure facilities, and private companies. Also identifies companies for other BDS activists to target.
Funding to Norwegian and international organizations active in the region
|Organization||Total agreed (NOK)||2016 (NOK)||Funding Source|
|Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)||1,871,735|
|1,871,735||Middle East Section MFA|
|17,689,000||Middle East Section MFA|
|10,672,061||Section for Humanitarian Affairs|
|Norwegian Aid Committee (NORWAC)||13,700,000|
|13,700,000||Section for Humanitarian Affairs|
|Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA)||49,855,023|
|12,355,023||Section for Civil Society Strengthening|
|Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) – local office||3,872,048|
|968,012||Section for Civil Society Strengthening|
|NCA - The Lutheran World Federation||752,688|
|188,172||Section for Civil Society Strengthening|
|NCA - Middle East Council of Churches||2,365,592|
|591,398||Section for Civil Society Strengthening|
|NCA - Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jordan (ELCJHL)||1,720,432|
|430,108||Section for Civil Society Strengthening|
|698,925||Section for Civil Society Strengthening|
|NCA - World Alliance of YMCAs||645,160|
|161,290||Section for Civil Society Strengthening|
|NCA - DanChurchAid||1,935,484|
|483,871||Section for Civil Society Strengthening|
|1,397,580||Section for Civil Society Strengthening|
|1,801,075||Section for Civil Society Strengthening|
|NCA – World Council of Churches||860,216|
|215,054||Section for Civil Society Strengthening|
|NCA - Asala||1,720,432|
|430,108||Section for Civil Society Strengthening|
|Save the Children (Norway)||4,449,900|
|1,233,900||Section for Civil Society Strengthening|
|Save The Children international via Red Cross||6,660,000|
(2016 – 2018)
|6,660,000||Section for Humanitarian Affairs|
|770,073||Section for Civil Society Strengthening|
|429,927||Section for Civil Society Strengthening|
|171,635||Section for Civil Society Strengthening|
- Will Norway Help Palestinian NGO Destroy ICC? 'Human Rights Group' Using Oslo Funds in Pressing Int'l Criminal Court to Target Israel Gerald Steinberg, Ynet, August 16, 2013. Also published in Verdens Gang (Norway) "Misbruk av straffed" August 10, 2013; and Yediot Ahronot (Hebrew)
- Sins of Omission in Syria (Norwegian - Unnlatelsessynden i Syria) Editorial, Dagbladet, August 12, 2012