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  • 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.


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Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat

  • 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.
Norway mfa 2016

Screenshot of MFA website, August 31, 2016

Grantees include:

  • Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) (NOK 1 million for 2016; previously NOK 1 million for 2015)
  • 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).

Europe_Exploiting justiceNorwegian Refugee Council (NRC)

  • 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

Norwegian Church Aid (NCA)

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

OrganizationTotal agreed (NOK)2016 (NOK)Funding Source
Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)1,871,735
1,871,735Middle East Section MFA
17,689,000Middle East Section MFA
10,672,061Section for Humanitarian Affairs
Norwegian Aid Committee (NORWAC)13,700,000
13,700,000Section for Humanitarian Affairs
Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA)49,855,023
12,355,023Section for Civil Society Strengthening
Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) – local office3,872,048
968,012Section for Civil Society Strengthening
NCA - The Lutheran World Federation752,688
188,172Section for Civil Society Strengthening
NCA - Middle East Council of Churches2,365,592
591,398Section for Civil Society Strengthening
NCA - Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jordan (ELCJHL)1,720,432
430,108Section for Civil Society Strengthening
698,925Section for Civil Society Strengthening
NCA - World Alliance of YMCAs645,160
161,290Section for Civil Society Strengthening
NCA - DanChurchAid1,935,484
483,871Section for Civil Society Strengthening
1,397,580Section for Civil Society Strengthening
1,801,075Section for Civil Society Strengthening
NCA – World Council of Churches860,216
215,054Section for Civil Society Strengthening
NCA - Asala1,720,432
430,108Section for Civil Society Strengthening
Save the Children (Norway) 4,449,900
1,233,900Section for Civil Society Strengthening
Save The Children international via Red Cross6,660,000
(2016 – 2018)
6,660,000Section for Humanitarian Affairs
Quaker Service2,310,219
770,073Section for Civil Society Strengthening
429,927Section for Civil Society Strengthening
Integrity Action1,037,999
171,635Section for Civil Society Strengthening

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Further Reading