- RLS is the foundation affiliated with the far-Left Die Linke party, which originated in East Germany based on a neo-Marxist ideology.
- Office headquarters located in Berlin, with additional branches in Tel Aviv, Ramallah, and other international locations.
- Funding: 2014 budget of €48.4 million, of which RLF received €48,284,774 in German federal funding.
- RLS lists its Israeli and Palestinian “Partners & Projects,” but does not publish funding details.
- According to its website, RLS “focuses on strengthening democratic elements of civil society” and “promotes alternative education based on the principles of democracy, social justice, absence of violence and peaceful regional and international cooperation.”
- In contrast to these stated moral objectives, funding is provided to highly politicized anti-Israel NGOs including Zochrot, Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ), Bisan, and Combatants for Peace (CFP). (See funding chart below for more details.)
- Zochrot received NIS 160,925 in 2013-2014 for support for its educational program, which “provide[s] an opportunity for learners to gain familiarity with topics such as the Nakba, Palestinian refugees and the right of return.” Zochrot is also listed as a partner on RLF’s website under “current short-term projects” (accessed September 2016), for the project “Exploring the Invisible Land – Tour Guides Training Course.” According to RLF, “The goal is for the tour guides to acquire theoretical knowledge and practical training in planning and performing tours to Palestinian localities ruined in the Nakba, which will encourage their tour participants to question hegemonic presentations of history and to engage in a dialogue process based on humanistic values.” Zochrot campaigns for a “right of return” of Palestinian refugees and their decendents; supports a “one-state framework” and the “De-Zionization of Culture and Education” as part of its vision for a “new state”.
- ARIJ received $9,794 in 2013 for the project “Trading your neighbor’s water, preliminary study about Israeli appropriation of Palestinian water resources.” ARIJ supports anti-Israel BDS and accuses Israel of “apartheid” and “racism,” and supports a Palestinian “right of return.” In its publications employs rhetoric of “ethnic cleansing,” “transfer,” “land grab,” and “colonialization activities” and claims Israel is guilty of “excessive and disproportionate violations of every existing humanitarian code.”
- Bisan Center for Research and Development is listed as an RLF partner for 2013 and 2014; no information is available for later years. Bisan is 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 international BDS campaigns, naming them the most “effective” in “the struggle of our people for freedom, justice and equality.”
- Combatants for Peace (CFP) received NIS 170,819 in 2013-2015 for various activities. Combatants for Peace was part of the “Remove the Siege – Stop the War” coalition that stood “in defiance of the siege and the destruction and military bombardment…being exercised in Gaza with careless disregard…[and] protest the ongoing massacre,” in partnership with radical NGOs such as New Profile, Alternative Information Center, Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), Coalition of Women for Peace, and others.
- Tsafrir Cohen, head of RLS’ Israel office, is the former head of the “Israel & Palestine” office of German NGO Medico International (MI).
- MI regularly funds highly politicized Israeli and Palestinian NGOs and has accused Israel of “internal and external land grab[s]” and the “erosion of democratic values,” describing the Israeli government as “blatantly racist.”
- In a 2013 article in a German newspaper, Cohen openly advocated for the imposition of German sanctions on Israel. In a 2014 MI blog post titled “No to Blind Solidarity with Israel,” Cohen wrote that “Tel Aviv’s policies endanger Israeli as well as Palestinian society. Europe is obliged to intervene” (NGO Monitor translation).
- Issa Rabadi, program manager at the RLS Ramallah office, has worked previously for BADIL and the Kanan Coalition Project.
- BADIL was founded to promote a Palestinian “right of return” and a leader of international BDS campaigns. BADIL holds annual “right of return contests” and has published antisemitic cartoons on its website, as well as imagery promoting the elimination of Israel, which is a widely recognized form of antisemitism.
- The Kanan Coalition is a Spanish-funded project implemented by eight political NGOs, including Defense for Children International – Palestine, Alternative Information Center (AIC), and Health Work Committees, all of which have ties to the PFLP terrorist organization.
|Zochrot||NIS 79,685||NIS 81,240|
|Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI)||NIS 71,327|
|Combatants for Peace||NIS 38,000||NIS 53,528||NIS 56,452||NIS 60,839|
|Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality||NIS 94,650||NIS 94,316||NIS 81,214|
|Sadaka Reut||NIS 12,570||NIS 191,779||NIS 197,095|
|The Social TV||NIS 22,195|
|Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ)||$9,794|
*Funding information to Israeli NGOs is according to information submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits. Information on funding to ARIJ was taken from its annual report; Bisan does not disclose funding details.
Click here to read NGO Monitor’s full report on German Funding for Political Advocacy NGOs Active in the Arab-Israeli Conflict