Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung (RLS)
- Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung (RLS) is the foundation affiliated with the far-Left Die Linke party, based on the East German Marxist regime and West German supporters.
- Headquartered in Berlin, with international branches including Tel Aviv and Ramallah
- The highly Ideological agenda and advocacy activities, particularly regarding the Holocaust, antisemitism and Israel, (including support for BDS) is widely criticized in Germany and outside. Details below.
- Since the establishment of the Israel branch in 2008, RLS provided approximately NIS 50 million to the activities of political organizations and institutions in Israel, as well as salaries to fund representatives in the region.
- In 2020, total income was €81 million; total expenses were €80 million.
- In 2020, the German government granted €79.8 million to Rosa Luxemburg.
- According to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits, in 2021 the Israeli branch of Rosa Luxemburg had a total income of NIS 6.1 million and expenses of NIS 6 Million.
Funding to Politicized NGOs (partial information due to lack of transparency)
- Rosa Luxemburg (RLS) funds the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), identified as the “agricultural arm” of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization. UAWC is also highly active in promoting BDS campaigns and utilizing inflammatory rhetoric. On October 22, 2021, the Israeli Ministry of Defense declared UAWC a “terror organization” and part of “a network of organizations” that operates “on behalf of the ‘Popular Front’.” (See For more information on UAWC’s PFLP ties, read NGO Monitor’s report “Union of Agricultural Work Committees Ties to the PFLP Terror Group.”)
- RLS also funds a number of allied political NGOs active in the Arab-Israeli conflict, including Culture and Free Thought Association (CFTA), Al-Marsad, Bimkom, Negev Coexistence Forum, +972 Magazine, Kerem Navot, and Combatants for Peace. (See funding chart below for further funding information.)
- RLS is centrally involved in campaigns seeking to undermine the IHRA working definition of antisemitism, and substitute the so-called Jerusalm Declaration, including the October 2019 publication of an “Expert Opinion on the ‘Working Definition of Antisemitism’ of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance,” referring to it as “inconsistent, contradictory and formulated very vaguely.”
- RLS repeatedly promotes the Palestinian Nakba [catastrophe] narrative and “commemorate[s] the over ten million Palestinians of the Nakba …following the founding of Israel in 1948,” comparing these claims to the Nazi Holocaust.
- November 2022: RLS-Israel, with the Goethe-Institut, posted invitations to an event, Grasping the Pain of the Others – Holocaust, Nakba and German Remembrance Culture. “… remembering in Israel remains a politically contested terrain. Holocaust survivors and their descendants focus on the extermination of Europe’s Jews by the Nazis, while many Palestinians focus on the fateful year of 1948, when hundreds of thousands of people were destined to flight and displacement by Jewish fighters – known in Arabic as the Nakba ( catastrophe).” The Simon Wiesenthal Center, Israel’s Ambassador to Germany, and many others condemned this agenda as highly offensive. Following criticism, it was postponed indefinitely.
- 2022: Lecture series “Right now! Law and Occupation” with NGO activist Michael Sfard promoting anti-Israel lawfare with participation of NGOs Al-Haq, Hamoked, and Gisha.
- In April 2022, published (in German) “Palestinians are finding their way back to collective power,” declaring that the “political division of the Palestinians is perpetuated and deepened by Israeli settler colonialism and apartheid” and declaring “the Nakba was not a one-off event but is still ongoing.”
- Since 2011, supports the “Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Day Ceremony” hosted by Parents Circle Families Forum and Combatants for Peace. Israelis protest against this involvement of and manipulation by German political foundations of domestic issues, noting that the NGO ceremony promotes a Palestinian narrative that draws an immoral equivalence between terror victims and terrorists.
- Organizes “Israel-Palestine-Trips” for German Parliamentarians that meet with highly politicized NGOs, such as Sadaka Reut, +972 Magazine, B’Tselem, Negev Coexistence Forum, and others to “deepen their understanding of the political, economic & social situation in Palestine, as well as meeting decision makers and activists from the different mentioned fields.” Activities on these trips include meetings with “official local and international organizations, representatives, various Palestinian political figures and social activists” and “guided tour both in East Jerusalem and in Hebron.”
- In January 2019, RLS-Israel held an event featuring BDS supporter Sa’ed Atshan, who made comparisons between the “German occupation during WW2 with the Israeli occupation of Palestine.”
BDS Activities (partial list)
- Tsafrir Cohen, head of RLS’ Israel office, is the former head of the “Israel & Palestine” office of German anti-Israel political NGO Medico International (MI). Cohen has expressed repeated support for the Palestinian narrative. For example, in May 2018, he declared: “Israel’s right-wing nationalists are simply proud of their victory at the time and are openly threatening a ‘second nakba’ if the Palestinians continue to resist.”
- In a June 2017 interview Cohen stated that “Processes of colonization usually end through resistance of the colonized against the colonizers. We are not seeing this now… The Palestinians are tired after two uprisings… Then there is the Israeli public… There are many [in Israel] who profit financially from the occupation, and many whom it does not hurt financially. And then there’s international politics. It too is doing nothing in order to shift the cost-benefit-ratio so as to render an end to the occupation and a political solution a necessity” (emphasis added, NGO Monitor translation).
- In a 2013 article in a German newspaper, Cohen advocated for the imposition of German sanctions on Israel. In a 2014 MI blog post titled “No to Blind Solidarity with Israel,” Cohen wrote “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.
- In a 2015 interview with Katja Hermann, at the time Head of the RLS Palestine Office and currently head of the Middle East/Asia Unit, Hermann alleged that “The occupation, as well as the structural discrimination against the Palestinian minority in Israel, is backed by a political system that is based on racism. Children learn already in school that Palestinians are not equal human beings, this continues in the army, where they [Palestinians] become a security problem and a legitimate target. In this context of racism, the use of force against Palestinians is tolerated” (emphases added, NGO Monitor translation).
Funding to Israeli NGOs (amounts in NIS)
Amounts based on quarterly financial reports submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits unless noted. Due to a lack of transparency, information on funding for Palestinian NGOs is unavailable.
|Combatants for Peace||31,310||62,284
|Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality||27,650||18,558||134,450
|Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC)||$46,100
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