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  • Spanish funding to politicized non-governmental organizations (NGOs) involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict is highly decentralized, taking place at several levels of governance in Spain. Funds are managed and allocated by the central government, autonomous communities, provincial deputations, municipalities, and bar associations – reflecting deep political fissures and regional radicalization.
  • Spain provides millions of euros to highly politicized NGOs that promote anti-Israel narratives, including antisemitism, incitement, lawfare, and discriminatory BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns against Israel. Some of these groups also have ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a designated terrorist organization by in the EUUS, Canada, and Israel.
  • NGO Monitor analysis shows that in 2015-2018, the Spanish central government and the Basque and Andalucía autonomous communities provided at least €16.6 million1 to NGOs active in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Of this, 95% was transferred through political Spanish NGOs for projects in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza in partnership with local Palestinian NGOs.
    • Approximately €6.2 million (37% of total funding) was allocated for projects involving Palestinian NGOs with ties to the PFLP.
    • Approximately €2 million (12% of total funding) was allocated for projects involving Palestinian NGOs that promote anti-Israel campaigns, including antisemitism, glorifying violence, lawfare, and BDS campaigns.
  • On June 28, 2017, in the Spanish Parliament, NGO Monitor and ACOM presented a joint report on Spanish funding. At this event, MK Yair Lapid, Chair of the centrist Yesh Atid party, encouraged his counterparts in Spain to take steps to prevent counterproductive and detrimental government funding.

Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID)

Palestinian NGOs funded through AECID

  • In 2018, AECID granted €268,627 to BADIL and Spanish NGO NOVACT for a project to “Prevent violent extremism in the oPt [occupied Palestinian territories]. An approach based on Human Rights and peacebuilding.”
    • BADIL was founded to promote a Palestinian “right of return” and is 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. A cartoon that won a monetary prize for 2nd place in BADIL’s 2010 Al-Awda Nakba caricature competition is a blatant representation of classic antisemitic tropes, including a Jewish man, garbed in traditional Hasidic attire, with a hooked nose and side locks.
    • NOVACT promotes a number of political campaigns advocating sanctions against Israel and making severe allegations – such as the campaign “Hidden Business,” launched to “denounce the security, military and arms relations between the Spanish state and the state of Israel in order to claim the application of Spanish and European legislation on arms exports,” and the campaign “No More Complicity with Israel,” aiming to “show the role Israel plays in the design, research, implementation and sale abroad of different systems of repression.”
  • In 2019-2021, the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) provides UAWC with €400,000 for “Improving the economic situation of vulnerable farmers.”
    • UAWC is identified by Fatah as an official PFLP “affiliate,” and by USAID as the “agricultural arm” of the PFLP. According to academic scholar Glenn E. Robinson, UAWC was founded in 1986 by “agronomists loosely affiliated with the PFLP.”
    • Utilizes highly biased and demonizing rhetoric, accusing the “Israel occupation forces” of “continuing its brutal and immoral offensive [2014] war on Gaza” and an ongoing “policy of collective punishment in disregard for the international law and humanitarian law.”
    • In 2010, UAWC organized “a solidarity day with the Secretary General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Ahmed Saadat…” The “solidarity day” featured Muhammad Bakri, executive director of the Union of Agricultural Work Committees in Gaza, and celebrated “the tenth anniversary of the assassination of Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze’evi” (an attack perpetrated by the PFLP).
  • In 2016, AECID granted €586,626 to Women’s Affairs Technical Committee (WATC), Culture and Free Thought Association (CFTA) and YMCA – East Jerusalem, in partnership with the Spanish NGOs Fundacion Alianza Por Los Derechos and La Igualdad Y La Solidaridad Internacional to “Fight against Gender Violence in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.”
    • In May 2017, WATC inaugurated a youth center for girls in the town of Burqa, near Nablus. As reported by Palestinian Media Watch, the center is named after Dalal Mughrabi, a terrorist who in 1978 murdered 37 civilians, including 12 children. Funding for this building was provided by Norway, UN Women (United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women), and Palestinian Authority Ministry of Local Government.
    • In September 2017, CFTA organized a workshop on the rights of women in partnership with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a designated terrorist organization by the USEUCanada, and Israel. The workshop “touched upon a number of solid Palestinian feminist models such as Taghreed Al-Buttama, Maha Nassar and Laila Khaled, who have taught the Zionist enemy painful lessons in various combat operations.”
  • In 2015, Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees (UPWC) received €83,200 from AECID for “Improvement of participation in public spaces of the Palestinian women.”
  • In 2015, AECID granted €76,380 to Bisan Centre for Research and Development for “Empowering young people from East Jerusalem to become agents of change.”
    • According to Palestinian organizations Samidoun – Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network and Addameer, Bisan’s Executive Director Eteraf Rimawi was arrested six times by Israeli forces between 1995 and 2014. As reported by Addameer, Rimawi was sentenced for 16-months in prison and fined NIS 5000 in 2000. During his detention in 2008, an Israeli military judge affirmed that “Eteraf was active in political activities related to the PFLP.”
    • Lamees Farraj, Project Coordinator at Bisan, is a signatory on behalf of Bisan to the “Support Statement of Palestinian Feminists in Palestine and Diaspora,” published in February 2016, which accuses Israel of “colonial and racist oppression”; “deplore[s] the colonial attitude inherent in some Israeli feminists’ request of us to sign a statement in favor of liberal ideals . . . and against the effective solidarity with the struggle for rights”; and “emphasize[s] that popular resistance movements, including the boycott movement, are feminist issues as well.”
  • In 2015, Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counseling (WCLAC) received €128,825 from AECID to “Promote legal reform to eliminate the discrimination against women in Palestine.”
  • In 2015, AECID granted €199,611 to Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ) for the “sustainable management of water treatment.”
    • ARIJ is among the leaders of the political warfare against Israel, seeking to further boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS)false accusations of Israeli “apartheid” and “racism,” and support for a Palestinian “right of return” that is inconsistent with two-state solution.

Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)

  • In 2018, AECID granted NRC €568,182 as part of its “Humanitarian Support to Protect Palestinians in the West Bank from forcible transfer.” In 2017, AECID provided NRC €128,452 for NRC’s Information, Counseling and Legal Assistance (ICLA) program.
    • ICLA, one of NRC’s principle projects in Israel, exploits judicial frameworks to manipulate Israeli policy, bypassing democratic frameworks.
    • A lawyer affiliated with the NRC program stated that the objective of these cases are 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).

Basque Autonomous Community

NGOs funded through the Basque Autonomous Community

Basque Autonomous Community funding of BDS activities

  • In 2015-2016, the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa granted Mundubat €100,000 for “support to the networks that work the Boycott to Israel in front of the occupation and the violation of the international Humanitarian Law in Palestine.”
    • In 2014-2015, the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa granted Mundubat €100,000 for “creating networks supporting the boycott of Israel in the face of the occupation and violation of international humanitarian law in Palestine.”
  • In 2015-2016, the municipality of San Sebastián provided SODePAZ with €29,926 for a project “Bringing the Culture of Palestinian Resistance to Donostia [a Basque city also known as San Sebastián]” that included a “Basque translation of a guide on cultural Boycott Divestment and Sanctions on the State of Israel (BDS).”

Andalucía Agency for International Development Cooperation (AACID)

  • Andalucía Agency for International Development Cooperation (AACID) is a primary donor to NGO-led activities in the Arab-Israeli conflict, designating €1.5 million for such activities in 2017.
  • Beyond granting financial support, AACID also held a BDS event “against Israeli apartheid” together with the Spanish NGO Al-Quds Association in 2014, featuring Raji Sourani of PCHR, Sergio Yahni of Alternative Information Center (AIC), and Spanish politician Teresa Rodriguez. Teresa Rodriguez is a far-left anti-Israel politician who has called on the EU to suspend its Association Agreement with Israel, accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing” in the 2014 Gaza war, and compared Gaza to “the Warsaw Ghetto.”
    • The participation of a governmental development cooperation agency in a radical and discriminatory political activity grossly diverges from AACID’s declared mandate to contribute “to the eradication of poverty and to the consolidation of processes aimed at ensuring sustainable human development,” and attests to severe politicization of Spanish development aid.

NGOs funded through AACID and Andalusian Municipalities

  • Al Quds Association
    • In 2016, the Spanish organization Al Quds Association was granted €80,000 by AACID, all of which was designated for its project in partnership with Alternative Information Center (AIC), an Israeli NGO with ties to PFLP.
      • AIC co-founder Michael Warschawski was a leader of “Matzpen,” the anti-Zionist Trotskyite organization. Warschawski was jailed in the 1990s for publishing an informational pamphlet for the PFLP terror group (verdict on file).
      • The co-director of AIC, Nassar Ibrahim, is also the former editor of El Hadaf – the PFLP’s weekly publication.
    • In 2018, Al Quds Association and AIC produced, with support from the Malaga Provincial Council, a documentary titled “to exist is to resist” that features “Stories of resistance on both sides, with a focus on the joint struggle of Israelis and Palestinians against a system of colonization that seeks to normalize the dystopia of Israeli apartheid in the world” (emphasis in original). The documentary further claims that “from the ethnic cleansing of 1948 (Nakba) to the present day, the Palestinian population continues to resist the coup of Zionism with stoic heroism.”
    • In 2016, the Al Quds Association was granted €80,000 by AACID, all of which was designated for its project in partnership with Palestinian Center for Human Rights  (PCHR).
    • The Al Quds Association also receives funds from the municipality of Malaga for a project with Health Work Committees (HWC), granting it €7,750 in 2017.

Extremadura Agency for International Cooperation for Development (AEXCID)

Spanish Funding to Israeli/Palestinian Political NGOs

AddameerBasque Agency for Development Cooperation (AVCD)2017-2019€180,000
SODePAZAutonomous community of Navarre2015-2017€312,404
Municipality of San Sebastián2016-2018€66,489
Solidaridad InternacionalMunicipality of Vitoria-Gasteiz2016-2017€68,332
Paz con DignidadMunicipality of Barcelone2017€162,712
SODePAZProvincial council of Gipuzkoa2016-2018€81,248
Paz con DignidadMunicipality of Rivas-Vaciamadrid2016€22,630
Union of Health Work CommitteesSODePAZAVCD2016-2018€200,000
Paz con Dignidad2017-2018€200,000
Palestinian Center for Human RightsNOVACT and Al-HaqAECID2015€185,581
Al Quds AssociationAACID2016€80,000
SODePAZMunicipality of San Sebastián2014-2016€68,921
Union of Palestinian Women’s CommitteesMundubatAECID2015-2018€800,764
Union of Agricultural Work CommitteesAECID2019-2021€400,000
Associacio De Serveis Energetics Basics Autonoms2015€184,989
MundubatProvincial Council of Bizkaia2015€69,450
Council of Gipuzkoa2014-2015€23,999
Municipality of Bilbao2014€30,000
Bisan Centre for Research and DevelopmentAECID2015€76,380
Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and CounselingAECID2015€128,825
Applied Research Institute JerusalemAECID2015€199,611
Women’s Affairs Technical Committee (WATC), Culture and Free Thought Association (CFTA), YMCA - East Jerusalem, Palestinian Counseling Center (PCC), and SAWA - All Women Today and Tomorrow (SAWA)Fundacion Alianza Por Los Derechos, La Igualdad Y La Solidaridad InternacionalAECID2016€586,626
Health Work CommitteesPaz con DignidadAVCD2014-2016€514,837
Al Quds AssociationMunicipality of Malaga2017€7,750


  1. As of January 27, 2019, only AECID’s 2018 data regarding funding to NGOs is publically available. Funding data for the Basque and Andalucía autonomous communities is unknown.

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