Click for a compilation of articles highlighting NGO Monitor’s contributions to the broader conversation about NGOs, funding, and accountability in Spain. 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.
- Spanish government funding to Israeli, Palestinian, and Spanish NGOs is primarily provided through the Agency for International Cooperation and Development (AECID), a subdivision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Spanish Cooperation Office in Jerusalem oversees projects funded through AECID.
- NGO Monitor’s comprehensive report on Spanish government funding from 2009 to 2011 listed over 40 political advocacy Israeli, Palestinian, and Spanish organizations that received Spanish funding. Between 2009 and 2011, approximately €15 million in Spanish government funds were transferred to political advocacy NGOs active in demonization, including promotion of BDS and political warfare that fuel the conflict. The funding of polarizing Israeli political NGOs was also an example of efforts to manipulate Israeli democracy through foreign government.
- For the years 2009-2011, NGO Monitor identified Spanish NGO allocations and project details for radical Israeli and Palestinian NGOs, including the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), the Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ), and Breaking the Silence. No information was found on the processes used to evaluate and approve this NGO funding, in particular in light of these organizations’ continued politicized campaigns against Israel.
- In 2012, and in wake of NGO Monitor’s draft report, AECID reduced funding to three political advocacy NGOs active in the Arab-Israeli conflict, with a combined allocation of €1.6 million, marking a substantial reduction. The three ongoing grantees are Rabbis for Human Rights, Al Maqdese and ARIJ (see tables below).
- Spain was a primary forum in Europe for NGO-led “lawfare” strategies against Israeli officials. For example, the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI), an Israeli NGO active in demonization efforts against Israel, received €60,000 (2010) from AECID. In 2009, PCATI signed a petition submitted to the Spanish government opposing a parliamentary resolution “that limits the exercise of universal the Spanish courts.” The resolution was introduced in the Spanish parliament following lawfare cases against several foreign nationals, including jurisdiction of Israeli officials.
- As reported by Palestinian Media Watch, the Spanish government was identified as a sponsor of an ad on PA TV (January 6, 2011), promoting the boycott of Israeli goods. A representative of Spain told Channel 2 TV (Israel) that “the Spanish government logo was used without our knowledge.”
- Additional NGO support comes from Spain’s Autonomous Communities and Regions. For example, as part of a project funded by the Basque government, Spanish NGO coalition MEWANDO published a newsletter utilizing “apartheid” and “genocide” rhetoric and featuring a cartoon depicting an African-American lynching victim and a Jewish child in the Holocaust as “Palestinians” (link no longer available).
- The Spanish NGO Xarxa d’enllac amb Palestina (Link Network with Palestine), funded by Barcelona and Catalonia, in May 2012, organized a concert in Barcelona to mark the Palestinian Nakba. In May 2011, Xarxa signed a letter titled “Enrique Iglesias, don’t sing for the Israeli apartheid!” which advised Enrique Iglesias, a Spanish musician, against performing in Israel.
- The municipality of Barcelona provided €56,000 for the March 2010 Russell Tribunal on Palestine, which calls for “existing legal actions and campaigns in the context of BDS to be stepped up and widened within the EU and globally.” The Russell Tribunal was organized by Spanish NGO Nova (funding from Catalonia).
- On November 29-December 3, 2014, the Andalusian Fund of Municipalities for International Solidarity (FAMSI) organized an International Conference of Local Government and Civil Society Organizations in Support of Palestine, which allegedly promoted antisemitic sentiments and BDS campaigns against Israel. The Simon Wiesenthal Center accused the Spanish government of funding the conference and its coordinator, FAMSI, through the government’s Agency for International Cooperation and Development (AECID). According to news reports, the Spanish Foreign Ministry rejected the allegations without clarification, but did not respond to Israeli government requests for a formal explanation.
Table A. Israeli NGOs Funded by AECID
|NGO Grantee||Budgets -2009-2011||Budgets 2012|
|Breaking the Silence||2009-2011:€378,741|
|Geneva Initiative||2009: €400,000|
|Human Rights Defender Fund||2011: €60,000|
|Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information (IPCRI)||2009: €215,647|
|Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions(ICAHD) ||2009: €105,000|
|Peace Now||2010: €80,000|
|Public Committee Against Torture in Israel||2010: €60,000|
|Rabbis for Human Rights||2010-2011: €341,496||€399,956|
Table B. Palestinian NGOs Funded by AECID
|NGO Grantee||Budgets -2009-2011||Budgets 2012|
|All for Peace Radio||2009-2010: €182,644|
|Al-Maqdese for Society Development||2009-2011: €797,559||€440,000|
|Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ)||2009-2011: €1,026,352||€808,000|
|Ma'an Development Center||2010-2011: €284,940|
|Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees||2011: €305,399|
|Palestinian Center for the Dissemination of Democracy & Community Development (Panorama)||2010: €239,328|
|Popular Struggle Coordination Committee (PSCC)||2011: €107,700|
|Reef Finance||2009: €176,400|
|Rural Woman Development Association||2010: €286,136|
|Treatment and Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture (TRC)||2009-2011: €563,411|
Sources: NGO Monitor Report, “Spanish Government Funding for NGOs: 2009 – 2011” and Boletín Oficial del Estado (BOE) — III. Otras Disposiciones Ministerio De Asuntos Exteriores Y De Cooperación, Num. 66 Sec. III Pág. 21594, March 18, 2013
- Is Spain Fueling the BDS War Against Israel? Soeren Kern, August 22, 2015
- Interview: Spanish Funds Support the BDS Movement and the Matisyahu Affair Jerusalem Online, August 23, 2015
- Kidnapped Israeli Teens Compel Scrutiny of Hamas's International Finances Matthew Levitt, The New Republic, June 24, 2014