- Updated (as of May 2016) information provided by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office on funding for Israeli and Palestinian NGOs for the years 2015/2016, can be found here.
- The British government provides millions of pounds annually, through direct and indirect funding processes, to highly politicized NGOs (non-governmental organizations) that operate in the UK, Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.
- The recipient organizations receive direct funding through annual grants from the Department for International Development (DFID), Embassy in Tel Aviv, and Consulate in Jerusalem.
- Indirect NGO funding comes from church aid frameworks like Christian Aid and other groups, including Oxfam-GB, that receive significant funding from the UK government.
- UK funding is generally aimed at “support[ing] efforts to achieve a two-state solution, that sees a viable Palestinian state existing in peace and security alongside Israel.” In correspondence with NGO Monitor, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) stated: “The UK Government does not support the BDS movement,” and “we have been very clear that the boycotts movement is not productive… it could be deeply corrosive.”
- In contrast to these objectives, the British government partners with and supports NGOs that undermine peace efforts and increase tensions. For instance, some UK-funded organizations pursue partisan and divisive agendas, are heavily involved in “lawfare” and BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) campaigns, and employ the rhetoric accusing Israel of “apartheid,” “ethnic cleansing,” and “war crimes.”
- In June 2016, the UK House of Commons held a debate on the government’s external aid spending. A central theme of the debate was the spending allocated for issues related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In a number of the speeches, NGO Monitor’s research and analysis was cited. A major point of contention between members of the leading parties centered on the massive funds allocated to the Palestinian Authority as well as NGOs in both Israel and the PA.
UK Projects in the West Bank and Gaza: Limited Transparency
- The Department for International Development (DFID – UK Aid) partners with and provides funds to Christian Aid, Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW), and other humanitarian NGOs.
- Information on projects funded by the Department for International Development (DFID – “UK Aid”) is available in a projects database. However, local NGO recipients, which receive UK funds via international organizations, appear anonymously as “civil society organizations / NGOs.” (“Supplier Name Withheld”). Additionally, details on grants to Palestinian NGOs no longer appear on the website of the British Consulate in Jerusalem. NGO Monitor emails to the Consulate received no response.
Direct UK Funding of Israeli and Palestinian NGOs
(according to submissions to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits)
|Rabbis for Human Rights||2015||Consulate- UK||337,046||Promoting Human Rights through legal work in the Israeli Military Justice system
|2014||Consulate- UK||50,000||Legal work of the NGO
|B'Tselem||2013||Embassy- UK||326,160||Supporting the video project
|2012||Embassy- UK||88,330||Supporting the video project
|Gisha||2015||Embassy- UK||164,197||Promoting the right of freedom of movement in the Palestinian territories
|2014||Embassy- UK||171,584||Promoting the right of freedom of movement in the Palestinian territories
|Embassy- UK||166,659||Promote the right for work in the Palestinian territories
|2013||Embassy- UK||405,973||Promoting the right of freedom of movement in the Palestinian territories
|Yesh Din||2015||Embassy- UK||334,927||Lands Project
|2014||Embassy- UK||567,808||Land Project
|Embassy- UK||272,029||Lands project and Law enforcement
|2013||Embassy- UK||608,840||Lands Project
|Terrestrial Jerusalem||2014||Consulate- UK||163,211||Jerusalem monitoring project
|Embassy- UK||145,192||Jerusalem monitoring project
|2013||Embassy- UK||450,561||Jerusalem monitoring project
|2012||Embassy- UK||35,332||Jerusalem monitoring project
UK Funding for Norwegian Refugee Council
- DFID has provided the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) with two grants totaling £6 million (FY10/11-14/15) for an extensive legal advocacy project targeting Israeli policy in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
- This massive DFID funding, which is in turn transferred by NRC to Israeli and Palestinian NGOs, is being used to pursue hundreds of legal cases aimed at influencing Israeli policies, to lobby for international sanctions against Israel, and to support international campaigns of demonization.
- 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)
- As of May 2013, UK funding financed 677 cases that received “full legal representation at the relevant court/administrative body.”
- The information available on the British government’s Development Tracker website reflects limited transparency. Details on the NGO recipients of funding disbursed by NRC are “withheld.” Additionally, NRC’s “low visibility policy” suggests a deliberate attempt to prevent public scrutiny and to avoid accountability vis-à-vis the Israeli democratic process.
Indirect Funding for Political Advocacy NGOs
The British government also provides indirect funding to Israeli and Palestinian NGOs via British aid organizations, such as Christian Aid and Oxfam GB, which channel government funds to local NGOs.
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