- The British government provides millions of pounds annually, through direct and indirect funding processes, to highly politicized non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that operate in the UK, Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.
- NGO grantees receive direct funding from the Department for International Development (DFID), the British National Security Council (NSC), and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), with funds disbursed by UK embassies, consulates, and representative offices.
- Indirect NGO funding comes from aid frameworks such as Christian Aid, Oxfam-GB, and the British Council, which all receive significant funding from the British government.
Direct UK Funding
The Department for International Development (DFID)
- The Department for International Development partners with and provides funds to politically active international NGOs including Norwegian Refugee Council and Ma’an News Agency (MNA) / Ma’an Network.
- DFID is funding seven active projects in the West Bank and Gaza for 2018-2019, with a total budget of £60 million.
- Information on projects funded by the DFID is available in a projects database. However, local NGO recipients and third-party recipients of UK funds via international organizations do not appear on the website.
- In July 2018, DFID released an updated profile for its work in the West Bank and Gaza, indicating that the planned budget for 2019-2020 would be £56 million.
- On July 27, 2018, DFID announced that the UK intends to “double support for Palestinian economy to advance peace with Israel.” The project will provide up to £38 million over five years (2018-2023) to support economic activity in Gaza and the West Bank by “creat[ing] hundreds of jobs, install vital water and electricity infrastructure, and boost exports.”
- On June 10, 2017, Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department of International Development Alistair Burt announced the allocation of £3 million over three years (2017-2020) to fund a co-existence or “people-to-people” programs. According to DFID, the project, called “Partnerships for Peace,” is implemented by an NGO, Search for Common Ground (SFCG).
DFID Projects in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank:
|Supporting Palestinian refugees across the Middle East – in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria [GB-1-204546]||£167,499,999 (2016-2021)||Multiple UN agencies, predominantly UNRWA||Details of third party NGO recipients and amounts are not listed|
|Improving Security & Access to Justice in the Occupied Palestinian Territories [GB-1-204797]||£10,799,999 (2015-2018)||Multiple UN agencies||Details of third party NGO recipients and amounts are not listed|
|Support to Palestinians at Risk of Displacement in Israeli Controlled Area C of the West Bank and Gaza [GB-1-203452]||£3,776,462 (2013-2018)||Multiple UN agencies||Details of third party NGO recipients and amounts are not listed. Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) is mentioned as a partner in accompanying documentation, but details and amounts are not available.|
|Humanitarian Access in the Occupied Palestinian Territories [GB-GOV-1-300001]||£3,000,000 (2016-2021)||United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)||UK’s Development Tracker website does not list names of UNOPS’s NGO subcontractors and grantees|
|People for Peaceful Change – People to People work in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories [GB-GOV-1-300366]||£3,000,000 (2017-2020)||Search for Common Ground . Search for Common Ground and UK’s Development Tracker website do not list third party implementing partners|
Other DFID Projects
- In 2017, DFID granted $4,000,000 to NRC’s Information, Counseling, and Legal Assistance (ICLA) project, which exploits judicial frameworks to manipulate Israeli policy, bypassing democratic frameworks.
- NRC supports politicized “Litigation of public interest cases …through Israeli courts and international mechanisms.” In 2009-2014, NRC funded over 4,000 cases and legal interventions in Israeli forums.
- A lawyer affiliated with the NRC program stated that the objective of these cases is 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)
- NRC works with a narrow selection of political NGOs that promote a one-sided narrative of the conflict in implementing its legal aid and “public interest litigation” related programs. In 2016 and 2017, NRC partnered with HaMoked, JLAC, Society of St. Yves, Terrestrial Jerusalem, Yesh Din, CAC, Bimkom, Palestinian Centre for Democracy and Conflict Resolution (PCDCR), Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), Al Mezan, among others.
- Local NGO recipients and third-party recipients of UK funds via the NRC do not appear on the UK government transparency website.
- Through its Standby Roster for Civilian Observers (NORCAP), NRC “contributes” to Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH).
- Ma’an Network received £730,000 (2015-2017) from the United Kingdom as part of a “multimedia project to raise awareness of, and seek to prevent, violence against women and girls.”
- Ma’an acts as a platform for tendentious anti-Israel statements, regularly presenting an entirely biased and distorted view of the conflict based on the Palestinian narrative of victimization and sole Israeli aggression, while also publicizing material from radical NGOs.
- On August 1, 2017, Ma’an published an article and a video titled “Song in Hebrew in Defense of Al Aqsa Mosque,” which featured footage of terrorist attacks against Israelis, accompanied by a song in Hebrew with the lyrics “I will clean my country of every Jew / I will strive for it with all my being” (NGO Monitor translation). The article reported that it “promises to clean Palestine of Jews, and protests against Israeli security measures,” with Ma’an adding commentary that “Israel deteriorated the situation in Al Aqsa mosque when it installed metal detectors in the entrance to Al Aqsa compound” (NGO Monitor translation).
- Ma’an subsequently published an article claiming that “Ma’an did not produce the video, but had only written about its existence,” and accusing “Israel supporters” of “showing the video out of context and claiming that it was created and condoned by Ma’an.”
- Ma’an additionally stated that “Both the article and the video have since been removed from Ma’an online platforms.”
- In correspondence with NGO Monitor, Minister of State for International Development and Minister of State for the Middle East at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Alistair Burt confirmed that DFID was ending its projects with Ma’an.
Indirect DFID Funding via Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD):
|Ecumenical Accompaniment in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI)||£25,000 (2018)||Ecumenical Accompaniment in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI)|
|Addressing Human Rights Abuses in the Palestinian Territory||£35,000 (2018)||Yesh Din|
|General Support||NIS 92,587 (2018)||Breaking the Silence (Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits)|
|Legal assistance for Palestinians co-financing component||£3,142 (2018)||Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC)|
|Youth engagement in Gaza||£50,000 (2018)||Culture and Free Thought Association (CFTA)|
- Ecumenical Accompaniment in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI)
- EAPPI sends volunteers to the West Bank to “witness life under occupation.” Upon completion of the program, the volunteers return to their home countries and churches where many engage in anti-Israel advocacy, including advocating for BDS campaigns in churches, comparing Israel to apartheid South Africa and Nazi Germany, and other delegitimization strategies.
- According to the UK Jewish Board of Deputies, EAPPI “helped to create a climate of hostility towards Israel within the Church of England.” Furthermore, “The EAPPI narrative is based on the experience of volunteers who spend several months living alongside Palestinians in the Territories, but less than a day in Israel, and then return to address audiences who know little or nothing about the reality of everyday life for those on both sides of the conflict.”
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
- In 2016, due to reports that UK foreign funds to the PA were being used to pay salaries of convicted terrorists, the FCO mandated that Palestinian aid be directed through the European Union’s PEGASE mechanism (Palestinian-European Socio-Economic Management Assistance Mechanism).
- Despite assurances of vetting and verification procedures, FCO does not give details of third party NGO recipients and funding amounts.
FCO projects in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank
|British Council – Occupied Palestinian Territories||“Strengthening cultural and educational development by building skills and capacity and by creating new opportunities and connections with the UK”||£2,620,000||Details of third party NGO recipients and amounts are not listed|
|Strengthening the freedom of expression in the occupied Palestinian territories||“This project will strengthen access to information and create public awareness about judicial, governmental and private sector processes with regard to freedom of expression, the plurality of opinion, rights of local media, and open internet freedoms.”||£127,572||Details of third party NGO recipients and amounts are not listed|
|Aid-related frontline diplomacy in support of aid flows to occupied Palestinian territory||“Project facilitation costs covering planning, implementation and resources as part of ODA projects in occupied Palestinian territory.”||Not provided||Details of third party NGO recipients and amounts are not listed|
|Chevening Scholarships in Occupied Palestinian Territories||“Assistance in line with UK objectives on Chevening Scholarships in Occupied Palestinian Territories which enables students to pursue postgraduate study at UK higher education institutions, and utilise their new skills and abilities to contribute to the development of their home countries.”||Not provided||Details of third party NGO recipients and amounts are not listed|
|Economic Security and Opportunity in Occupied Palestinian Territories||“Assistance in line with UK objectives on Economic Security and Opportunity in Occupied Palestinian Territories which can include building prosperity, opening markets, and promoting sustainable global growth.”||Not provided||Details of third party NGO recipients and amounts are not listed|
|Human Rights, Democracy, and the Rule of Law in Occupied Palestinian Territories||“Assistance in line with UK objectives on Human Rights, Democracy, and the Rule of Law in Occupied Palestinian Territories which can include promoting and defending international human rights principles, supporting democracy, and strengthening institutions and governance.”||Not provided||Details of third party NGO recipients and amounts are not listed|
|Promoting stability through supporting economic development||“This project will support the prosperity of marginalized women of Ein Al Beida Women's Cooperative by providing training which a) ensures locally developed food products meet the market standard and b) increases access to the job market for the women, helping to allow them to maintain a presence in the Jordan Valley which is at risk from settlement expansion.”||Not provided||Details of third party NGO recipients and amounts are not listed|
|Rules Based International System, Managing Conflict and Building Stability in Occupied Palestinian Territories||“Assistance in line with UK objectives on the Rules Based International System, Managing Conflict and Building Stability in Occupied Palestinian Territories which strengthens global peace, security and governance.”||Not provided||Details of third party NGO recipients and amounts are not listed|
Direct Funding to Israeli NGOs
Information for 2015-2018 taken from quarterly reports submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits.
|Yesh Din||2015||Embassy – UK||1,045,711|
|2016||Embassy - UK||690,189|
|Terrestrial Jerusalem||2015||Consulate – UK||1,044,442|
|MFA - UK||156,380|
|2016||Embassy - UK||86,338|
|Gisha||2015||Embassy - UK||280,465|
|2016||Embassy - UK||194,501|
|2017||Embassy – UK||91,362|
|2018||Embassy – UK||129,040|
|Rabbis for Human Rights||2015||Consulate - UK||337,046|
|Embassy - UK||291,254|
|2016||Consulate - UK||321,618|
Indirect UK Funding
- In 2016/2017, Christian Aid received £42.1 million from governments and institutions, the majority of which came from DFID (£20 million); other major contributions came from Irish Aid £4.5 million and the European Commission £1 million.
- According to Christian Aid, none of its DFID funding was earmarked for Israel of the OPT.
- According to its annual report (2016/2017) Christian Aid provided £938,000 in grants to partners in “Israel/the occupied Palestinian territories.”
- Christian Aid does not reveal all of their partners, nor funding to the organizations. Current and former partner organizations include Zochrot, Breaking the Silence, B’Tselem, Al-Haq, Sabeel, Adalah, Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC), Physicians for Human Rights – Israel (PHR-I), Alternative Information Center (AIC), the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI), Women’s Affairs Centre in Gaza, Culture and Free Thought Association, and Israeli Coalition Against House Demolitions (ICAHD).
- In May 2016, released a video titled “Christian Aid’s work in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory.” The video presents misleading and false information about the security barrier and water usage in the West Bank, and adopts a Palestinian narrative of the conflict.
- On October 30, 2012, 22 NGOs, including Christian Aid, released a report, “Trading Away Peace: How Europe Helps Sustain Illegal Israeli Settlements.” The report repeats the BDS agenda, calling on the EU and national governments to wage political warfare through various forms of economic sanctions on Israel.
- In 2014-2017, Oxfam GB received £138.8 million from the UK government. In FY 16-17, Oxfam GB received £8.4 million from DFID.
- Oxfam GB draws an immoral symmetry between Israeli self-defense and illegal attacks by terror organizations, and fails to acknowledge Hamas’ exploitation of the civilian population of Gaza as human shields. Its statements refer to the blockade of Gaza as the key impediment to peace, failing to mention that the purpose of Israel’s blockade is to prevent the illegal flow of weapons to Hamas and other terror groups.
- In 2013-2017, Oxfam GB granted NIS 936,272 to Gisha, B’Tselem, Zochrot, Emek Shaveh, and Yesh Din.
- The British Council does not list NGO grantees or funding amounts in its financial documents. NGO Monitor research reveals that the British Council has provided grants to a number of highly biased and politicized NGOs active in the Arab-Israeli conflict, including:
- Ma’an Development Center
- In May 2018, Ma’an Development Center employee Ahmad Abdallah Aladini was killed in the violence on the Gaza border. Aladini was a “comrade” of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a terrorist organization designated as such by the US, EU, Canada, and Israel. According to the PFLP, Aladini was active against the “Zionist aggression on the Gaza Strip.”
- Women’s Studies Center
- On February 4, 2016, General Director of WSC Sama Awiedah signed a statement declaring support for “Palestinian feminists living under Israel’s system of colonial and racist oppression.”
- On March 8, 2016, WSC was a signatory on the “Palestinian Women’s Call for Worldwide Women’s Endorsement of BDS,” which called on women and feminists to join BDS campaigns as “the Israeli regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid has for decades denied the Palestinian people our inalienable right to self-determination.”
- Ma’an Development Center