|In their own words||“Committed to working towards a world community where all God’s creation lives with dignity, justice, peace and full respect for human rights and the environment.”|
- ACT Alliance is “a coalition of more than 140 churches and church-related organisations working together in over 100 countries.”
- According to its website, ACT Alliance works to “influenc[e] governments and other key decision makers to safeguard citizens’ human rights.”
- As part of its advocacy goals, ACT Alliance runs the ACT Alliance advocacy office to the EU (ACT Alliance EU) to “promote justice and peace and the eradication of poverty by influencing European Union decision-making processes.”
- According to its website, “Members are associated with the World Council of Churches (WCC) or the Lutheran World Federation.”
- At the 2010 Act Alliance launch event in Geneva, General Secretary of the WCC Olav Fykse Tveit described the relationship of WCC to the Act Alliance as “parenthood.” ACT Alliance and the WCC also are working together to “strengthen the capacity of the WCC Liaison Office to the United Nations in New York” in allow “members of ACT to have a more effective access to the United Nations.”
- The WCC also holds a permanent seat on the ACT Alliance “Governing Board.”
- ACT Alliance members have “advocated for the EU not to participate in Israel’s violations of international law” and have called for “measures to ensure the correct labelling of settlement products and, further, a ban of imports of settlement products.”
- In May 2022, ACT Alliance was a signatory on a statement referring to the “Nakba” as a “continuous international crime…The continuation of the Nakba reflects the extent of international complicity with the Israeli-Zionist colonial and apartheid regime in Palestine.”
- In October 2021, ACT Alliance EU published a statement condemning the decision by the Israeli Ministry to designate six Palestinian NGOs, including ACT Alliance EU’s partners Al-Haq and Defense for Children International – Palestine, as terrorist organizations. According to the statement, “For years these organizations have been attacked with smear campaigns and accusations of links to terror organizations to delegitimize their work without substantive evidence to back the claims. This latest, unprecedented move comes as a culmination of these preceding efforts to undermine, silence and erase Palestinian rights defenders and civil society at large.”
- In January 2020, following the announcement of President Trump’s “Peace Plan,” ACT Alliance released a statement accusing Israel of placing Palestinians in “open-air prisons,” implementing “colonial and apartheid-style policies,” and maintaining a “complex matrix of control.”
- Supported the EU’s 2015 decision to label products exported from Israeli communities over the 1949 armistice lines, calling it “an important measure towards ensuring continued, full and effective implementation of existing EU legislation.”
- In May 2018, ACT Alliance released a statement “condemn[ing] the killing of Palestinian people on their own land” during the Great March of Return. The petition repeats unverified claims and ignores the violent nature of the protests, which have consisted of an organized armed attack on the Israeli border and IDF positions, attempts to destroy and breach the border fence, and sustained arson, rocket, and mortar attacks on Israeli civilian communities.
- Together with Norwegian Church Aid, published a “Country plan 2011-2015: The occupied Palestinian Territory with Israel and faith-based organisations in the Middle East,” presenting a highly politicized view of the conflict and accusing Israel of “excessive use of force,” “demolitions,” “displacement,” “harassment,” and using “human shields,” and promoting the Palestinian narrative of “Nakba” [generally understaood as meaning the establishment of Israel is a “catastrophe”].
ACT Palestine Forum
- The ACT Palestine Forum (APF) is a coalition of ACT Alliance Members that are active in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.
- According to its website, ACT Palestine Forum’s advocacy goals include contributing “to a global discourse on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that addresses the consequences of occupation.”
- Encourages its followers to “become an Ecumenical Accompanier” through the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel(EAPPI).
- EAPPI was founded by the World Council of Churches (WCC), which continues to fund the project. EAPPI presents a Palestinian narrative, promotes the claim to a “right of return,” and sends political activists to “witness life under occupation.” Many return and promote BDS and other forms of demonization around the world.
- Promotes the 2009 Kairos Palestine document, which calls for BDS against Israel; denies the Jewish historical connection to Israel in theological terms; and rationalizes, justifies, and trivializes terrorism, calling it “legal resistance.”
- APF calls for people to “Boycott settlement products and organize for campaigns in your country to pressure Israel to comply with International Law and Universal Principles of Human Rights.”
- In October 2021, APF organized a solidarity visit to Gaza, afterwards describing the “scenes” on al-Wahda Street (beneath which Hamas built a terror infrastructure tunnel) as “beyond imagination” having “witnessed the worst and most intense hits by the Israeli war machine.”
- In March 2018, APF published “Water in the Gaza Strip,” which repeats the false allegation of Israeli water discrimination against Palestinians. APF ignores evidence that Israel provides Palestinians in the West Bank with more water than required under the Oslo framework and that poor management by the PA of infrastructure, waste, and theft of up to 50 percent of supplies in some Palestinian areas.
- In January 2018, APF published “January 2018 Prayers: Home Demolitions” accusing Israel of “collective punishment.” APF lists as “Opportunities for Advocacy” the NGOs Christian Peacemaker Teams, Israeli Committee against Home Demolitions, and Passia, which are major sources of demonization.
- In response to a wave of terrorism against Israeli civilians that began in October 2015, APF published a statement erasing the context of terror, condemning “the killing of both Palestinian and Israeli civilians, use of excessive force by Israeli police and army against protesters, extra judicial killings, collective punishment in the form of severe restrictions of movement, closure of Palestinian neighborhoods and punitive home demolitions in East Jerusalem” (emphases added). The statement also places sole blame on Israel, explaining that “we will not see an end to the conflict without an end to the Israeli occupation.” APF does not acknowledge that the Palestinians were killed while in the midst of carrying out terror attacks.
- Published a February 2013 Advocacy Paper, “The ‘Permit Regime’ and Israeli Attacks on Palestinian Freedom of Worship,” alleging that “Under Israeli military occupation, repression has become the worst of history compared to that of South Africa. It’s a sophisticated form of social, economic, political and racial discrimination, strangulation, and genocide, incorporating the worst elements of colonialism and apartheid as well as repressive dispossession, displacement and state terrorism to separate Palestinians from their land and heritage…The ID/permit system is one of many elements designed to make greater Israel an ethnically pure Jewish state.”
- Website also promotes a number of highly biased and politicized publications by EAPPI, WCC, Kairos Palestine, BADIL, and others.
- BADIL is the main Palestinian “right of return” NGO, and a leader of BDS campaigns and political warfare against Israel. This NGO publishes antisemitic cartoons on its website, as well as imagery calling for the destruction of Israel (also a form of antisemitism) and denying Israel’s right to exist. Cartoon published by BADIL include classic antisemitic tropes, featuring a Jewish man, garbed in traditional Hasidic attire, with a hooked nose and side locks. He stands above a dead child and skulls, holding a pitchfork dripping with blood. Additional graphics deny the legitimacy of Israel in any form, and oppose peace agreements.
ACT Alliance Members
- Bread for the World (BfW–EED)
- Bread for the World “administer[s]” the World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI). According to Bread for the World, “Bread for the World supports this EAPPI program with ecclesiastical funds, with a contribution to the shared costs of the Geneva office and the cost of preparing and posting 10-15 volunteers from Germany.”
- In June 2017, BfW-EED issued a press release in which it stressed “For Bread for the World any promotion ends with the denial of Israel’s right to exist, calling for the boycott of goods from Israel, or promotion of antisemitism” (NGO Monitor translation). Contrary to this claim, BfW funds radical and politicized NGOs that promote BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) and “lawfare” campaigns against Israel, such as Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP), Who Profits, and Al-Haq.
- Christian Aid
- Assumes a highly biased and politicized approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Its publications systematically ignore Palestinian responsibility in the conflict and minimize Israel’s right to self-defense.
- 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.
- Church of Sweden
- Focuses on international advocacy, stating that “advocacy work targets those with economic and political power in Sweden, the EU and the UN.”
- In August 2016, Church of Sweden sponsored a “Kairos Palestine summer camp” aimed at “ramping up the pressure on Israel by increasing the Church’s support of and participation in the BDS movement.” Anna Karin Hammar, the head of the camp and a reverend doctor for Church of Sweden, gave a presentation at the camp where she stated, “BDS may be the only chance to liberate both Palestinians and Israeli Jews from the occupation. We should have nothing to do with the Israeli banking system” and there should be “no military cooperation between Sweden and Israel.”
- Church World Service
- Lobbies churches, policymakers and the general public and in the U.S. “to give voice to the issues that affect hunger people and promote sustainable solutions.”
- In April 2016, McCullough signed an “Atlanta Summit of Churches in the USA and the Holy Land” document titled “Pursuing Peace and Strengthening Presence,” that “Encourage[d] reference to the Kairos Palestine message as an established initiative.” Kairos Palestine calls for BDS against Israel; denies the Jewish historical connection to Israel in theological terms; and rationalizes, justifies, and trivializes terrorism, calling it “legal resistance.”
- DanChurchAid (Denmark)
- Funds DanWatch to promote BDS under the guide of “business ethics.” DanChurchAid specifically funds DanWatch’s project “Business on Forbidden Land,” focusing on Danish companies allegedly conducting business in Israeli settlements and opposing the marketing of Israeli goods produced in the West Bank.
- In June 2017, to mark “50 years of occupation,” DanChurchAid organized a panel with Shawan Jabarin, director of Al-Haq, and Hagai El-Ad, President of B’Tselem.
- Diakonia (Sweden)
- Diakonia’s “International Humanitarian Law” (IHL) program, which has its own online “Resource Center,” exploits international law, demonizes Israel, and promotes anti-Israel lawfare campaigns and a narrative based solely on Palestinian victimization. The IHL program focuses exclusively on Israel, and Diakonia does not conduct similar types of programs in terms of content or resources involving any other conflict region in the world.
- The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine Israel (EAPPI) “extend[ed] a special thanks to Diakonia for providing their expertise on international law in contribution” to EAPPI’s core publication, “Faith Under Occupation” (jointly published with the World Council of Churches and the Jerusalem Inter-Church Centre). The publication places sole blame on Israel for the difficulties faced by Christians in the Holy Land and seeks to “disprove” what it calls “unfounded Israeli and Christian Zionist propaganda that Palestinian Christians are depopulating due to Muslim fundamentalism in Palestinian society.”
- FinnChurch Aid (Finland)
- Finn Church Aid is the “Finnish participant” of the World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) volunteer program, which claims to “provide protective presence to vulnerable communities, monitor, and report human rights abuses.” Both WCC and EAPPI play key roles in mobilizing church BDS efforts globally.
- Listed as a sponsor of the September 29-30, 2013 conference, “From Truth to Redress: Realizing the Return of Palestinian Refugees,” organized by Zochrot. This event advocated a “one state” framework and included lecture topics on the logistics of materializing a Palestinian “right of return,” which would effectually mean the end of Israel as a Jewish state (see NGO Monitor’s factsheet on Zochrot’s Support for “One State,” May 1, 2014).
- Interchurch Organization for Development Cooperation-ICCO (Netherlands)
- ICCO’s Guidelines on Lobby and Advocacy announce: “In ICCO’s view, the Dutch government ought to be playing a more active role in putting pressure on the government of the state of Israel.” ICCO has therefore “decided to focus its lobby and advocacy efforts” on “trying to influence the Dutch government directly, targeting key officials responsible for policies on the Middle East,” “targeting the Christian community in the Netherlands via the Olive Tree Campaign,” and “exerting pressure on Dutch companies that profit from the occupation.”
- Middle East Council of Churches
- In June 2017, MECC was a signatory to an “Open Letter” from the National Coalition of Christian Organizations in Palestine to the World Council of Churches, accusing Israel of “Discrimination and inequality, military occupation and systematic oppression.” The letter calls upon the WCC to “recognize Israel as an apartheid state” and “unequivocally condemn the Balfour declaration as unjust, and that you demand from the UK that it asks forgiveness from the Palestinian people and compensates for the losses.” The letter also defends “our right and duty to resist the occupation creatively and nonviolently,” through “economic measures that pressure Israel to stop the occupation…in response to Israel’s war on BDS. We ask that you intensify those measures.”
- Together with the WCC, the MECC co-founded the Jerusalem Interchurch Centre (JIC), which claims to “bring the voice and the concerns of Palestinian Christians to the wide ecumenical family and to the world.” Together with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine Israel (EAPPI), the JIC arranges highly biased and politicized international ecumenical visits to join Ecumenical Accompaniers (EAPPI volunteers) for “short gatherings and solidarity actions,” including “observing checkpoints” and “gate watches at the wall.” The Israeli perspective is entirely omitted.
- Norwegian Church Aid
- On June 2, 2016, NCA was a signatory on a letter calling on the EU to “uphold its legal responsibilities and hold Israel accountable for its violations of international law and to defend the right of individuals and institutions to take part in the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for justice and equality.”
- HEKS/EPER (Switzerland)
- HEKS claims to have been “among the first” to sign a petition calling on Israel to allow building materials into Gaza. HEKS and the others petitioners purposefully ignore the dangers of Hamas acquiring dual-use materials, claiming that “the blockade, including restrictions on building materials, cannot be justified on security grounds.”
- HEKS co-sponsored Breaking the Silence’s 2015 exhibition in Zurich. Breaking the Silence promotes “war crimes” charges against Israel, based on anonymous and unverifiable hearsay “testimonies.”
- East Jerusalem YMCA
- YMCA launched and manages (together with YWCA) the Joint Advocacy Initiative (JAI), which calls for a “wide boycott of goods from Israel, from Israeli settlements and from companies that contribute to the occupation until the occupation has ended and Palestinians enjoy their basic human rights.” JAI published a “BDS Resource” page as well as a “List of Products from Settlements in the Occupied Territories and List of Settlements.”
- Lutheran World Federation
- Utilizes highly biased and politicized rhetoric, placing primary blame for the continuation of the conflict on the “Israeli occupation…Restrictions on movement [that] continue[s] to hamper [Palestinian] growth prospects…” The statement omits Palestinian terror attacks against Israeli civilians, the legitimate right of the state of Israel to self-defense, and the complexities of the conflict.
Funding to ACT Alliance (amounts taken from the UN Financial Tracking Service)
|Sweden||Diakonia||Support to IHL Resource Desk||$501,952||2022|
|Supporting the International Humanitarian Law Resource Center||$548,735||2017-2019|
|Denmark||DanChurchAid, Norwegian Church Aid||improving food security and resilience of vulnerable/food insecure HH's||$747,608||2021|
|improving food security and resilience of vulnerable/food insecure HH's||$747,608||2020|
|DanChurchAid||MFA, Annual programme 2022||$763,143||2022|
|Response to unrest||$209,052||2021|
|Annual Programme 2021||$817,388||2021|
|Fulfil the basic needs of the less privileged families in Jericho and the villages west of Ramallah in terms of food and hygiene||$79,953||2020|
|Annual Programme 2018 - OPT||$803,575||2018|
|Netherlands||Diakonia||Supporting the International Humanitarian Law Resource Center at Diakonia's Jerusalem Office||$96,148||2016-2019|
|Norway||Norwegian Church Aid||Save lives, alleviate suffering and protect human dignity||$346,969||2020|
|Save lives, alleviate suffering and protect human dignity||$470,628||2020|
|DanChurchAid, Norwegian Church Aid||Humanitarian assistance Save lives, alleviate suffering and protect human dignity||$360,615||2022|
|Humanitarian assistance Save lives, alleviate suffering and protect human dignity||$1,252,780||2021|
|Save lives, alleviate suffering and protect human dignity||$425,282||2021|
|Nutrition-WASH-Health Response in Gaza||$470,628||2020|
|WASH and nutrition emergency assistance in Gaza||$383,191||2018-2020|
|Switzerland||Diakonia||Support to the International Humanitarian Law Resource Center||$556,345||2018-2020|
|Germany||Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe||Improving the health situation of the Palestinian population in terms of quality, accessibility, cost-effectiveness and efficiency of services||$1,458,789||2021|
|Improving the health situation of the Palestinian population in terms of quality, accessibility, cost-effectiveness and efficiency of services||$1,458,789||2020|