Akevot – The Institute for Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Research
|Founded||2013; located in Tel Aviv.|
|Registration||Originally registered under the name “the Occupation Archives”; the name was changed in February 2015.|
|In their own words||Describes itself as “a center for documentation, research and promotion of human rights within the context of the [Arab-Israeli] conflict.”|
- In 2021, total income was NIS 992,455; total expenses were NIS 1 million.
- Donors include Switzerland, Netherlands, Norway, European Endowment for Democracy, HEKS, Konrad Addenauer Foundation, Bread for the World, Foundation for Middle East Peace, Medico International, and Rockefeller Brothers Fund.
- Based on financial information submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits in 2014-2022, Akevot received NIS 3,131,594 from foreign governmental bodies.
- In 2021, Akevot reported a donation of approximately NIS 10,000 from the Netherlands for a project titled “Advocacy for human rights defenders.”
- In 2020-2025, Akevot is receiving $250,000 from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund for “general support.”
- In 2017-2021, Akevot received $88,085 from the New Israel Fund.
Swiss Funding to Akevot
- In 2021, Switzerland funded an Akevot project titled “Living Memory: Expanding Space for Critical Reflection on the Israeli Palestinian Conflict through Archival Documentation.” According to the contract between the Swiss government and Akevot, the project specifically focuses on “myth-breaking” and dismantling the founding narratives of Israel.
- Additionally, according to the contract, Swiss funding goes to researching Israeli government archives to uncover documentation of “fraught and little-known events and mechanisms that problematize or even contradict ‘the official story’ of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” Akevot exposes the “Jewish-Israeli Public” to what it sees as the “root causes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” and pushes them to “recognize Israel’s responsibility for historical injustices.” A major component is a partnership with the left-leaning Haaretz newspaper, which regularly publishes articles based on and/or by Akevot reports.
- According to a summary of the project, if Israeli authorities refuse to give Akevot access to certain documents, Swiss funds will be used to “fight these denials through the legal channels… This most frequently means filing appeals but can require high court petitions.”
- Claims to “investigate the mechanisms, actions and the policies that lead to the violations of human rights in the conflict and also address incidents whose narratives and collective memories play a role in the perpetuation of the conflict.”
- Akevot alleges censoring Israeli archives due to potential harm to national security and foreign relations are “political and image considerations, which are not based on factual and legitimate reasons.” Akevot also claims that restricting material “produces a distorted history of Israel’s early statehood, and harms public and political debate.”
- A review of the materials published by Akevot shows that each and every “event” or “mechanism” involves allegations of Israeli wrongdoing during the 1948 War of Independence and the early years of the state. For example, “massacres of Palestinians in 1948” and “historical documents [that] reveal suspicions that Haganah soldiers committed murder, torture, theft and looting during the War of Independence.”
- Akevot also presents documents that it claims show “a clear picture…the security authorities were a tool in the hands of those in the government who espoused a policy of segregation and of subordinating Palestinian society to Jewish society” and that “Jewish fighters’ actions were the major cause of Arab displacement, not calls from Arab leadership.” In other words, repetition and amplification of the Palestinian narrative of 1948, and an attempt to reject and refute Israeli perspectives.
- In August 2022, Akevot was a signatory on a statement condemning the decision by the Israeli Ministry to designate six Palestinian NGOs as terrorist organizations. According to the statement, “We stand in solidarity with our fellow human rights defenders in Palestinian society. We repudiate these baseless declarations and call on the international community to pressure Israel to revoke its decision.”
- In January 2022, Akevot published an article titled “Afforestation – a tool for landgrab.” According to the article, “The term ‘afforestation,’” – planting new forests – “may sound romantic, but, for Israel, it is a term and practice used to mask the appropriation and takeover of lands both inside Israel and in the territories it controls.”
- In October 2021, Akevot was a signatory on a statement condemning the decision by the Israeli Ministry to designate six Palestinian NGOs as terrorist organizations. According to the statement, “The Minister of Defense’s designation of prominent Palestinian civil society organizations, among them our colleagues in the Palestinian human rights community, as terrorist organizations, is a draconian measure that criminalizes critical human rights work.”
- In January 2021, Akevot published an interactive map and photos of Palestinian villages from 1948, claiming that “The uprooting of Palestinians during the war and the consequent refugee problem are directly linked to the looting of the property of these refugees.”
- In January 2021, Akevot claimed that “Israel tormented Arabs in its first decades and tried to cover it up.”
- In October 2020, in a webinar hosted by Foundation for Middle East Peace, Akevot researcher Adam Raz claimed that “Israel was founded by a generation of looters.”
- The majority of Akevot’s founders, board members, as well as its current executive director, are either current or former officials from other European-funded NGOs, such as Yesh Din, PHR-I, Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), and Human Rights Defenders’ Fund.
- Members include: Michael Sfard, legal adviser for Yesh Din’s and B’tselem; Lior Yavne, formerly of Yesh Din and B’tselem, Ziv Stahl Director of Research Department at Yesh Din, Ran Goldstein, Executive Director of Physicians for Human Rights Israel (PHRI), Efrat Bergman-Sapir of Public Committee Against Torture in Israel and Roni Pelli of ACRI.
- Partners with Swiss Church group HEKS/EPER on project that aims to “question how the history of a nation is told.”
- Also supports the “promoting the Palestinian right of return” of Israeli NGO Zochrot
Funding to Akevot
2018-2020 amounts based on NGO annual financial reports; 2021-2022 amounts based on quarterly financial reports submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits
|European Endowment for Democracy||9,090||149,955|
|Konrad Addenauer Foundation||64,725|
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