|Founded||1999 “by a group of planners and architects, in order to strengthen democracy and human rights in the field of planning.”|
|In their own words||Draws on “values of social justice, good governance, equality and community participation” to advance “the development of planning policies and practices that are more just and respectful of human rights, and responsive to the needs of local communities.”|
- In 2020, total income was NIS 2.7 million; total expenses were NIS 2.4 million.
- Donors include Germany (GIZ), France, European Union, Ireland, Spain, Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), Bread for the World, and the United Nations.
- Based on financial information submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits, in accordance with the Israeli transparency law, Bimkom received NIS 26,169,342 from foreign governmental bodies in 2012-2021. (See chart below for detailed funding information.)
- According to annual reports, donations from foreign governments comprised 68.8% of total donations in 2017-2019.
- Bimkon has received €955,649 (2018-2020) for a number of projects funded by the European Union.
- In 2015-2020, the New Israel Fund (NIF) authorized grants worth $1,708,434 to Bimkom.
- According to its website, Bimkom “conduct[s] research and write[s] reports whose findings we use to advocate vis-à-vis policy and decision makers, on the local and national level (government ministries, municipalities, the planning institutions, and the Civil Administration in the West Bank). We also take legal measures against inappropriate or discriminatory planning, when necessary.”
- Regularly files petitions and criticizes the Israeli government in an attempt to alter policies related to spatial planning, planning procedures, and Bedouin communities.
- Bimkom’s rhetoric includes accusations of Israeli “apartheid,” “collective punishment,” “discrimination,” and “war crimes.”
- Bimkom is active in “Advocacy and awareness raising among decision makers and planning professionals.”
- In February 2022, Bimkom signed a statement defending a report published by Amnesty International accusing Israel of apartheid. According to the statement, “The debate around the crime of apartheid of which Israel is accused, and its geographical scope, is not only legitimate, but absolutely necessary. We wholeheartedly reject the idea that Amnesty International’s report is baseless, singles out Israel or displays antisemitic animus.”
- In October 2021, Bimkom 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 December 2020, Bimkom Planning and Community Director Alon Cohen Lifshitz accused Israel of maintaining a “matrix of control” over the Palestinian population.
- In May 2020, in an interview with Haaretz, Bimkom co-founder Haim Yakobi referred to Israel as an “apartheid state” and a “colonial project.”
- In September 2019, Bimkom was a signatory on a statement “condemn[ing]” an IDF raid of Palestinian NGO Addameer’s offices. According to the statement, “It is through the work of organizations such as Addameer that Palestinians and Israelis can struggle against the ongoing, catastrophic damage caused by the occupation.”
- In September 2017, Alon Cohen-Lifschitz from Bimkom participated in a Congressional briefing titled “Palestinian children speak about peace.” The briefing aimed to have members of Congress “personally make calls to the Israeli Embassy to express concern, stop the demolitions, recognize Palestinian planning rights, assure due process, turn on the lights in Gaza.” The briefing was organized by Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP), Rebuilding Alliance, and Jewish Voice for Peace and also featured Arik Ascherman (Torat Tzedek).
- In February 2017, Bimkom and Ir Amim wrote a report titled “Deliberately Planned: A Policy to Thwart Planning in the Palestinian Neighborhoods of Jerusalem,” placing sole responsibility on Israel for the conflict and accusing the Israeli authorities of “deliberately suppress[ing] the growth and development of the Palestinian community.”
- In an article in Haaretz about the African Migrant refugees in the South of Israel (June 19, 2012), Bimkom was quoted as comparing the refugee camps to “a huge concentration camp with harsh conditions.”
- Executive Director Hedva Radovanitz (who has worked with other advocacy groups including Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, and Shatil/ New Israel Fund-Israel) told U.S. embassy officials in February 2010 “that she believed that in 100 years Israel would be majority Arab and that the disappearance of a Jewish state would not be the tragedy that Israelis fear since it would become more democratic.” (emphasis added)
- In response to the 2009 Gaza war, Bimkom launched a website, together with Adalah, ACRI, B’Tselem, Rabbis for Human Rights, Gisha, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, Yesh Din, and others, that collected low-level soldier testimonies accusing Israel of war crimes and violating international law.
Advocacy Against Israel’s Bedouin Policies
- In 2017, Bimkom published one-sided and factually inaccurate position paper accusing Israel of “forced displacement,” “forced transfer,” and “subjugation” of Bedouins, as well as stating that “The main reason for the forced transfer and the expulsion of communities from the areas in which they have lived for decades is Israel’s intention to realize its own interests in the West Bank.”
- In May 2013, UNRWA and Bimkom co-authored a report on the “plight” of Bedouin communities in Area C of the West Bank, saying: “With the occupation of the Gaza Strip and West Bank including East Jerusalem ongoing, and a durable solution to the Palestine refugee problem yet to be arrived at, the plight of the Jahalin Bedouin Palestine refugees in al Jabal reflects—albeit in a vastly less violent context—a number of the common elements of the Palestine refugee experience since 1948. These include: displacement from and dispossession of traditional territories and other properties… the dilution of traditional decision-making bodies; and friction over land, housing and property rights.” The report includes a quote comparing the move to al Jabal as “Our own mini Nakba.” (Click here to read more about how politicized NGOs exploit the issue of the Bedouin in the Negev to wage political warfare against Israel.)
- Published a 2013 position paper, together with Israeli NGO ACRI, urging “Members of Knesset to vote against the [Prawer-Begin] bill,” maintaining that it “only causes problems, mistrust and alienation of Bedouin citizens.” The position paper claims that the Bedouin are the “original inhabitants of the Negev” and that “[a]fter the establishment of the state, Israel began to ignore the existence of the Bedouin villages in all planning laws and master plans, and disregarded their property rights.” This approach seeks to demonize Israelin the international arena by advancing the idea that the Bedouin are the native and legitimate residents of the land and that Israel is a foreign, occupying power.
- Member of the “Displacement Work Group,” an initiative of Badil and OCHA to “monitor human rights violations (evictions, home demolitions, land confiscations) resulting in the displacement of people from their lands and communities,” along with: Addameer, Al-Haq, Al-Mezan, AIC, ARIJ, Badil, B’Tselem, CARE Intnl., DCI – Palestine section, Diakonia, EAPPI, Ir Amim, ICAHD, Medical Aid for Palestinians, Oxfam UK, Oxfam Solidarite – Belgium, PA Govt. Spokesperson, PCHR, RHR, Society of St. Yves, Save the Children UK, Shatil, UNFPA, Stop the Wall, ACRI, UNFPA, Yesh Din, and World Vision.
- Member of the “Legal Taskforce,” together with other NGOs: ACRI, Bimkom, HaMoked, UNDP, ICAHD, PCATI, Rabbis For Human Rights, PHR, Yesh Din, the Jerusalem Coalition, Addameer, the NRC, and others. The taskforce seeks to “employ lawyers and have legal action strategies in the struggle against the occupation.”
Foreign donations to Bimkom (amounts in NIS)
2016-2019 figures based on NGO annual reports, 2020-2021 figures based on quarterly reports submitted to the Israeli Registrar for Non-Profits.
|New Israel Fund||472,949||269,314
|Norwegian Refugee Council ||225,232||181,526||66,916
|AECID (Spain) ||592,970||
|Bread for the World-EED (Germany)||360,665||449,458||433,826||376,439
|UN Habitat (Belgium and EU branches)||195,910||298,898
|Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP)||17,645||17,351
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