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Bimkom

Profile

Country/TerritoryIsrael
Websitewww.bimkom.org
Founded1999 “by a group of planners and architects, in order to strengthen democracy and human rights in the field of planning.”
In their own wordsDraws 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.”

Funding

Activities

  • 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 criticizes Israeli planning policies and obstacles created by the security barrier, while completely omitting the context of terror.

Demonizing Rhetoric

  • Acts as a platform for accusations of Israeli “apartheid,” “collective punishment,” “discrimination,” and “war crimes.”
  • In December 2013, Noah Browning, writing for Reuters, presented factually inaccurate information released by Bimkom, which claimed that “Palestinians in and around Shuafat have lacked officially approved residential plans for over 45 years… meaning any construction since then is illegal and subject to possible demolition.” In reality, there are no restrictions preventing residents from submitting requests for building permits. Hundreds of legal residential units and public institutions have been built in the neighborhoods of Shuafat and Beit Hanina in recent years.
  • In June 2012, Bimkom, along with ACRI, accused Israel of practicing “zoning Apartheid” in Area C of the West Bank.
  • 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 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 Israel in 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.

Foreign donations based on Annual Reports (amounts in NIS)

Figures based on NGO annual reports, 2016-2017 figures based on quarterly reports submitted to the Israeli Registrar for Non-Profits.

 
Donor20172016201520142013
New Israel Fund253,050109,098118,144
UNDP56,670135,555
GIZ (Germany)80,783535,439170,920
Norwegian Refugee Council 194,390242,542178,839244,971
European Union383,920181,210524,613960,710571,735
AECID (Spain431,433431,433
Ireland 333,529411,060396,262318,597
Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (joint funding from Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands) 187,700309,900328,349314,619
Switzerland255,109229,794137,520
Bread for the World-EED (Germany)367,510383,072
Oxfam-Novib (Netherlands)466,393660,667568,126396,876
UN Habitat (Belgium and EU branches)410,555267,459302,972698,211
ACPP (Spain)54,395
Holland 10,342201,54124,112
France 38,095
UK50,07993,731
Oxfam Belgium478,728159,576
Ford Foundation270,443
Heinrich Boll Stiftung39,600

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