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Caritas Internationalis

Profile

Country/TerritoryVatican City
Websitewww.caritas.org

Funding

  • Income projection for 2015 was €2.4 million (~$2.7 million) with an approximate average of €40,000 directed to the Middle East and North Africa. The report on projected income does not specify the amount scheduled to be allocated to the Israeli-Palestinian arena.
  • 2015 reported expenses of €4.2 million (~$4.7 million).

Activities

  • Click here for the full report.
  • In 1951, thirteen country-based Caritas organizations formed the Caritas Internationalis network. Today, Caritas Internationalis consists of seven regions and 164 Catholic organizations “working in humanitarian emergencies and international development.” Headquartered in Rome, with offices in Geneva and New York, the Caritas Internationalis General Secretariat coordinates the organization’s responses to humanitarian emergencies. The organization holds strongly partisan positions regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict.
  • Caritas Internationalis serves as an umbrella organization that coordinates and supports member activities, provides a platform for interaction between the Vatican and member organizations, but allows individual Caritas members to implement activities in their areas of interest and influence.
  • Caritas Internationalis holds Canonical Legal Status, which grants the Pontifical Council the right to appoint an “Ecclesiastical Advisor” to a four-year term. This Ecclesiastical Advisor has full speaking rights in all Caritas meetings, but no voting rights

Political Advocacy

  • Caritas Internationalis has taken a number of positions on the Arab-Israeli conflict that demonstrate a high degree of partisanship.
  • Eleven of Caritas Internationalis’ 164 world-wide chapters demonstrate serious partiality against Israel in their consistent funding of radicalized anti-Israel NGOs and other activities related to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
  • The organization formally supports the annual International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
  • In its 2014 Annual Report, Caritas Internationalis described Pope Francis’s visit to Bethlehem where he “reflected at the wall built by Israel to separate Jews from Palestinians…”  This distorts the security rationale for the barrier, which is to prevent suicide bombers and other attacks against civilians. (For example, in November 2002 a suicide bomber from Bethlehem blew up a Jerusalem city bus filled with school children, killing 11 passengers.)
  • At its 2014 conference held in Rome, Palestinians were described as “living in an open prison in Gaza and are denied their dignity, land and rights in the occupied territories.”
  • During the 2014 Gaza conflict, then President Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga stated that Palestinians in Gaza “see their children slaughtered, their neighbourhoods razed to the ground and all hopes for a future of peace torn to shreds,” and called for “the lifting of the blockade on Gaza to allow Gazans to protect their lives and livelihoods and so they can have a dignified life.” Here and in other publications, Caritas officials fail to mention the many rocket and other attacks on Israeli civilians eminating from Hamas-controlled Gaza.
  • Joseph Donnelly, the group’s official UN representative in New York, endorsed the Palestinian claim to a “right of return” for the millions of descendants of the 1948 refugees. The demand for such a “return” is largely recognized as a call for the elimination of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people through demographic means.
  • A call to “recognize Palestine” at the UN on the Caritas Internationalis blog.
  • Rhetoric that misrepresents the context of the 2012 conflict in Gaza and the West Bank. This includes a post by Caritas Jerusalem’s Communications Officer suggesting that the November 2012 Gaza clashes were due to the fact that Israel wants to use “force” to compel the Palestinians to “give up their rights to the land.”
  • A description of the Spring 2012 fuel crisis in Gaza that describes problems with one of Gaza’s power units, which “rarely runs due to shortages in industrial fuel, which is sent from Israel.” The blog post does not mention that Hamas’ reluctance to accept fuel from Israel contributed to the crisis and that transfers of Israeli fuel ultimately ended the shortage.

Caritas Switzerland

  • Caritas Switzerland had total assets of over CHF 64.1 million in 2015 (CHF 65 million in 2014). Public funds provided over CHF 36.8 million: with CHF 15.3 million from federal sources, and CHF 21.5 million from cantons and communes. 15.7% of the budget came from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
  • Projects/programs in “Asia / Middle East/ North Africa / Europe / CIS” were CHF 16.1 million in 2015 (CHF 15.8 million in 2014). Further information on how this funding was distributed is not available.
  • Caritas Switzerland’s German page currently lists two projects in “Palestine” and one in Israel1.
  • Sadaka Reut – received CHF 255,800 from Caritas Switzerland (2013 to 2016).
    • Sadaka Reut presents a highly polarizing and one-sided narrative of Palestinian victimization and Israeli guilt. Through its partnerships with groups that reject the legitimacy of Jewish sovereignty in Israel and repeatedly emphasize Israel’s alleged systematic discrimination and the “Nakba,” young participants are presented with a simplistic, biased and divisive perspective
    • Sadaka Reut also received funding from Caritas Switzerland in 2014 (NIS 155,692) and 2013 (NIS 154,613).
  • Youth Empowerment Center (YEC) received CHF 186,000 annually (no dates). This is likely a project implemented by DanChurchAid in 2015, which Caritas Switzerland (€125,859) and FinnChurchAid (€40,000) supported.
  • The final project, entitled “Experts against domestic violence” seeks to train mental health professionals in the West Bank with the organization AMAL — CHF 208,063 January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2017.

Footnotes

  1. In French, one project in each region is listed. In English, no projects are listed.

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