|In their own words||“HRDF saw its calling to help human rights defenders struggling to finance legal actions” following “increasing violations of the liberties of individuals and organizations peacefully defending human rights in Israel and the Palestinian Occupied Territories, as well as attempts to silence the voices of condemnation and protest through legislation and aggressive military and police policy.”|
- 2014 annual budget of NIS 1,010,603 (latest available; accessed June 9, 2016).
- 2012-2015 donors include: AECID (Spain), Switzerland, Cordaid (Netherlands), and DanChurch Aid (Denmark).
- Based on financial information submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits, in accordance with the Israeli NGO transparency law, HRD received NIS 1,524,121 from foreign governmental bodies between 2012-2015. (See chart below for detailed funding information).
- According to annual reports, donations from foreign governments comprised 75.1% of total donations from 2012-2014.
- In 2011-2014, the New Israel Fund (NIF) authorized grants worth $423,925 to HRDF (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014).
- Additional supporters include Cordaid (Netherlands), DanChurchAid (Denmark), Switzerland, and Norwegian Human Rights Fund. (Grant amounts unavailable).
- HRDF “operates a 24-hour hotline for its attorneys and activists. Cases referred to HRDF are vigorously evaluated and monitored by the legal team and the Board of Directors, with responses being provided within a matter of hours.”
- While HRDF quotes the UN definition of “human rights defenders,” it ignores the universality of the concept by readily admitting that “[p]reference will be given in allocating resources to finance the criminal cases against community leaders who are human rights defenders and active in the struggle against human rights abuses towards the Palestinians in the West Bank.”
- Utilizes demonizing rhetoric, accusing Israel of a “culture of impunity that cloaks systematic and repeated breaches of human rights and fundamental freedoms.”
- HRDF has “financed the legal representation of activists arrested in varied contexts and locations” including “Sheikh Jarrah residents protesting their evictions; Leaders of the Rothschild Boulevard social protests; Activists demonstrating against land appropriations in Bilin; Defenders of the rights of the Bedouin residents in the Negev; East Jerusalem Minors systematically intimidated to threaten their families’ involvement in protesting Occupation policies.”
- Executive Director Alma Biblash, the fund’s only documented paid employee, was also an activist in the Sheikh Jarakh Solidarity movement (also funded by NIF) and the Israeli NGO Coalition of Women for Peace, a leader of BDS campaigns against Israel.
- Biblash has referred to Israel as “racist” and “murderous,” as well as a “temporary Jewish apartheid state.” Biblash also supports BDS campaigns and promotes the Palestinian “right of return,” meaning the elimination of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people. (Click here for more details)
- During 2014 Gaza war, Biblash wrote a post on Facebook, demanding “end the occupation from Jordan to the sea.”
- In referring to a 2014 report by Yesh Din (an NGO closely affiliated with HRDF, see below), Biblash stated, “It is time to announce MIP [Military Investigative Police] as an invalid mechanism and stop the cooperation with its false and cover-up investigations and invest in an outside, trusty investigation mechanism with a clear and broad mandate. And of course, in dismantling the Israeli apartheid regime.” (September 15, 2014).
- HRDF’s “Staff & Advisors” include prominent figures from Israeli NGO Yesh Din and other NIF-funded NGOs:
- Attorney Michael Sfard provides legal counsel for NIF grantees Yesh Din, Breaking the Silence, Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement, and others. Sfard “[a]dvises the Board of Directors [of HRDF] on application of Aid Criteria when reviewing aid requests and reviews contracts” and“[m]onitors and assesses performance of attorneys receiving aid.” In what appears to be a conflict of interest, Sfard was the attorney for a group of defendants receiving funds through the HRDF.
- Adv. Noa Amrami, HRDF legal counselor and associate in Michael Sfard Law Offices, also works for Yesh Din.
- “Human rights consultant and researcher” Lior Yavne is a former consultant of Ben-Or Consulting Ltd. and former spokesperson for Israeli NGO B’tselem. Yavne also co-authored numerous Yesh Din publications.
- HRDF’s advisory board, board of directors and shareholders also includes co-founders of Yesh Din and former officials of Bimkom, Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I) – all highly politicized NGOs active and NIF grantees.
- HRDF “Communications Consultant” Khulood Badawi was dismissed from her job with the UN’s Coordinator of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) following blatant anti-Israel activism. In March 2013, Badawi tweeted a photo of a man carrying a bleeding girl, suggesting that the girl was a victim of an Israeli airstrike that day. The photo, however, was taken in 2006 and had no connection to Israel.
Partial list of foreign donations (amounts in NIS)
Amounts based on NGO annual financial reports; 2015-2016 amounts based on financial reports submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits.
|DanChurch Aid (Denmark)||68,500|
|Norwegian Human Rights Fund||69,800|
- New Israel Fund Under Renewed Scrutiny Over Funding for Israeli NGO Led by Boycott Activist Ben Cohen, The Algemeiner, October 29,2014