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Human Rights Defenders Fund (HRDF)


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.”



  • 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.”

Political Advocacy

  • 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:

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.

AECID (Spain)600,286
Cordaid (Netherlands)23,28874,860
DanChurch Aid (Denmark)68,500
Norwegian Human Rights Fund69,800








All Articles about Human Rights Defenders Fund (HRDF)

Further Reading