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NOVA Centre per la Innovaci Social (Center for Social Initiative)

Profile

Country/TerritorySpain
Websitehttp://nova.cat/
Founded1999
In their own wordsPromotes “international action for peace and provides assistance to populations affected by armed conflict, without discrimination by race, religion or political ideology.” Maintains that it “encourages the use and study of civilian rather than military strategies” in order “to defend international legality, equality and justice.”

Funding

  • Donors include: Spain (MFA, Agency for International Development Cooperation-AECID, and Catalan Agency for Development Cooperation-ACCD), European Union, the United Nations, and the Oxford Research Group. (See below for further funding information.)
  • In 2013, nova, the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee (PSCC), and Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP) received a joint grant of €355,130 from the EU’s Partnership for Peace (PfP) for a project titled “Addressing fear: strengthening the nonviolent alternative.”
    • Following NGO Monitor publications and communication with the EU regarding violence at PSCC demonstrations, the subsequent PfP Call for Proposals of 2014 warned that “All actions should assess whether they may directly or indirectly lead to violence, even if they have been established for non-violent purposes” (emphasis added).
    • Moreover, funding to CWP and the PSCC was discontinued in the consecutive funding cycle.
  • In 2015, received €211,196 from AECID for a project titled “Promoting the political participation of women and the rule of law in Palestine.”
  • In 2015, nova also received €176,313 from the Oxford Research Group (ORG) for the project “Observatory of Private Military and Security Companies (PMSC) & Human Rights” – covering the West Bank and Gaza, Columbia, and Iraq.

Activities

  • One of nova’s foremost projects is Novact – the International Institute for Nonviolent Action. Based in Barcelona, Novact ostensibly “supports nonviolent movements, working for change and social transformation, and develops nonviolent interventions to protect vulnerable communities in conflict situations” in the Middle East, Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia.

Anti-Israel Activities

  • In February 2017, NOVACT hosted Manal Tamimi and Munther Amira of the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee (PSCC) for a conference titled “Towards a new paradigm: Preventing Violent Extremism.” NOVACT later described the two as “Human Rights Defenders.” The PSCC regularly organizes demonstrations that have often turned violent, and repeatedly employs “martyr” rhetoric and posts on its Twitter account photos of demonstrators hurling rocks.
  • As part of the project with the Oxford Research Group (see above), NOVACT published a 2015 report titled “The Privatization of Security in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.” The report states that “Since the Declaration of the State of Israel in 1948, the Israeli government has used the pretext of security to justify the occupation of the Palestinian people, committing terrible atrocities and violating human rights,” and that “The Israeli notion of security is closely linked to their concept of terrorism, drawing an extremely thin line between terrorism and resistance. The right of the Palestinian people to resist Israeli military occupation is not only a moral right but also a recognized right under customary international law” (emphases added).
  • NOVACT promotes a number of political campaigns advocating sanctions against Israel and making severe allegations – such as the campaign “Hidden Business,” launched to “denounce the security, military and arms relations between the Spanish state and the state of Israel in order to claim the application of Spanish and European legislation on arms exports,” and the campaign “No More Complicity with Israel,” aiming to “show the role Israel plays in the design, research, implementation and sale abroad of different systems of repression.”
  • Supported the “Rumbo a Gaza” initiative, which attempted to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza in 2011.
  • In 2010, nova organized the first session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, held in Barcelona from March 1-3, 2010. Topics included “the settlements and plundering of natural resources,” “the annexation of East Jerusalem,” “the construction of the Wall in Occupied Palestinian Territory,” and “the blockade of Gaza and operation Cast lead.”
  • Organized a campaign in 2007 titled “Palestina al Cor (Palestine in the Heart),” in a show of “solidarity with the Palestinian people on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the so-called “Naqba”—a day during which the Palestinians and much of the Arab world mourn the “tragedy” of the 1948 establishment of the state of Israel. The initiative “aims to generate accurate and timely information to publicize the situation of violation of international law and human rights of the Palestinian people.”

“Apartheid” Rhetoric

  • nova rhetoric includes accusations of “apartheid,” “ethnic cleansing,” “genocide,” and “collective punishment,” as well as supporting a Palestinian “right of return.”
  • On February 7, 2017, NOVACT was a signatory on a call to “end the European complicity – marking 100 years of injustice against the Palestinian people.” The call “solemnly reaffirm[ed] that in 2017, after 100 years of dispossession, denial and ethnic cleansing, the rights of the Palestinian people must, at last, be respected.”
  • A 2016 report published by NOVACT, as part of the “Human Rights Defenders in Action” project, denies the right for Jewish self-determination, claiming that “the desire to label Israel as a Jewish state goes beyond the denial of freedom of religion. . . This legal discrimination jeopardises the basic principles of democracy and Rule of Law and can amount to a situation of apartheid, under international law” (emphasis added). The report goes on to allege the Israeli “use and abuse of violence against peaceful demonstrators, the recent restrictions and excessive control and meddling in the work of human rights organisations,” and to assert that “The myth of the so-called ‘only democracy in the Middle East’ is falling apart and is losing many supporters abroad due to the continuous violations of human rights and abuses of the Palestinian people and for the total lack of respect for Rule of Law and real democracy” (emphasis added). The report concludes with a call “to monitor governmental complicities and collaborations in arm-trade.”
  • In October 2015, NOVACT was a signatory on a call to restaurant chefs to “Take Apartheid off the Menu” and cancel their participation in the Tel Aviv “Round Tables Tour” as Tel Aviv is “the center of Israel’s regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid and deeply complicit in whitewashing Israeli violations of Human Rights and International Law.”
  • In 2009, nova and a number of other Spanish organizations published a report on “apartheid” in Israel. The report concludes: “Having reached this point and as a result of the analysis carried out, it is clear that the discrimination to which the Palestinian population is subjected by Israel constitutes a crime of apartheid. This crime has certain specific characteristics which distance it from the South African case, but in any case do coincide with the Convention on Apartheid.”

2012-2017 Grants Received

Amounts based on 2015 Annual Report

DonorAmountYear
Catalan Agency for Development Cooperation (ACCD)€70,0002015-2016
€6,3602014-2016
Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID)€289,0002015-2016
€265,0962015-2017
UNDP€80,5652015-2016
Spanish MFA€179,1342012-2015
€402,500 (project with Al-Maqdese and PSCC)2013-2014
Oxford Research Group€176,3132014-2015
European Union (Partnership for Peace Programme- PfP)€355,130 (project with PSCC and CWP)2013-2014
European Union (EIDHR)€446,793 (project with PSCC, Al Quds University, and Active Stills)2012-2014

Funds Granted

Nova has provided grants to a number of highly biased and politicized NGOs active in the Arab-Israeli conflict including Yesh Din, Who Profits, Coalition of Women for Peace, and PSCC.

(Amounts based on quarterly reports submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits)

Who ProfitsNIS 5,7052016
NIS 41,7642015
Yesh DinNIS 83,4852015
Coalition of Women for PeaceNIS 161,2582014
NIS 246,7812013
Popular Struggle Coordination CommitteeAmounts Unknown

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