Parents Circle Families Forum (PCFF)
|Founded||1995, by Yitzhak Frankental, whose eldest son was abducted and murdered by Hamas; also known as Bereaved Families for Peace and Bereaved Families Forum.|
|In their own words||"A joint Palestinian Israeli organization of over 600 families, all of whom have lost a close family member as a result of the prolonged conflict."|
- In 2020, total income was NIS 3.4 million; total expenses were NIS 3 million.
- Donors have include European Union, Bread for the World (Germany), SIVMO (Netherlands), Kerk in Actie (Netherlands), ICCO (Netherlands), USAID, Swiss Government Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Christian Aid (UK), Sigrid Rousing (UK), Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and New Israel Fund.
- Based on financial information submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits, in accordance with the Israeli NGO transparency law, PCFF received NIS 10,377,879 from foreign governmental bodies in 2012-2020 (see chart below for detailed funding information).
- According to annual reports, donations from foreign countries comprised 45.2% of total donations, from 2017-2019.
- Received €480,000 from the European Union (European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument) for a project (2017-2019) titled “Narratives in Action: Building Engaged Communities through the Power of Reconciliation.”
- In 2015-2020, the New Israel Fund (NIF) authorized grants worth $114,450 to Parents Circle.
- Operates offices in Tel Aviv and El’ram (Palestinian Authority). “Friends of the PCFF” operates offices in the USA, UK, Germany, Norway, Spain, and Switzerland, in an effort to raise funds and promote activities.
- Activities promote a highly biased view of the conflict based on the Palestinian narrative and draw an immoral equivalence between terror victims and terrorists.
- While PCFF advocates for “reconciliation,” “dialogue,” and “knowledge of the other,” it exploits the grief of families and the language of peace to promote a highly divisive, contentious, and narrow personal agenda.
- PCFF events have become vehicles for the personal agendas of its officials. For instance, spokesperson Robi Damelin regularly travels to the United States on behalf of the organization, promoting views that place sole blame for the continuation of the conflict on Israel.
- Damelin regularly utilizes emotive language to elicit sympathy from her audience; refers to Hamas terrorism and Israeli self-defense as a “cycle of violence,” thereby presenting a distorted view of the conflict; and cites BDS initiatives as “yet another indication that Israel is fast becoming the pariah of the word, and how we are losing our moral fiber.”
- Many bereaved families in Israel have spoken out against PCFF for its demands of an acceptance of the Palestinian narrative of exclusive Israeli guilt, a corresponding rejection of the legitimacy of Israeli narratives, and the political messages that are transmitted, explicitly and implicitly, through PCFF activities.
- The parents of a fifteen-year-old girl who was murdered in a Jerusalem terror attack on August 9, 2001, wrote a blog (July 12, 2013) stating that while the Parent’s Circle “claims to speak for five or six hundred bereaved Israeli or Palestinian members,” it “exploit[s] bereavement to raise funds and to promote specific ideological positions.” They state that PCFF is “narrowly political” and “arouses deep disquiet” within bereaved families, adding that the “flow of substantial foreign grants to this small, unrepresentative group of activists ought to be critically reviewed.”
- Produced a documentary titled, Two Sided Story, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United States Institute for Peace (USIP), which attempts to provide a balanced view of the Arab-Israeli conflict, but instead promotes the notion, albeit subtly, that the Israeli narrative is the source of the problem and must be changed. Participants who reject the legitimacy of Israel are not challenged.
- Its documentary, “Encounter Point,” similarly blames Israel as being solely responsible for the conflict and the suffering of Palestinians and Israelis, alike. In the film, Damelin is asked how she felt after learning that her son’s killer became a Palestinian folk hero. She responds by saying: “I’m not focusing on this, what I’m focusing on is: Why was David in the occupied territories? Why was David guarding settlers who said their safety was more important than David’s life?”
- PCFF’s “Crack in the Wall” project, which received €351,006 from the European Union, aims to “create a ‘crack’ in the proverbial and literal wall by engaging Palestinians and Israelis in dialogue and providing a platform to express themselves in their own language then translated to the other side.” While the project was originally intended to “facilitate  direct communication between Palestinians and Israelis,” with “discussions about entertainment, hobbies, day-to-day experiences and others,” the final product became limited to political issues due to “skepticism and disinterestedness on the Palestinian side.”
- As part of its ongoing “Dialogue Encounters” program, PCFF gives presentations to Israeli public school students, which include relatives of Palestinian terrorists who had been killed, together with bereaved families of Israelis and Palestinians. Following complaints from parents, the Israeli Ministry of Education, which is responsible for authorizing extracurricular programming, declared that relatives of terrorists could no longer participate. Legal advisor of the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel, Attorney Hila Cohen, noted: “Drawing a comparison between bereaved Israeli families and Palestinian families is inconceivable, as such discussions legitimize acts of terrorism.”
- During a PCFF program at a Seattle synagogue on October 13, 2013, speaker Bassam Aramin drew a moral equivalence between the Israeli Shas political party and the Hamas terror organization.
- In October 2012, PCFF officials were listed as participating in an event organized by “Friends of Sabeel UK.” Sabeel is very active in anti-Israel political campaigns, including church divestment campaigns; supports a “one state” framework, meaning the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state; and utilizes overtly antisemitic language such as deicide imagery, as well as replacement and supercessionist theology.
Donors 2017-2020 (amounts in NIS)
*Figures based on annual reports submitted to the Israeli Registrar for Non-Profits
|Bread for the World - EED (Germany)||273,023||332,272||509,009
|The Church of Scotland (Scotland)||23,300
|Friends of PCFF - US||1,925,661||1,790,000||829,623
|Friends of PCFF - UK||107,500||195,688||473,920
|Embassy - US||52,548||59,938||
All Articles about Parents Circle Families Forum (PCFF)
- First, understand the war and the grief Arnold Roth, The Times of Israel, June 26, 2014
- When Peace Becomes Immoral Kay Wilson, The Times of Israel, June 25, 2014
- Behind the facade at Parents Circle, messages that are deeply disturbing to bereaved families This Ongoing War (blog), July 12, 2013