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Yesh Din- Volunteers for Human Rights

Profile

Country/TerritoryIsrael
Websitewww.yesh-din.org
FoundedMarch 2005, by members of Machsom Watch
In their own words“to oppose the continuing violation of Palestinian human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory... documenting and disseminating accurate and up-to-date information about the systematic violation of human rights in the OPT, by raising public awareness of such violations, and by applying public and legal pressures on government agencies to end them.”

Funding

  • 2014 budget of NIS 6,045,236 (accessed May 18, 2016).
  • Donors include: EU, UKHuman Rights and International Law Secretariat (joint funding from Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands), Norwegian Refugee Council, Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD), HEKS (Switzerland), Norway, Ireland, GermanyOxfam-Novib (Netherlands), and others.
  • Based on financial information submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits, in accordance with the Israeli NGO transparency law, Yesh Din received NIS 18,071,633 from foreign governmental bodies between the years 2012 to 2016 (see chart below for detailed funding information).
  • According to annual reports, donations from foreign countries comprised 93.5 percent of total donations, from 2012 to 2014.
  • In 2011-2013, Yesh Din undertook a €234,000 project “To change Israeli policy vis-a-vis criminal accountability of Israeli Security Forces Personnel in the occupied Palestinian Territories, in such a way that acknowledges and takes into account the severity and the different nature of War Crimes, as distinguished from regular, domestic crimes” (emphasis added). (The EU is funding €150,000 of this project; according to Yesh Din’s website, Ireland also contributed NIS 331,200 to a project on “criminal accountability of security forces.”)
  • In 2008-2014, the New Israel Fund (NIF) authorized grants worth $342,578 to Yesh Din (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014).

Activities

  • Yesh Din regularly petitions the High Court of Justice to alter Israeli policy (for example, to cancel the law prohibiting the transportation of Palestinians in Israeli vehicles within the West Bank and to gain access to military court records).
  • Engages in advocacy campaigns, such as briefings to foreign diplomats and encouraging Palestinians to claim compensation for seized land.
  • The IDF responded to a Yesh Din report in 2008, claiming that it was flawed due to “an inaccurate interpretation of data, problematic research methods which include relying on anonymous questioned people…use of a partial database, partial or defected understanding of certain legal aspects with regard to military court activities, lack of appropriate familiarity with the criminal law in the Judea and Samaria areas and with the procedures of administrative detention.”
  • After the 2008-2009 Gaza War, seven Israeli NGOs including Yesh Din submitted a joint report to the Goldstone Commission claiming that “Israel’s failure to conduct an independent investigation of the totality of events, there is also a systemic-intrinsic flaw in the investigation of concrete events.” According to the NGOs, this “failure to investigate instances in which civilians were wounded or killed has led to a sense of impunity and immunity from sanctions among soldiers and commanders.”
  • In its submission to the Turkel Commission on the Gaza Flotilla (April 2011), Yesh Din claims that “Israel fails to meet its duty to investigate complaints of violations of justice by soldiers.” Yesh Din also alleges a “weakness of the rule of law in the West Bank,” and criticizes the enforcement of Israeli court decisions and police investigations into settler violence. ).
  • According to Emily Schaeffer, a lawyer on Yesh Din’s legal team, “Yesh Din was founded to use law as a tool to fight the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.”
  • Michael Sfard, Yesh Din’s primary legal counsel and an editor of many of the NGO’s reports, claims, “If war crimes are committed and an apartheid system is being deployed under our eyes, it is the moral duty of a citizen of the country responsible, to combat this, even if it means using external legal means.”

Foreign donations (amounts in NIS)

2013-2014 amounts based on NGO annual reports; 2015-2016 amounts based on financial reports submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits

Donor2016201520142013
Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)87,144602,638731,334763,509
Britain 429,450581,5721,139,1711,816,040
Norway 403,462483,4251,026,000
Oxfam Novib (Netherlands) 470,656353,091490,614
Human Rights and International Law Secretariat (joint funding from Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands) 156,700293,015
CAFOD156,550136,800 143,400
European Union 83,145945,445456,220
Germany465,508
Ireland 425,700428,330
Belgium
HEKS-EPER (Switzerland)77,52584,505
Holland 29,700
Oxfam (UK) 1,036,875
UNDP 78,330

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