The BDS campaign resulted from the NGO Forum at the 2001 UN World Conference Against Racism (Durban), which adopted “a policy of complete and total isolation of Israel as an apartheid state,” and called for “the imposition of mandatory and comprehensive sanctions and embargoes, the full cessation of all links (diplomatic, economic, social, aid, military cooperation, and training) between all states and Israel.”

The “Durban Strategy” has become the core of the global anti-Israel BDS — boycotts, divestment, and sanctions movement, led by NGOs and linked to “war crimes” cases against Israeli officials (“lawfare”).  Much of this activity is supported by government-funded political NGOs (primarily European and private foundations).

On November 9, 2009, the Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly adopted a “Resolution against Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions Movement.” This can serve as a model for other organizations, including the NIF. The “action recommendations” call on organizations to:

  • Declare that the BDS movement be regarded with the utmost urgency;
  • Lead an effective response and devise a proactive strategy to the BDS movement…
  • Conduct research to develop the most effective messages and strategies for the major sectors of BDS activity;
  • Educate [leaders] about the nature, tactics and dangers of BDS;
  • Train local leadership on how to counter BDS initiatives in local communities;
  • Be on alert for BDS initiatives and support each other as necessary.

NGOs involved in BDS and their funders (partial list)

*The NDC mechanism is funded by Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands; 2008-9

NGOPrimary FundersFunding AmountCentral Involvement
AddameerSweden€207,000 (2009) Signatory to 2005 BDS call (
Al HaqNetherlands$461,201(2008) BDS is part of mission statement
Diakonia$204,134 (2008)
Norway, Ireland n/a
Al MezanSweden€105,000 (2007-9) Signatory to 2005 BDS call (
Norway, EUn/a
Alternative Information CenterIreland, Sweden (via Diakonia), Catalan gov’tn/a “Yes to Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Against Israel
Alternatives (Montreal)Canada$C2 million2008-10 (halted?) Signatory to 2005 BDS call (
Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (PA)EU€374,174(2009-11)   Signatory to 2005 BDS call (
Switzerland n/a
Badil (PA)NDC*$100,000 Leader of BDS movement
Christian AidUK, Ireland, EUcombined €22 million2007-8Partner supporting” calling for BDS and “pursuing parastata Zionist orgs”
Coalition of Women for PeaceEU€247,954(2005-7)  Runs “Who profits?” website, which is central in the Norwegian BDS campaign
NIF$285,509 (2006-8)
Defence of Children International -Palestine SectionSweden€316,000 (2009[1])  Signatory to 2005 BDS call (
DiakoniaSweden$42.7 million (2008) Advocates for divestment strategy against Israel, lobbies against EU-Israel upgrade
EU n/a
Human Rights WatchSoros’ Open Society Institute$2,353,895(2007-8) Supported Caterpillar boycott,Call for cuts in U.S. foreign aid to Israel
Ford Foundation$445,000 (2009-11)
Netherlands via Oxfam-NOVIB $987,818(2007-8)
Israel Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD)Spain€105,000(2009) Leader in BDS activism
KAIROSCanada. Funding was recently halted.$1,575,966(2008)  Main supporter of church divestment campaign
Machsom WatchEU€251,650(2007-2010) Norwegian Pension Fund divestment campaign
NIF$165,198 (2006-8)
MiftahEU$100,531(2008)Signatory to 2005 BDS call (
Denmark$101,767 (2008)
Norway$129,870 (2008)
MossawaNIF$517,642 (2006-8)Norwegian Pension Fund divestment campaign
Norwegian Association of NGOs for Palestine (incl. Norwegian People's Aid)Norway€57,000(2008) Coordinates Norwegian Boycott Israel Campaign
USA€8,000 (2008)
Sweden, Netherlands n/a
Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO)NDC*$130,000 Leader of BDS movement
Received France’s Human Rights Prize
SabeelSweden€76,000 (2006-8)Leader of global church divestment movement
TrocaireIreland€23,499,837(2008)Supports BDS movement, lobbies against EU-Israel upgrade, calls for review of arms export licenses
UK€640,682 (2008)
EU€1,698,692 (2008)
War on WantUK€256,000(2008)Advocates for sanctions, including arms boycott
Ireland€77,000 (2008)
EU€266,000 (2008)

[1]Grant shared with other NGOs; breakdown not provided.