- The Swedish government funds numerous Israeli and Palestinian NGOs through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), the Embassy in Tel Aviv and indirectly by outsourcing to Swedish church groups and aid organizations such as Diakonia.
- In 2015, Sweden provided at least $16.1 million to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Many of these NGOs do not further Swedish interests and foreign policy in the region, including promoting peace and a two-state framework.
- Revealing a lack of transparency, millions of dollars are diverted to “unspecified” projects, including over $37 million dollars from 2012-2016.
- Sweden, together with the governments of Switzerland, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Norway jointly fund the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat. This funding mechanism has a budget of $17.6 million over four years. The funds are managed by the Institute of Law at Birzeit University (IoL-BZU) in Ramallah and a European multidisciplinary consulting company, NIRAS.
- The Secretariat received $1,186,338 in 2015 and $1,559,790 in 2014 from SIDA. Sweden has committed $4,713,504 (2013-2017) to the Secretariat and is the lead donor of the project.
- Funds highly politicized NGOs that engage in legal warfare against Israeli officials and companies that do business with Israel, promote BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns, advance a “1948 agenda,” exploit the false “apartheid” analogy to demonize Israel and even promote antisemitic propaganda.
- NGO Monitor has extensively documented numerous concerns relating to the IHL Secretariat.
Direct Funding from the Swedish Government
Direct Swedish funding1 to “Palestine”
NGO Development Center
|Islamic Relief Sweden||$1,184,381||$1,576,371|
|Gaza Community Mental Health Programme (GCMHP)||$937,207||$743,451|
|Palestinian Medical Relief Society||$1,127,021||$1,151,620|
|Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)||$588,557||$665,316|
|Diakonia||$1,684,600, of which IHL: $474,535||$2,964,258, of which IHL: $583,099|
|Swedish Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) vis Swedish Council of Churches||$711,803||$874,648|
|Kvinna Till Kvinna||$1,065,720||$1,331,245|
|Church of Sweden||$540,445||$664,587|
|The Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR)||$355,901||$437,324|
|Swedish Pentecostal Movement (PMU) |
|Swedish Mission Council South||$133,445||$280,423|
As Swedish Cooperative Centre
|Save the Children||$552,228||$875,132|
In addition, Ir Amim submitted documentation to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits that it received 417,479 NIS from the Swedish MFA in 2014. This information is not provided on Sweden’s aid transparency website.
Although it has been described as “work[ing] toward coexistence in Jerusalem,” an Ir Amim official was quoted as saying that the group was “seeking to advance a political agenda, and was not an organization geared to promote coexistence.”
- Islamic Relief Sweden received $1,576,371 in 2015 and $1,184,381 in 2014 from SIDA.
- Islamic Relief Sweden is part of Islamic Relief Worldwide and was founded by The Islamic Association in Sweden.
- On June 19, 2014, Israel’s Defense Minister declared Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) to be illegal, based on its alleged role in funneling money to Hamas, and banned it from operating in Israel and the West Bank. Hamas is a designated terror organization by Israel, the U.S., EU, and Canada. According to news reports, the decision was made after “the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), the coordinator for government activities in the territories, and legal authorities provided incriminating information against IRW.”
- In November 2014, the United Arab Emirates banned IRW as terror organization.
- In January 2016, HSBC Banking group in the UK severed ties with IRW over terror funding fears.
- GCMHP received $937,207 in 2015 and $743,451 in 2014 from SIDA.
- GCMHP uses unsubstantiated medical claims as an avenue to criticize the Israeli government, including allegations that the Jewish state engages in “systematic state organized violence,” “collective punishment” “massacres,” “war crimes,” and a system of “apartheid” against the Palestinian people.
- PMRS received $1,127,021 in 2015 and $1,151,620 in 2014 from SIDA.
- SIDA committed $5,096,840 to PMRS from 2012-2015.
- PMRS repeatedly claims that Israel violates “human rights,” employs methods of “collective punishment,” “deploys non-conventional weapons against civilians” and seeks to “oust the Palestinians… into densely populated enclaves fully controlled by Israel and geographically separate.”
- NRC received $588,557 in 2015 and $665,316 in 2014 from SIDA. SIDA provided 7% of the NRC’s funding in 2014.
- In 2011-2013, NRC budgeted over $20 million for legal advocacy (lawfare), “Information, counselling, and legal assistance (ICLA),” including international delegitimization campaigns.
- ICLA funds “7 NGOs to provide direct legal aid, the programme also works with private lawyers and supports a broad portfolio of public interest litigation.“
- In 2014, SIDA contributed 4 million SEK to the ICLA program in the West Bank and Gaza.
- As of 2013, NRC reported funding 677 cases via NGOs in Israeli courts.
- A lawyer affiliated with the NRC program stated that the objective of these cases are an attempt to “try every possible legal measure to disrupt the Israeli judicial system… as many cases as possible are registered and that as many cases as possible are appealed to increase the workload of the courts and the Supreme Court to such an extent that there will be a blockage.” (emphasis added)
- NRC’s 2015 Report “The Economic Impact of Displacement” was written by Shir Hever of Alternative Information Center.
- Diakonia received $1,684,600 in 2015 and $2,964,258 in 2014 from SIDA.
- Of this, $474,535 in 2015 and $583,098 in 2014 went to the Diakonia International Humanitarian Law (IHL) program.
- Diakonia does not reveal how much it provides to local Israeli and Palestinian organizations.
- Several organizations funded by Diakonia also receive Swedish funds via the Secretariat (“double dipping”).
- Diakonia supports settlement boycotts and accuses Israel of “collective punishment,” “war crimes,” and “violations of international humanitarian law (IHL),” ignoring Hamas terror attacks against Israeli civilians and Israel’s legitimate right to self-defense..
- Diakonia’s “International Humanitarian Law” (IHL) program, which has its own online “Resource Center,” exploits international law, demonizes Israel, and promotes anti-Israel lawfare campaigns and a narrative based solely on Palestinian victimization. The IHL program focuses exclusively on Israel, and Diakonia does not conduct similar types of programs in terms of content or resources involving any other conflict region in the world.
- Diakonia funds some of the most highly biased and politicized NGOs active in the Arab Israeli conflict including: Alternative Information Center (AIC), Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), Physicians for Human Rights- Israel (PHR-I), Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP), and Sabeel. Diakonia’s website lists “Partners” such as Alternative Information Center (AIC) and Sabeel, as well as Al Haq, Al Mezan, BADIL, Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS), and others.
- The Swedish Council of Churches received $711,803 in 2015 and $874,648 in 2014 for EAPPI from SIDA.
- EAPPI consistently demonizes Israel, making accusations of “apartheid,” “war crimes,” and “Bantustans”; calls the security barrier, which has saved countless lives from suicide bombings, “evil.”
- Sweden sends about 20 participants on the EAPPI program annually.
- Oxfam received $711,803 in 2015, as part of funding of $10,795,677 for 2015-2020 from SIDA.
- Oxfam consistently paints a highly misleading picture of the Arab-Israeli conflict, departing from its humanitarian mission focused on poverty. Most Oxfam statements erase all complexity and blame Israel exclusively for the situation, and these distortions and their impacts contribute significantly to the conflict.
- Oxfam claims to work with over 60 partner organizations in Israel and Palestine. They do not reveal which organizations they work with.
Kvinna Till Kvinna (KTK)
- Kvinna Till Kvinna received $1,065,720 in 2015 and $1,331,245 in 2014 from SIDA, as part of a total committed amount of $3,994,227 (2014-2016).
- Their 2014 Annual Report comments that “For women in the Middle East, 2014 was a nightmare. The Islamic State’s brutal rampages struck fear into the hearts of large parts of the region’s populations, Gaza was bombed, and the conflict in Syria continued with undiminished intensity” (emphasis added). They make no mention of attacks of Gaza-based terrorist organizations on Israel.
- In 2013, KTK received 71% of their funding from SIDA. NGOs in “Israel and Palestine” received nearly 10 million SEK in funding from KTK in 2014, 20% of funding distributed to the Middle East region.
- KTK funds Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP), Palestinian Center for Peace and Democracy (PCPD), The Palestinian Working Women Society for Development (PWWSD), and The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR). KTK does not reveal funding amounts and other grant details.
- The Church of Sweden received $540,445 in 2015 and $664,587 in 2014 from SIDA.
- The Church of Sweden promotes settlement good labeling. The Church exploited the 2013 Christmas season to “highlight[ed] the issue of labelling the country of origin of goods and products from illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian territory.”
- CoS supports the Kairos Palestine document, which calls for boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel and denies Jewish historical connections to Israel.
- A Church of Sweden document lists projects and spending of SEK 10,204,907 in the Middle East Region. In many cases, it is unclear how this funding is distributed or where the projects are specifically located.
The Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR)
- ICHR received $355,901 in 2015 and $437,324 in 2014 from SIDA. SIDA has committed $1,311,972 to the ICHR for 2014-2017.
- ICHR refers to the 2014 Gaza War as “Israeli military aggression against the Gaza Strip“
- ICHR is a quasi-governmental Palestinian organization. ICHR refers to explosions in Hamas military training camps and deaths in tunnels between Gaza and Egypt as human rights violations against Palestinians.
Swedish Pentecostal Movement (PMU) now Pingst
- PMU received $83,536 in 2014 from SIDA; Pingst received $432,776 in 2015.
- PMU provided 5.1 million SEK to “Palestine” for development projects and 99,774 SEK for humanitarian projects in 2014.
- PMU claims that they do “not implement the actual projects itself, but instead coordinates humanitarian aid with local and international partner organisations whose values are close to those of PMU; partners who we know have the same outlook on mankind reflected and turned into action to help the most vulnerable people.”
- PMU and Pingst do not reveal which organizations they fund or how much they provide.
Swedish Mission Council South
- Swedish Mission Council South is an umbrella group of 34 Swedish church groups, including Caritas Sweden and PMU.
- Swedish Mission Council South received $133,445 in 2015 and $280,423 in 2014.
- It is unclear from their website and annual reports what the organization does in Palestinian areas.
- Coordinates projects with Diakonia, PMU and the Swedish Church.
- Forum Syd received $690,379 in 2015 and $880,715 in 2014 from SIDA for work in “Palestine”.
- Forum Syd does not appear to work directly in the West Bank and Gaza, however they fund Palestine Solidarity in Sweden (Palestinagrupperna i Sverige – PGS).
- Forum Syd provided PGS with nearly 2 million SEK in 2014 and 2 million in 2013.
We Effect (formerly Swedish Cooperative Centre)
- We Effect claims to be a “development cooperation organisation applying a long-term, rights based approach in order to effect change.”
- We Effect received $583,761 in 2015 and nearly $2 million in 2014 from SIDA (some funding cited as Swedish Cooperative Center.)
- We Effect’s project expenses in the West Bank and Gaza were: 17,687,356 SEK (2014) and 13,424,351 SEK (2013)
- We Effect partners with Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ), who run a program for We Effect aimed “at ‘Improving Good Governance Practices among Palestinian Cooperatives and Community Based Organization (CBOs)’.”
The Olof Palme International Center
- The Olof Palme International Center received $1,207,955 in 2015 and $1,675,789 in 2014 from SIDA.
- Supports a settlement labeling campaign.
- The Olof Palme Center partners with PYALARA – The Palestinian Youth Association for Leadership and Rights Activation and others. They do not reveal funding to these organizations.
- Save the Children received $552,228 in 2015 and $875,132 in 2014 from SIDA.
- Much of the advocacy is unrelated to children or humanitarian issues. Save the Children claims that “In Gaza, the continued Israeli blockade has significantly affected the right of children to food, health and education.”
- Revealing a lack of transparency, SIDA does not reveal details about two programs:
- One, labeled as “Conflict prevention and resolution, peace and security: Civilian peace-building, conflict prevention and resolution,” has received over $4 million since 2004. No further information is provided.
- A second, much larger project, for “Urban development and management,” has received nearly $40 million since 2012. No further information is provided.
In addition, SIDA funded the following evaluations.
- “Research to better promote human rights in Israel/Palestine” program received $8,886 in 2016 (as of April 21, 2016), $42,397 in 2015 and $15,066 in 2014.
- The evaluation was written by Jessica Montell, a member of the Secretariat’s Reference Group and former B’Tselem Executive Director Jessica Montell. The Swedish government failed to respond to NGO Monitor’s concerns about conflicts of interest in this evaluation.
- “Study of effectiveness of core funding to CSOs in the field of Human Rights and IHL in the oPt – Study of effectiveness of core funding to CSOs” received $57,950 in 2015.
- This evaluation was conducted by four members, one of whom appears to have worked for Diakonia, and another a board member of Zochrot.
Some of the organizations listed above transfer funds to local Israeli and Palestinian NGOs. Information here is based on submissions made to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits.
|Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI)||2014||Diakonia||235,956||Educational activity on international humanitarian law|
|Oxfam||36,229||Analysis of two law systems in Area C|
|B'Tselem||2015||Diakonia||182,780||International humanitarian law project|
|Bimkom||2015||Norwegian Refugee Council||40,180||Submit objections regarding planning in Area C|
|2014||66,075||Bedouin planning rights in Area C|
|69,671||Create tools to promote planning rights in Area C and East Jerusalem|
|95,956||Assisting in area planning|
|Coalition of Women for Peace||2015||Kvinna till Kvinna||104284||Women and economic discourse|
|53,716||Economic Activism and Training for Activity|
|Gisha||2014||Norwegian Refugee Council||776,283||Promoting the freedom of movement in the Palestinian territories|
|HaMoked - Center for the Defense of the Individual||2015||Norwegian Refugee Council||285,581||Defending freedom of movement of Palestinians|
|200,456||Defending residency in East Jerusalem for Palestinians|
|2014||950,605||Defending Palestinians human rights in the occupied territories|
|Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I)||2015||Diakonia||218772||Promoting health rights of residents in the West Bank and the public activity of the NGO|
|2014||81,240||Promoting health rights of all groups living under Israeli control and promoting the public activity of the NGO|
|274,211||Project to advance the right to health of residents in the West Bank and Gaza + Mobile clinic and medical seminars, Project to improve the conditions of incarceration and advance the right to health in prisons|
|Yesh Din- Volunteers for Human Rights||2015||Norwegian Refugee Council||132,855||Lands project and Law enforcement|
|289,538||Law enforcement project on Israeli citizens, Jerusalem project|
|313,100||Law enforcement project and Jerusalem|
|2014||341,608||Lands project and Law enforcement|
- In addition, Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ) received 2,544,412 SEK (2014-16) from We Effect. ARIJ is among the leaders of the political warfare against Israel, seeking to further boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS), false accusations of Israeli “apartheid” and “racism,” and support for a Palestinian “right of return”, which is inconsistent with two-state solution.
- Employs attack rhetoric of “ethnic cleansing,” “transfer,” “land grab,” “colonialization activities” in publications and claims Israel guilty of “excessive and disproportionate violations of every existing humanitarian code”.
- Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) received 235,956 NIS from Diakonia and 36,229 NIS from Oxfam in 2014. Accuses the Israeli government of implementing “racist” and “discriminatory” policies of “apartheid,” “collective punishment” and “house demolitions” in “violation of international law.”
- B’Tselem received 182,780 NIS in 2015 and 124,426 in 2014 from Diakonia. B’Tselem has faced serious criticism for its misrepresentations of international law, inaccurate research, and skewed statistics. Former CEO of B’Tselem and author of a SIDA evaluation noted above Jessica Montell has said: “I think the word apartheid is useful for mobilizing people because of its emotional power. In some cases, the situation in the West Bank is worse than apartheid in South Africa.”
- Bimkom received NIS 40,180 in 2015 and NIS 231,702 in 2014 from the NRC. Bimkom’s Executive Director Hedva Radovanitz told U.S. embassy officials in February 2010 “that she believed that in 100 years Israel would be majority Arab and that the disappearance of a Jewish state would not be the tragedy that Israelis fear since it would become more democratic.” (emphasis added)
- Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP) received NIS 104,284 in 2015 and 109,872 in 2014 from Kvinna Till Kvinna. CWP actively supports “the call for cultural and economic boycott, divestment and international sanctions to increase pressure on Israel from the international community…. and is particularly effective against Israel that systematically violates international norms.” Initiated the “Who Profits?” campaign and database, which identifies targets for anti-Israel BDS. CWP officials have been photographed holding a flag of the PFLP terrorist organization. (Following a publication by NGO Monitor, this image was removed from CWP’s Facebook page.)
- Gisha received NIS 776,283 in 2014 from the NRC. Gisha employs “apartheid” rhetoric and vocabulary based on international law and human rights to promote a partisan political and ideological agenda.
- HaMoked received NIS 486,037 in 2015 and 950,605 in 2014 from the NRC. HaMoked regularly petitions the High Court of Justice and makes inaccurate and inflammatory allegations of Israeli “apartheid,” “deportations,” “torture,” and “forcible transfers.” HaMoked accuses Israel of “collective punishment” and the “ghetto-ization of the West Bank” (translated from the original Hebrew).
- Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I) received 218,772 in 2015, and 355,451 in 2014 from Diakonia. PHR-I’s research contains fundamental methodological flaws; ignores Hamas violations and other evidence that does not comport with its one-sided, political agenda; “experts” with backgrounds in anti-Israel advocacy.
- Yesh Din received NIS 735,493 in 2015 and NIS 779,006 in 2014 from the NRC. 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.”
The following organizations receive indirect funding from Sweden. Funding information is not transparent.
- Palestinian Center for Peace and Democracy (PCPD) receives funding from Kvinna Till Kvinna. PCPD supports and promotes anti-Israel BDS (boycotts, divestments and sanctions) campaigns. Utilizes highly biased and inaccurate language, including Israeli “Judaization of East Jerusalem,” “systematic marginalization” of the Palestinian population and “exploiting [Palestinian] natural resources.” It further claims that the “Gaza blockade… has been accentuated by a donor boycott of the Gaza Strip under the guise of the ‘War on Terror,’” thereby dismissing the legitimate threat posed by Hamas terror emanating from the Gaza Strip.
- The Palestinian Working Women Society for Development (PWWSD) receives funding from Kvinna Till Kvinna. PWWSD utilizes highly biased and distorted rhetoric, accusing Israel of “apartheid policies,” “Judaization” of Jerusalem, and “constant violations of Human Rights.” Supports BDS.
- The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) receives funding from Kvinna Till Kvinna. PCHR condemned the rededication of the Hurva Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem as a “war crime,” and called on EU member states to boycott Israeli goods in protest. The Hurva Synagogue, built during the 1700s, was destroyed by Jordanian forces after they attacked and expelled the Jewish population of the Old City in 1948.
- Figures in dollars from Sweden’s aid transparency website OpenAid.