Bread for the World Funds and Promotes BDS, Despite Claims to the Contrary
On June 13, 2017, German church aid organization Brot für die Welt (Bread for the World, BfW) issued a press release in response to a Bild article about the Arte documentary “Chosen and Excluded – the hatred of Jews in Europe” -which highlighted BfW funding to anti-Israel NGOs. The press release stresses, “For Bread for the World any promotion ends with the denial of Israel’s right to exist, calling for the boycott of goods from Israel, or promotion of antisemitism” (NGO Monitor translation).
This would be an important statement of policy, if it reflected the reality of BfW funding.
However, contrary to its claims, BfW has funded a number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that lead BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns against Israel. In addition, BfW has itself promoted the Kairos Palestine document, which calls for BDS and echoes antisemitic supersessionist themes.
Funding for BDS groups:
According to their submissions to the Israeli Registrar for Non-Profits, Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP) and Who Profits received NIS 565,930 from BfW in 2012-2016. Who Profits originated as a project of CWP “in response to the Palestinian Call for boycott, divestment, and sanction (BDS) on Israel”; it is now an independent daughter organization entirely dedicated to BDS efforts. As of June 21, no information has been made available for 2017.
CWP: On July 12, 2015, CWP reaffirmed its “support [for] the call for cultural and economic boycott, divestment and international sanctions to increase pressure on Israel from the international community.” CWP has initiated BDS campaigns against major Israeli banks and the pharmaceutical industry, Elbit and G4S security companies, Ahava cosmetics, and Agrexco produce.
Who Profits: Who Profits initiates international BDS campaigns, targeting Israeli and foreign banks, security companies, civil infrastructure facilities, and private companies. Who Profits further identifies companies for other BDS activists to target.
Promotion of Kairos Palestine document
In a brochure promoting “fair tourism in Israel and Palestine taking into account international law,” BfW and Catholic aid organization Misereor dedicate an entire section (p. 10-13) to the Kairos Palestine document, described by them as “an appeal meant for Palestine internally, as well as world-wide, in order to draw attention to the situation of Christians in Palestine. The initiators ask for support for their vision of a society ‘based on love, trust and justice’” (NGO Monitor translation).
In fact, the Kairos Palestine Document denies the Jewish historical connection to Israel in theological terms, calls to mobilize churches worldwide in the call for BDS, and characterizes terrorist acts of “armed resistance” as “Palestinian legal resistance.”
The brochure also recommends tours with the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), describing it as “amazingly informative and self-critical.” ICAHD promotes BDS and advocates for a one-state solution.