Australia

Profile

Country/TerritoryAustralia

Activity

  • Australian international aid is managed through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).1
  • In 2019-2020, the Australian government committed AUD 44.1 million to projects in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. The anticipated budget in 2020-2021 is AUD 29.8 million.
  • A number of NGOs that receive Australian funding lead campaigns and political activities that are inconsistent with Australian government policies to promote peace and a two-state framework in the Arab-Israeli conflict. These NGOs are centrally involved in anti-Israel BDS campaigns and lawfare.

Australian Middle East NGO Cooperation Agreement (AMENCA)

APHEDA and Ma’an Development Center

  • According to APHEDA’s 2019-2020 annual report, its AMENCA-3 partners are “MA’AN Development Center, The Palestinian Businesswomen’s Association – Asala, and the Institute for Community Partnership of Bethlehem University.” (See more on APHEDA below.)
    • In May 2018, Ma’an Development Center employee Ahmad Abdallah Aladini was killed in the violence on the Gaza border. On May 15, 2018, Ma’an Development Center posted on Facebook a memorial notice for Aladini, referring to him as a “colleague and martyr.” (Ma’an has since removed the post.) Aladini was a “comrade” of the PFLP, a terrorist organization designated as such by the USEU, Canada, and Israel. According to the PFLP, Aladini was active against the “Zionist aggression on the Gaza Strip.” On his Facebook page, Aladini posted PFLP propaganda, including images that glorify violence and terrorists.
    • In June 2018, Ma’an Field Coordinator in Ramallah Hamza Zbeldat mourned the loss of a PFLP member, describing him as “my master” and as a person who “taught me.”

CARE and Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem (ARIJ)

  • CARE partners with Applied Research Institute in Jerusalem (ARIJ). (See more on CARE below.)
    • 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” that is inconsistent with two-state solution.
    • In April 2019, ARIJ released a “Daily Report” that included the classic antisemitic attack on the Talmud in its rhetoric used against Jews. The report claimed that “over 250 settlers, stormed an archaeological site in Al-Jib village…and performed Talmudic rituals” and accused Jews of performing “Talmudic rituals in celebration of Jewish holidays” and performing “Talmudic rituals in the town.” In a February 2017 report, ARIJ claimed that the “Talmudic rituals” were in “blatant provocation to local residents.”

Oxfam Australia and Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC)

  • Oxfam Australia partners with the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees. (See more on Oxfam below.)
    • PARC’s rhetoric includes accusations of “apartheid,” “collective punishment,” “ethnic cleansing,” and “war crimes.”
    • According to PARC’s “2014-2018 Strategic Plan,” one of PARC’s strategic goals is “Holding the occupation accountable towards Palestinian rights related to the agricultural sector and rural areas” by “Boycotting…Israelis’ settlement products” and “Supporting the cooperation and coordination with the boycott committees.”

World Vision

  • World Vision was receiving funds under AMENCA-3 until the arrest of its manager of operations in Gaza for diverting funds to Hamas. According to an October 2018 document published by the General Delegation of Palestine to Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific, “World Vision has still not resumed receiving development assistance from DFAT for its projects in the PTs (Palestinian Territories), undermining Australia’s goals of encouraging agricultural growth, particularly in the Gaza Strip where World Vision is the only NGO to operate under the AMENCA program.”
  • On June 15, 2016, Mohammad El-Halabi, a manager of operations for World Vision Jerusalem-West Bank-Gaza, was arrested by Israeli authorities. He was accused of diverting approximately 60% of the World Vision’s Jerusalem West Bank Gaza budget to the terrorist organization for tunnels and fund other terrorist activity. The siphoned funds amount to approximately $50 million.
    • According to the charges, El-Halabi created humanitarian projects and fictitious agricultural associations to act as a cover for the hijacking of monies and materials for Hamas.
    • As of June 13, 2021 the trial is still ongoing.
  • Following the allegations against and arrest of El-Halabi, the Australian government announced the suspension of funding to World Vision projects in the West Bank and Gaza.

AMENCA, Earlier Phases

Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP)

APHEDA

World Vision Australia

  • In 2019-2020, World Vision Australia received AUD 26.9 million from ANCP.
  • World Vision Australia has financially supported the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Network, which was established “by church leaders who saw a particular role for Christians to advocate from a faith perspective about Palestinian human rights.”
    • The Ecumenical Network “find[s] inspiration and direction from the Kairos Palestine document,” which calls for BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) against Israel; denies the Jewish historical connection to Israel in theological terms; and rationalizes, justifies, and trivializes terrorism, calling it “legal resistance.”

Act for Peace

Oxfam Australia

  • In 2020, Oxfam Australia received AUD 20.9 million from DFAT.
  • 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.

CARE Australia

  • In FY 2019-2020, CARE Australia received AUD 12.2 million from DFAT.
  • CARE Australia partners with the Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem (ARIJ). (See more about ARIJ above.)
  • CARE had been operating in the West Bank and Gaza since 1948. However on August 5, 2014, following the 2014 Gaza war, CARE WBG “temporarily suspended normal operations in Gaza, and will recommence once the security situation allows.” While CARE WBG has posted job openings on its Facebook page, it has not updated its website since August 2014, and therefore it is unclear to what extent activities have resumed.
  • Signatory to the 2015 Association of International Development Agencies (AIDA) joint agency briefing paper titled, “Charting a New Course: Overcoming the Stalemate in Gaza,” misrepresenting international law and distorting legal terminology to place primary blame for the 2014 Gaza war on Israel. The paper omits Hamas rocket attacks against Israeli civilians, as well as terror tunnels running beneath the border into Israel. The paper further encourages contact with Hamas, stating: “Restricted contact can undermine humanitarian access and implementation of humanitarian programmes…”

ActionAid Australia

  • In 2020-2021, ActionAid Australia received AUD 150,800 from ANCP for a project with ActionAid Palestine titled “empowered and resilient women in Hebron Old City.”
  • ActionAid leads tours in Bethlehem and Hebron where participants are encouraged to “come face-to-face with the longstanding Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” “illegal Israeli settlements,” and the “political struggles between locals and the Israeli occupation over land, water, and the building of the Israeli separation wall.”

Footnotes

  1. In 2013, the agency formerly responsible for managing overseas aid, AusAid, was integrated into the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

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