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  • The European Union (EU) provides substantial funding to highly politicized NGOs active in the Arab-Israeli conflict through various funding mechanisms. Due to the highly complex and poorly coordinated nature of EU aid and to the lack of a consolidated database differentiating between NGOs and other types of organizations, it is impossible to determine the exact amount or proportions of EU funding to civil society organizations.
  • In 2015, the European Parliament’s (EP) Committee on Budgetary Control (CONT) commissioned a study on “Democratic accountability and budgetary control of non-governmental organisations funded by the EU budget.” On 16 March, 2017, CONT published a draft for a motion for a European Parliament resolution based on the study’s findings. The draft directly refers to “other studies on the topic of NGO financing, such as the ‘Value for money’ series of reports by NGO Monitor.” Consequently, the issue of EU funding to NGOs is now being widely debated in Brussels.
  • Organizations receiving EU funding lead campaigns and political activities that are inconsistent with the EU’s policies of promoting peace and a two-state framework in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Click for a compilation of articles highlighting NGO Monitor’s contributions to the broader conversation about NGOs, funding, and accountability in the European Union. These include blogs and op-eds written by NGO Monitor and staff, as well as articles citing NGO Monitor, or otherwise relevant to our mission.

Incitement to violence

  • On May 17, 2017, the European Parliament passed a resolution concerning the Middle East peace process, which “stresses the responsibility of relevant EU authorities in continuing to ensure that no EU funding can be directly or indirectly diverted to terrorist organisations or activities that incite these acts” (emphasis added). Contrary to this statement, the EU funds organizations that incite violence and/or justify terror.
  • Ma’an Network received a €427,200 three-year EU grant in December 2016, titled “Media for Change: Leveraging Media Initiatives to Promote Participatory Engagement in the Peace Process.”
    • On August 1, 2017, Ma’an Network published an article in Arabic titled “Song in Hebrew in Defense of Al Aqsa Mosque,” featuring a video by the same name. The video shows footage of terrorist attacks committed against Israelis, accompanied by a Hebrew song with the lyrics “I will clean my country of every Jew / I will strive for it with all my being” (NGO Monitor translation). The article reports that the video “promises to clean Palestine of Jews, and protests against Israeli security measures,” with additional commentary claiming that “Israel deteriorated the situation in Al Aqsa mosque when it installed metal detectors in the entrance to Al Aqsa compound” (NGO Monitor translation). Following widespread condemnation, Ma’an removed the article from its website and the video from its YouTube account. To date, Ma’an has neither condemned the video, nor apologized for featuring it uncritically.
  • The Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO) is co-grantee of a €446,482 EU grant (2016-2019) titled “Contributing to the respect, protection and promotion of the right to association in the Gaza Strip.”
    • In June 2017, PNGO condemned Norway for pulling funding from the Women’s Affairs Technical Committee (WATC) due to the latter’s naming of a youth center after Dalal Mughrabi, a terrorist who in 1978 murdered 37 civilians, including 12 children. PNGO referred to Mughrabi as a “Palestinian Woman Freedom Fighter,” stating that “PNGO believes this is another form of foreign domination and oppression calling Palestinian resistance a terrorist resistance against Israeli occupation…PNGO stands strong against conditional funding, especially when it threatens Palestinian right to resist foreign domination, exploitation, oppression and occupation” and that “there is a difference between freedom fighters and terrorists” (emphases added).
  • Manal Tamimi, an employee of the EU-funded Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counseling (WCLAC), frequently utilizes antisemitic and violent rhetoric and imagery on social media. In September 2015, Tamimi tweeted, “Vampire zionist celebrating their Kebore day by drinking Palestinian bloods, yes our blood is pure & delicious but it will kill u at the end.” In August 2015, Tamimi tweeted, “I do hate Israel ,i (sic) wish a thrid Intefada (sic) coming soon and people rais (sic) up and kill all these zionist settlers everywhere.” On December 8, 2016 she similarly tweeted that “we will keep resisting until the last Zionist either got killed or leave Palestine.”
  • Far from condemning her actions, WCLAC filed a complaint with the United Nations over the “Frequent targeting of Palestinian human rights defender: Mrs. Manal Tamimi.”
  • UN Special Rapporteur Michael Lynk had included Manal Tamimi in his report targeting Israel, describing her as “leader of the protest movement” and giving her the prestigious title of Human Rights Defender. In response to NGO Monitor’s complaint to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Commissioner’s office stated that “the information you have provided has been taken seriously and the reference to Manal Tamimi will be removed from the edited version of the report.”
    • On May 9, the NGO Monitor received a letter stating that the report had been updated and was accessible on the OHCHR website. This edited version contains no references to Manal Tamimi, and the original report has been removed. The report can now be accessed here (symbol number A/HRC/34/70).
  • WCLAC, together with two other partner organizations, received €2.5 million from the European Union’s East Jerusalem Programme for a project ending April 2019. In February 2017, Tamimi was invited to speak at an EU-funded conference in Barcelona on “preventing violent extremism.”
  • An EU “Cultural Diplomacy” grant of €200,000 (2015-2017) was given to three Palestinian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for the stated purpose of “increase[ing] public awareness of EU core values…” Among the recipients is the Ramallah-based group Popular Art Centre (PAC).
    • In February 2016, PAC organized a ceremony in honor of “Palestinian martyrs” whose homes were demolished, featuring the “father of the martyr Baha Eleyan” as a speaker (NGO Monitor translation). Eleyan was one of two terrorists to board a bus in Jerusalem in October 2015 armed with a gun and a knife, murdering three and injuring seven. The same ceremony featured a musical performance captioned “no to laying down guns” (NGO Monitor translation).
  • Burj Luq-Luq is co-grantee of a €849,850 EU grant (2015-2018), titled “Fostering Socio-Economic Empowerment and Protection of Vulnerable Palestinian Communities in East Jerusalem.”

Support to BDS organizations

  • NGO Monitor reviewed a number of EU regional funding programs designated for Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, and found that 29 out of 100 EU grants administered through the frameworks reviewed fund BDS organizations (€16.7 million out of €67.1 million – roughly 25%). 42 out of 180 EU grantees in total support BDS – either through participation in activities and events, signing of petitions and initiatives, and/or membership in explicit BDS platforms. Several organizations were the recipients of more than one grant.

Lack of transparency

  • The EU fails to abide by minimum standards of transparency and accountability, and its selection process of project funding is secret. The EU does not reveal information about selection committee members or their considerations. Moreover, project evaluations are not released, making it impossible to independently verify that projects achieve their stated goals and reflect the foreign policy objectives of the EU.
  • NGOs and NGO projects are selected for EU funding by unknown officials in local EC offices. They may have close connections to the NGOs that receive funding, a clear conflict of interest, or may be guided by ideological considerations. Despite requests from Members of European Parliament (MEPs) and NGO Monitor, the names and backgrounds of the decision makers have not been released.
  • Limited funding information is available on the websites of the Delegation of the EU to Israel in Tel Aviv and the EU Technical Assistance Office in East Jerusalem. (See Table A below for available funding information.)1

Funding Mechanisms

EIDHR

Peacebuilding Initiative (PbI)

  • The EU’s Peacebuilding Initiative (formerly the EU Partnership for Peace Programme-PfP) has an average annual budget of €5 million; the EU contributions per project range from between €200,000 and €500,000.
    • Notably, the PfP program was designated for joint projects involving Israeli as well as Palestinian organizations, meant to “build trust and understanding between societies in the region.”
  • However, the EU-funded PfP project website, launched by Applied Research Institute Jerusalem and Land Research Center, grossly diverges from the EU program objectives:

Monitoring Israeli Colonizing activities in the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza is a joint project between the Applied Research Institute in Jerusalem (ARIJ) and the Land Research Center (LRC). The project, funded by the European Union, aims at inspecting and scrutinizing Israeli colonizing activities in their different forms in the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza, and to disseminate the related information to policy makers in the European countries and to the general public” (emphasis added).

  •  Another PbI project, “Building Strategic Capacity: Empowering Civil, Political and Emerging Constituencies in Palestine and Israel” (€488,098, 2016-2019) is co-implemented, among others, by the Oxford Research Group (ORG) and PalThink for Strategic Studies (PalThink).
    • ORG’s main project on the Arab-Israeli conflict, The Palestine Strategy Group, published a strategy report that supportsresistance in all its forms including the growing global movement for boycott sanctions and divestment” (emphasis added). Dr. Husam Zomlot, part of ORG’s Middle East Team and co-founder and coordinator of its Palestine Strategy Group, claimed in an interview on BBC (BBC Interview, 20 Aug 2014 from 39:21) that “They [Israelis] are fabricating all these stories about beheading journalists in Iraq… it happened somewhere else in Iraq, as if they are fabricating also the story of the Holocaust, that it happened in Europe, not the story itself, but the reason why they are doing this, and using so many other examples, to justify their murder of a nation.”
  • PalThink’s 2015 Meet the Youth initiative focused “on strengthening the Palestinian youth and their engagement in civic and political life in Gaza,” by inviting Hamas’ Basem Na’im and the PFLP’s Kayed al-Ghoul to speak with teenagers.
    • In a January 2016 article, al-Ghoul called for increased terrorism against Israelis, stating that “The armed resistance is a major form of resistance for the Palestinian people. It must be expanded and put to good use…”
    • In June 2016, Na’im tweeted “V danergous! #Israel Rabbi call 2 poison the water in the #WestBank 2displace Palestinians from their land #BDS” as part of a false libel against Israel, reminiscent of a classical antisemitic canard.

Civil Society Organisations- Local Authorities (CSO-LA)

  • The EU program Civil Society Organisations-Local Authorities (CSO-LA, formerly Non-State Actors) is “aimed at strengthening the capacity of civil society organisations and local authorities are a pre-condition for a more equitable, open and democratic society through support to their ‘own initiatives’ (sic).”
    • Movimiento por la Paz, el Desarme y la Libertad (MPDL) and Health Work Committees (HWC) were co-recipients of a €356,350 NSA grant titled “Contributing to the protection and promotion of rights of PwDs and to their enhanced participation in increasingly inclusive and accessible communities in Hebron district” (2014-2016).
      • In 2014, MPDL published a manifesto on the “genocide in Gaza,” alleging “war crimes and crimes against humanity” and condemning “the atrocious crimes against a defenseless population, as well as racist attacks carried out by the Israeli army, police and settlers against Palestinians from the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Israel.” MPDL called to “Stop arms trade and military collaboration with Israel,” claiming that “Each weapon purchased by Spain from Israel is a proven weapon against the children of Gaza. Each weapon sold to Israel is a weapon that will be used against civilians in clear violation of International Humanitarian Law. Enough complicity” (NGO Monitor translation).
      • The late Dr. Ahmad Maslamani, co-founder of HWC, was a “Central Committee member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine” (as stated by the PFLP itself) – a terrorist organization designated as such by the EU, US, Canada, and Israel. Daoud Ghoul, director of development projects and programs in Jerusalem, was convicted by an Israeli court of being a PFLP member (decision 19274-07-15). HWC refers to the state of Israel as an “Israeli entity without any right on the land” and to the “Nakba” as “the largest and the most dreadful tragedy in the modern era.”
    • Karama Organization has received a €833,588 four-year CSO-LA grant titled “Proud and productive food security entrepreneurs in Palestinian refugee camps” (2016-2020). Karama falsely claims that “As a result of the [second] Intifada, Israel adopted the policy of eliminating potential enemies of the Israeli state, killing thousands of innocent civilians and destroying their homes” (emphasis added).

Click to read Parliamentary Questions Related to NGO Monitor Research

Table A

Grants based on information provided by various EU websites and the EU’s Financial Transparency System

NGOFunding and YearsEU Funding FrameworkProject Title
Applied Research Institute- Jerusalem (ARIJ) and Land Research Center (LRC)€474,732 (2016-2019)ENI/PbIAdvocating for a Sustainable and Viable Resolution of Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Ma’an Network€427,200 (2016-2019)EIDHR Media for Change: Leveraging Media Initiatives to Promote Participatory Engagement in the Peace Process
Oxford Research Group (ORG), IL’AM Arab Center for Media Freedom Development and Research, Palestinian Forum for Israeli Studies Association, PalThink for Strategic Studies€488,098 (2016-2019)ENI/PbIBuilding Strategic Capacity: Empowering Civil, Political and Emerging Constituencies in Palestine and Israel
Parents Circle Families Forum (PCFF), Ajyal As-Salam Generations for Peace€480,000 (2016-2019)ENI/PbINarratives in Action: Building Engaged Communities through the Power of Reconciliation (NIA)
Al-Dameer Association for Supporting Prisoners and Human Rights, Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO)€446,482 (2016-2019)EIDHR Contributing to the respect, protection and promotion of the right to association in the Gaza Strip
Karama €749,088DCI/CSO-LAProud and productive food security entrepreneurs in Palestinian refugee camps
Movimiento por la Paz, el Desarme y la Libertad (MPDL) and Health Work Committees (HWC)€356,350 (2014-2016)DCI/NSAContributing to the protection and promotion of rights of PwDs and to their enhanced participation in increasingly inclusive and accessible communities in Hebron district
I'lam€365,803 (2017-2019)ENPIThe Creation of the Freedom Protection Council: Ensuring democratic space for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Israel
Women Against Violence€299,966 (2017-2019)ENPIThe Working Group for Equality in Personal Status Issues
Adalah€717,994 (2013-2016)EIDHRCombating Impunity: Torture and CIDT Prevention, Accountability and Rehabilitation in Israel/oPt
Baladna and Adalah€244,371 (2015-2017)EIDHRPromoting and Protecting Freedom of Expression Rights of Arab Youth in Israel
Baladna and Kayan€231,939 (2014-2016)EIDHRArab Youth Against "Honour Killings"
B'Tselem and Bimkom€250,000 (2015-2017)EIDHRMaintaining Human Rights of Vulnerable Palestinian Communities at Risk of Forced Displacement in Area C
Bimkom and ACRI€250,000 (2014-2016)ENPI (sub-instrument unspecified)Promoting Recognition of Bedouin Villages based on their Rights, Needs and Active Participation
ACRI, The New Israel Fund- Shatil, and Sikkuy€253,289 (2016-2017)EIDHRFreedom of speech and combatting hate speech in Israel
B'Tselem and HaMoked€204,576 (2016-2017)EIDHRYouth in Detention: Preventing mistreatment of detained Palestinian minors in East Jerusalem
Hamoked€654,423 (2013-2016)EIDHRWriting Wrongs: Restoring Justice and Dignity to Victims of Torture
Breaking the Silence and Ir Amim€236,000 (2016-2017)EIDHREducating for Change: Human Rights Education in Israeli Society
Mossawa€499,700 (2017-2019)ENPILocal Action for National Impact: Strengthening Arab Civil Society in Israel
€250,000 (2014-2016) *with four other NGOsEIDHRTogether for a Better Future: The Coalition against Racism in Israel
Associazione Comunit Papa Giovanni XXIII and Rabbis for Human Rights€288,177 (2015-2017)ENPI/PfPLand of Hopes and Dreams - Spreading Nonviolent Conflict Transformation in the West Bank
Yesh Din€180,000 (2014-2016)EIDHRThe Road to Dispossession:Promoting the right to property and State adherence to the Rule of Law in the West Bank
Yesh Din and Emek Shaveh€240,000 (2016-2017)EIDHRLands and Cultural Heritage Rights in Area C of the West Bank
Parents Circle Families Forum (PCFF)€480,000 (2017-2019)ENPINarratives in Action: Building Engaged Communities through the Power of Reconciliation
Physicians for Human Rights – Israel (PHR-I) and Hotline for Refugees and Migrants€868,627 (2013-2016)EIDHRON.TO: Stopping the torture of refugees from Sub-Saharan countries along the migratory route to Northern Africa
Applied Research Institute- Jerusalem (ARIJ)€471,542 (2014-2016)
DCI/NSA-LATowards Better Services in the Vulnerable Communities of the oPt through engaging Palestinian Non State Actors in Local Community
Applied Research Institute- Jerusalem (ARIJ) Land Research Center, and Kerem Navot€497,040 (2014-2016)ENPI/PfPAddressing Israeli Actions and its Land Policies in the oPt
Oxfam Novib and Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR)€411,861 (2014-2016)EIDHRStrengthening human rights and access to information
Handicap International, National Society for Rehabilitation, and Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS)€743,206 (2014-2017)DCI/NSA-LAFostering multistakeholders mobilisation for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in their community in marginalized areas of oPt
Oxfam Novib, Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS), Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling (WCLAC), Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC)€2,500,000 (end date 12/2016) ENPI/East Jerusalem ProgrammeProtect the rights and improve resilience of vulnerable communities in East Jerusalem - Phase II
Y-care and YMCA- East Jerusalm€491,083 (2012-2017)DCI/NSA-LAEmpowering socially excluded young women in the oPt to become economically active and advocate for their rights with local decision-makers
Palestinian Hydrology Group €391,772 (2014-2016)EIDHRStrengthen capacity of Civil Society organisations in C area and Seam Zone to promote water as human right issue
DanChurch Aid and PalVision€1,495,377 (end date 02/2019)ENPI/East Jerusalem ProgrammePromoting Change and Youth leadership in East Jerusalem
PalVision (and two other NGOs)€950,000 (end date 02/2016)ENPI/East Jerusalem ProgrammeYouth Actors for Positive change in East Jerusalem

Table B

EU Funding to Israeli NGOs

*Data taken from the Israeli Registrar of Non-profits

 
NGODonor (as reported by NGO)YearSumProjectTotal
ACRIEuropean Union201790,613Activities to promote the rights of the Bedouin in the Negev1,998,762
414,161Freedom of expression in Israeli democracy
2016202,130Project on immigrants’ rights
531,438Freedom of speech in the Israeli democracy
28,253Arab minority planning rights
222,232Educational activity
2015444,198Human rights protection of residents in area C
65,737Developing education plan against rasicm
AdalahEuropean Commission2015221,476Freedom of speech project for Arab youth2,133,224
1,854,105Torture Project
57,643Human Rights among Arabs-Bedouins in the Negev
B’TselemEuropean Commission201753,932Detention Project2,057,222
126,803Project for Detaining Minors in East Jerusalem
European Endowment for Democracy20179,199Human rights defenders project
201634,010Human rights defenders project
European Union2016402,230Supporting communites at risk of displacement project
Embassy - EU20153,852Supporting communities at risk project
European Commission2015138,358Detention of minors project
2015132,088Supporting detentions project
2015540015Supporting communities at risk project
2015532,023Supporting project against torture
European Endowment for Democracy201584,712Human rights defenders project
BaldanaEuropean Union201790,164Supporting the project 'Preventing women’s murder in the arab society', cooperation with the NGO 'Kayan - Feminist organization'2,365,631
337,855Supporting the project "Human Rights - Freedom of Expression and Expression in Arab Society" in cooperation with Adalah - The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel
2015532,241Supporting freedom of speech project and rising awareness to proper use of the social media, with 'Adalah' and 'Hamala'
482,635Supporting the project 'Preventing women’s murder in the arab society', cooperation with the NGO 'Kayan - Feminist organization'
481,079Supporting freedom of speech project and rising awareness to proper use of the social media, with 'Adalah' and 'Hamala'
441,657Supporting the project 'Preventing women’s murder in the arab society', cooperation with the NGO 'Kayan - Feminist organization'
BimkomEuropean Union2017383,920City renewal project1,131,226
2016111,614Planning rights for Lod
69,596Planning rights in Area C
201579,565Planning rights of recognized Bedouin towns
486,531Recognizing Bedouin towns in the Negev
Breaking the SilenceEuropean Commission2015518,321Educational activity518,321
Emek ShaveEIDHR2017388,734Watch project, legal and public activity related to archeology in era C in the west bank887,983
2015499,249Watch, writing report and public activity regarding archaeological sites in the west bank.
HamokedEuropean Union2017333,376Defending residency of Palestinians in East Jerusalem759,621
2015426,245Joint project with B’tselem on defending imprisoned minors in East Jerusalem
Ir AmimEuropean Endowment for Democracy201651,614Overall use for the organization144,685
201543,151Overall use for the organization
49,920Overall use for the organization
Kerem NavotEU via Applied Research Institute - Jerusalem20166,895Funding research19,980
3,425Funding research
9,660Funding research
MossawaEuropean Union201621,070advocacy for cultural rights745,874
63,016youth camp, groups of young people from different countries meet, live together and work on joint projects for short periods
7,252advocacy for cultural rights
99,248Strengthening the society and lobby the decision makers Joint project of a number of NGOs
2015413,878Strengthening the society and lobby the decision makers Joint project of a number of NGOs
141,410Strengthening the institutional and cultural organizations and lobby the decision makers. Joint project of a number of NGOs
Negev Coexistance ForumEuropean Union201519,480Recognition of land rights advocacy project19,480
PCFFEuropean Union2017611,196NIA project for dialogue and discussion of groups from both peoples. (probably refers to first quarter)1,621,596
20151,010,400Donation for bi-annual project of know the other’s narrative with group meetings and lectures to different audience.
PHR-IEuropean Union201510,158Promoting health rights for the disadvantaged hurt by the citizenship law and promoting the public activity of the NGO10,158
Public Committee Against Torture in IsraelTurkish Human Rights Foundation201583,873Legal Activity363,582
279,709Legal Activity
Rabbis for Human RightsEuropean Union201678,068Promoting human rights in the Israeli legal system343,684
2015265,616Legal work
Women’s Fund for Human Rights (Machsom Watch)European Union201560,855Implementation organization activity60,855
Yesh DinThe European Commision201772,788Lands project649,693
2015159,480Lands project and Law enforcement (via Emek Shave)
334,280Lands project and Law enforcement
83,145Lands project and Law enforcement

Footnotes

  1. FAdditional funding information is available based on Israeli NGO financial reports to the Israeli Registrar of Non Profits, as mandated by the Israeli transparency law; see Table B below for detailed funding information).

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