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  • The European Union (EU) provides substantial funding to politicized NGOs active in the Arab-Israeli conflict through various funding mechanisms including the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO), EU Peacebuilding Initiative (EUPI), European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI), and the Civil Society Organisations – Local Authorities (CSO-LA). 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 2018-2019, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) and the European Parliament’s (EP) Committee on Budgetary Control (CONT) published reports on transparency and accountability in EU funding to NGOs. The reports noted significant structural issues with EU monitoring and control mechanisms, especially as they related to the activities of beneficiary organizations receiving funds. (See below for further information regarding these reports.)
  • 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. Many of these organizations also have ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a designated terrorist entity in the EU, US, Canada, and Israel.
  • Many organizations receiving EU funding lead campaigns and political activities that are inconsistent with the EU’s policies of supporting a two-state framework to the Arab-Israeli conflict, promoting peace, and rejecting BDS.
  • The EU expressly opposes BDS. When confronted by evidence of funding for NGOs with agendas or values that contradict EU policy, the EU’s recurring response is that it “funds projects submitted by NGOs, in line with [the] EU’s fundamental principles and values, but not NGOs themselves.”

Lack of NGO transparency and accountability [ECA/CONT REPORTS]

  • In 2018, following significant discussions in Brussels regarding the issue of EU funding to NGOs—which NGO Monitor actively participated in—the ECA issued its special report “Transparency of EU funds implemented by NGOs: more effort needed.” The report concluded that the Commission “was not sufficiently transparent regarding the implementation of EU funds by NGOs.”
  • While the ECA highlighted that transparency “should cover the entire process and all implementation layers, from selection of NGO-led actions, through the collection of information on these actions and its disclosure,” the Commission suffered from significant shortcomings. Examples include:
    • The Commission “not having comprehensive information” particularly with regards to “networks of international NGOs and projects under indirect management.”
    • The Commission “does not always collect and check information on EU funds implemented by NGOs appropriately.”
    • “Commission systems do not always record information on funds received by all the beneficiaries of a contract.”
    • In external action, the Commission does not have comprehensive information on all NGOs supported.”
  • Similarly, in 2019, the EP and CONT released their report, “Democratic accountability and budgetary control of non-governmental organisations financed from the EU budget.” This study was a follow up to a 2016 study of the same name, which noted significant shortcomings related to transparency, information management, and accountability. Many of these same issues remain unresolved in the 2019 update. Examples include:
    • A noted lack of transparency with the Commission and the FTS database, with report authors noting that “information on disbursements is managed by individual Commission departments and is not published.”
    • Compliance with Commission contractual requirements “still does not ensure transparency and accountability where EU funds are concerned.”
    • Concerning recommendations from the 2016 report, the authors noted, “Recently updated Commission visibility and communications guidelines do not address key systemic recommendations made in the previous study that were intended to make information more easily accessible, and to provide a longer-term picture of the role of EU funding to individual NGOs.”

The European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR)

  • The European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) is one of the EU’s major financial assistance programs and has a budget of over €1.3 billion for the period of 2014-2020. This funding is aimed at providing “assistance to the development and consolidation of democracy, the rule of law and the respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms.”
  • Many of the NGOs chosen by EIDHR to promote the principles of human rights and democracy, particularly in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, are highly politicized and consistently present partisan positions. Some of these EU-funded organizations have engaged in activities that stand in direct contravention to official EU policy, such as referring to Israel as an “apartheid state” and supporting lawfare and boycott efforts (BDS). Such politicized agendas and activities are inconsistent with the ideals and principles of EIDHR, as well as EU foreign policy. (For more information on EIDHR, read NGO Monitor’s report “The European Instrument for Democracy & Human Rights (EIDHR): EU Funding to Israel, West Bank, and Gaza 2014-2017.”)

Incitement to Violence/Ties to the PFLP

NGOs that Promote Antisemitism and BDS

Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO)

EU Peacebuilding Initiative (PbI)

  • Formerly known as the European Partnership for Peace (PfP), the global objective for the EU’s Peacebuilding Initiative is to “support and promote the conditions for a sustainable resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through civil society and citizens’ positive engagement.” Specifically, the program seeks to “contribute to addressing the underlying causes and to re-build the conditions for a dialogue between Israeli and Palestinians.” To facilitate this goal, the program has a budget of €9,400,000 for 2018-2019.
  • In 2016-2019, Applied Research Institute- Jerusalem (ARIJ) and Land Research Center (LRC) received €474,732 from PbI for “Advocating for a Sustainable and Viable Resolution of Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.” As part of the project, the NGOs launched an EU-funded website that features blatant propaganda and allegations such as “Throughout the years of occupation of the Palestinian territory, Israel has engaged in excessive and disproportionate violations of every existing humanitarian code” (emphasis added) and refers to the Israel Defense Force as the “Israel occupation Forces.”
    • The website provides a platform for ARIJ and LRC’s distorted historical account, claiming that “The State of Israel was founded on approximately four-fifths of Palestine, taking more land than the United Nations’ 1947 Partition Plan had proposed,” and that “During and after the 1948 War, a transfer policy was carried out and four out of every five Palestinians in the area inside Israel became refugees.” This “historical” summary omits the context of an Arab rejection of partition and an Arab-initiated war against Israel, and falsely alleges an Israeli “transfer policy.”
    • 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.
  • In 2016-2019, PbI granted €488,098 to the Oxford Research Group (ORG) and PalThink for Strategic Studies (PalThink) for a project titled “Building Strategic Capacity: Empowering Civil, Political and Emerging Constituencies in Palestine and Israel.”
    • ORG’s main project on the Arab-Israeli conflict, The Palestine Strategy Group, published a strategy report that supports “resistance 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.”
    • In 2015, PalThink’s 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 2016-2019, PbI granted €480,000 to the Israeli NGO Parents Circle Families Forum (PCFF) for “Building Engaged Communities through the Power of Reconciliation.”
    • While PCFF advocates for “reconciliation,” “dialogue,” and “knowledge of the other,” it exploits the grief of families and the language of peace to promote a highly divisive, contentious, and narrow personal agenda.

European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI)

Civil Society Organisations – Local Authorities (CSO-LA)

  • Officially a program belonging to the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI), the CSO-LA thematic programme 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).”
    • The Palestinian NGO Karama Organization 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
New Israel Fund (Shatil), Bimkom €386,259 (2018-2021)N/AGood Governance and Strategic Planning in Laqye: Strengthening the Abilities of the Local Authority
Sikkuy the Association for the Advancement of Civic Equality€383,909 (2018-2020)N/ABuilding the capacity of the Ara-Arara Local Authority to increase Ara-Arara women’s employment and advance women’s participation in permanent municipal employment forums and programs
Mossawa, The Arab Center for Alternative Planning (ACAP)€400,000 (2018-2020)N/AEmpowering a Community in Crisis: Jisr il Zarqa
Ir Amim€330,000 (2018-2020)N/AEngaging West Jerusalem Civil Society in Practical Peacebuilding for Jerusalem as the Rightful Home and Future Capital of Two Peoples
Israel Social TV€500,000 (2018-2020)N/AMedia Impacting Conflict Transformation: From Local Action to Cross-border and Global Outreach
Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), Israeli Center for Citizens’ Empowerment, The Public Knowledge Workshop Association€299,988 (2018-2020)N/AEradicating racism and discrimination in Israel through government compliance with decision 2254(ETP/16)
Emek Shaveh€396,876 (2018-2020)N/APolicy Advocacy for a Pluralistic Jerusalem
Ir Amim, Bimkom€300,000 (2018-2020)N/ACommunity-Based Action to Resist Discriminatory Planning and Home Demolitions in East Jerusalem
Bimkom, B’Tselem€269,390 (2018-2019)N/APutting Unrecognized Palestinian Communities on the Map: Advocacy and Virtual Recognition To Secure Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law for Area C Communities
HaMoked, Emek Shaveh€300,000 (2018-2020)N/APreserving a Palestinian Way of Life in Occupied East Jerusalem
Breaking the Silence, B’Tselem€240,000 (2018-2019)N/AA ghost town re-visited: Reinforcing respect for international humanitarian law and human rights in Hebron city centre
Yesh Din - Volunteers for Human Rights (RNPO)€269,975 (2017-2021)EIDHRLife Exposed - Challenging Human Rights Violations Through Forcible Home Entries by Israel's Security Forces Personal in the West Bank
Palestinian Consultative Staff for Developing NGOs (PCS), Bunian Association for Training, Evaluation and Community Studies (BATECS), Students' Forum Institute (SFI)€430,608 (2017-2020)EIDHRAdvocating for Grassroots and Institutional Mechanisms to Advance Social and Economic Rights for Vulnerable Groups in the oPt
The East Jerusalem YMCA the Young Men Christian Association (EJYMCA), Women's Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling Association (WCLAC)€405,780 (2017-2020)EIDHRPromoting Women's Common Marital Property Rights within the Marriage Institution
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights€449,997 (2017-2020)EIDHRStrengthening monitoring, protection and Rehabilitation of Civilians Victimized by, or at risk of, human rights and IHL Violations in Gaza with Relation to Access Restricted Area and Torture
Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCI-P)€981,298 (2017)DEVCOPrevention, mitigation, and rehabilitation for Palestinian children exposed to torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment
€699,236 (2017)EIDHRStrengthening Community Resilience and Social Cohesion in East Jerusalem on Both Sides of the Separation Wall
Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC) €561,100 (2015-2018)EIDHRProtection of marginalized Palestinian Communities in East Jerusalem and Area C of the West Bank through Legal Aid, Outreach and Advocacy
Land Research Center€444,777 (2017-2019)EIDHRSecure Palestinians' Land and Housing Rights (SPLHR)
Palestinian Center for Development AND Media Freedoms MADA Association€448,650 (2017-2020)EIDHRA Step Forward Towards Enhancing Freedom of Expression in Palestine
Al Haq Association€296,600 (2017-2020)EIDHRRighting the Wrong: Empowering Palestinian Civil Society to Promote the Effective Reporting and Implementation on International Rights Instruments Palestine acceded to in 2014
The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy (MIFTAH)€300,000 (2017-2020)EIDHRYouth as Human Rights Defenders
The Center for Defense of Liberties and Civil Rights Association (HURRYYAT), The Palestinian Non-Governmental Organization Network (PNGO)€261,914 (2017-2020)EIDHRTorture is a Humiliation of Dignity
Applied Research Institute- Jerusalem (ARIJ) and Land Research Center (LRC)€474,732 (2016-2019)PbIAdvocating for a Sustainable and Viable Resolution of Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Ma’an Network€427,200 (2016-2019)EIDHRMedia 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)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)PbINarratives in Action: Building Engaged Communities through the Power of Reconciliation (NIA)
Al-Dameer Association for Supporting Prisoners and Human RightsPalestinian NGO Network (PNGO)€446,482 (2016-2019)DEVCOContributing to the respect, protection and promotion of the right to association in the Gaza Strip
I'lam€365,803 (2017-2019)ENIThe Creation of the Freedom Protection Council: Ensuring democratic space for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Israel
Women Against Violence€299,966 (2017-2019)ENIThe Working Group for Equality in Personal Status Issues
Mossawa€499,700 (2017-2019)ENILocal Action for National Impact: Strengthening Arab Civil Society in Israel
Parents Circle Families Forum (PCFF)€480,000 (2017-2019)ENINarratives in Action: Building Engaged Communities through the Power of Reconciliation
DanChurchAid and PalVision€1,495,377 (end date 02/2019)ENPI/East Jerusalem ProgrammePromoting Change and Youth leadership in East Jerusalem

Table B

EU Funding to Israeli NGOs

*Data taken from the Israeli Registrar of Non-profits

 
NGODonor (as reported by NGO)YearSumProject
ACRIEuropean Union2018670,571Project for the Elimination of Discrimination and Institutional Racism
108,353Freedom of expression in Israeli democracy
90,804Human rights in planning
201790,613Activities to promote the rights of the Bedouin in the Negev
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 youth
1,854,105Torture Project
57,643Human Rights among Arabs-Bedouins in the Negev
B’TselemEuropean Commission2018279,269The present reality in Hebron
377,393Project on Communities in danger of deportation
53,260Project against torture
26,953Project for Detaining Minors in East Jerusalem
201753,932Detention Project
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 Union201860,753A project to raise the awareness of young people about freedom of expression
201790,164Supporting the project 'Preventing women’s murder in the arab society', cooperation with the NGO 'Kayan - Feminist organization'
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 Union2018599,736Research on Area C Planning
479,694Urban Renewal Project
2017383,920City renewal project
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 Union Delegation2018634,520Public activity
2017391,248Public Activity
European Commission2015518,321Educational activity
Emek ShaveEuropean Union2018659,952Public activity for pluralistic Jerusalem
227,716Public and legal activity relating to archeology and residents of East Jerusalem
EIDHR2017388,734Watch project, legal and public activity related to archeology in era C in the west bank
2015499,249Watch, writing report and public activity regarding archaeological sites in the west bank.
HamokedEuropean Union2018579,493A joint project with Emek Shaveh on the subject of protecting the rights of residents of East Jerusalem
87,556A joint project with B'Tselem on the issue of the protection of minors imprisoned in East Jerusalem
2017333,376Defending residency of Palestinians in East Jerusalem
2015426,245Joint project with B’tselem on defending imprisoned minors in East Jerusalem
Ir AmimEuropean Endowment for Democracy201651,614Overall use for the organization
201543,151Overall use for the organization
49,920Overall use for the organization
Kerem NavotEU via Applied Research Institute - Jerusalem20166,895Funding research
3,425Funding research
9,660Funding research
MossawaEuropean Union2018644,958Accompanying organizations to increase awareness of the rules of management, their exposure to other associations and their guidance in managing various projects
201621,070advocacy for cultural rights
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 Union2018220,093To advance the rights of around 240,000 Bedouin citizens of Israel living in unrecognized and recognized towns and villages in the Naqab (Negev) desert in the south of Israel
201519,480Recognition of land rights advocacy project
PCFFEuropean Union2018740,468Donation for bi-annual project of know the other’s narrative and group meetings
2017611,196NIA project for dialogue and discussion of groups from both peoples. (probably refers to first quarter)
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 NGO
Public Committee Against Torture in IsraelTurkish Human Rights Foundation201583,873Legal Activity
279,709Legal Activity
Rabbis for Human RightsEuropean Union201678,068Promoting human rights in the Israeli legal system
2015265,616Legal work
Women’s Fund for Human Rights (Machsom Watch)European Union201560,855Implementation organization activity
Yesh DinEuropean Commission2018525,976Military Police Investigation Project
46,052Lands project and law enforcement with Emek Shaveh
201772,788Lands project
2015159,480Lands project and Law enforcement (via Emek Shave)
334,280Lands project and Law enforcement
83,145Lands project and Law enforcement
Social TVEuropean Union2018319,732Preparation of articles as part of seminars for journalists

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