- Finland provides direct and indirect financial support for Israeli and Palestinian political advocacy NGOs via various national frameworks.
- Direct funding is distributed by the Finnish Embassy in Tel Aviv and the Representative Office in Ramallah.
- Indirect funding is channeled through FinnChurchAid (FCA), which receives funding from the Finnish government.
- Finland pledged €23.35 million to the West Bank and Gaza for 2014-17 at the Cairo Conference on Palestine – Reconstructing Gaza in October 2014.
- This included €2.35 million channeled through UNRWA, FinnChurchAid (FCA), and the International Red Cross. These groups transfer funds to unknown NGOs in Gaza and the West Bank.
Lack of transparency
- The Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs acknowledges its support for a variety of organizations. However, the Representative Office in Ramallah does not reveal funding information or evaluation details of NGO projects, reflecting a lack of transparency and accountability.
- In 2016-2018, Finland’s Fund for Local Cooperation, managed by the Representative Office in Ramallah, is focusing on “Enhancing the rights and status of women.” However, it does not reveal funding amounts or which NGOs receive the funding.
- The embassy of Finland in Israel lists projects that are receiving funds for local cooperation until the end of 2018.
Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR)
- Calls suspending prisoners’ salaries “illegal, immoral, and violates the Basic Law and the international human rights law.”
- Active in international legal campaigns that seek arrest warrants against Israeli government officials, and lobby for cases against Israelis at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
- PCHR website lists Representative Office of Finland as a donor (amount unknown).
- Representative Office of Finland (amount unknown) listed as PCHR donor in annual reports (2013 and 2014).
Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel-EAPPI
- In 2015, EAPPI received €122,200 from the Finnish MFA Partnership with Finn Church Aid.
- Founded by the World Council of Churches, EAPPI sends volunteers to the West Bank to “witness life under occupation.” Upon completion of the program, the volunteers return to their home countries and churches where they engage in anti-Israel advocacy, including advocating for BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanction) campaigns in churches, comparing Israel to apartheid South Africa and Nazi Germany, and other delegitimization strategies.
- According to EAPPI Finland, “In Finland, the Foreign Ministry is responsible for selecting and coaching the observers. The Church’s Foreign Aid is a partnership between the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Ministry finances Finland’s EAPPI activities with partner organizations. Partner organizations are required to have a clearly defined development cooperation program that is in line with the Finnish development policy objectives.”
- For more on EAPPI see below.
- ICAHD-Finland is the Finnish branch of the Israeli Committee against House Demolitions (ICAHD).
- ICAHD is highly active in promoting anti-Israel BDS campaigns, and utilizes highly biased and politicized rhetoric, accusing Israel of “ethnic cleansing,” “genocide,” “collective punishment,” and “apartheid.”
- In 2015, ICAHD’s office in Israel was closed due to a court order. The Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits filed an order to dismantle the organization following ICAHD’s failure to report donations from foreign political entities, failure to file annual reports, lack of response to requests made by the Registrar, illegal use of the name of the organization, and the lack of reporting names of board members.
- Explicitly advocates for the end of the state of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people, stating that “the only option for resolving the conflict [is] a one-state solution.”
- According to the ICAHD-Finland, “In the year 2012, ICAHD became the first Israeli organisation that took a stand in favour of a one-state solution.”
- ICAHD-Finland does not publish its financial information
- According to its website, in September 2014, ICAHD-Finland received funding from the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture and the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a co-sponsored an event: “A Peace Forum: Escalation in Gaza and Beyond.”
- The program featured controversial Israeli journalist Amira Hass and fringe Israeli politician Jamal Zahalka.
- No further information is available.
- Gisha received NIS 216,346 (2016-2017) from the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (based on Financial Reports Submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits).
- Claims Israel has developed “a complex system of rules and sanctions” to control the “fundamental right of Palestinians to freedom of movement” and violates Palestinian “basic rights… including the right to life, the right to access medical care, the right to education, the right to livelihood, the right to family unity and the right to freedom of religion.”
- HaMoked – Center for the Defense of the Individual received NIS 120,300 (2013-2014) from the Finnish Embassy (based on Financial Reports Submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits).
- Regularly petitions the High Court of Justice and makes inaccurate and inflammatory allegations of Israeli “apartheid,” “deportations,” “torture,” and “forcible transfers.”
- Accuses Israel of “collective punishment” and the “ghetto-ization of the West Bank” (translated from the original Hebrew).
Finn Church Aid (FCA)
- Finn Church Aid “is the largest Finnish development cooperation organisation and the second largest provider of humanitarian aid.”
- FCA is a signatory to “Trading Away Peace: How Europe Helps Sustain Illegal Israeli Settlements.” This report repeats a BDS (boycotts, divestment, sanctions) agenda, calling on the EU and national governments to wage political warfare through various forms of economic sanctions on Israel.
- In 2015- 2017, the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ proposed budget to FCA amounted to €28.2 million.
- In 2016, Finn Church Aid’s Middle East Program’s budget was €3.3 million.
- €900,000 came from Finland (Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
- €480,000 was designated towards the “Palestinian Territories.”
- FCA has granted NIS 432,713 (2013-2016) to Zochrot, an Israeli NGO that supports a “one-state” framework and a Palestinian “right of return.”
- Zochrot was established with the aim of “rais[ing] public awareness of the Palestinian Nakba” (“catastrophe,” referring to the establishment of the state of Israel), and “recognizing and materializing the right of return,” which is equivalent to calling for the elimination of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.
- FAC is listed as a sponsor of the September 29-30, 2013 conference, “From Truth to Redress: Realizing the Return of Palestinian Refugees,” organized by Zochrot. This event advocated a “one state” framework and included lecture topics on the logistics of materializing a Palestinian “right of return,” which would effectually mean the end of Israel as a Jewish state. (See NGO Monitor’s factsheet on Zochrot’s Support for “One State,”May 1, 2014.)
- In 2016, FCA granted €70,000 to Rabbis for Human Rights to educate “850 students in pre-military academies that prepare Israeli youth for their military service” on “different religions and in doing so to ‘humanize’ the other in their eyes.”
Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI)
- Finn Church Aid is the “Finnish participant” of the World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) volunteer program, which claims to “provide protective presence to vulnerable communities, monitor, and report human rights abuses.” Both WCC and EAPPI play key roles in mobilizing church BDS efforts.
- EAPPI volunteers promote BDS campaigns and utilizes rhetoric accusing Israel of “apartheid,” “collective punishment,” and “war crimes.”
- In 2015, FCA sent 13 Ecumenical Accompaniers (EA) on the EAPPI program.
- EAs in Finland have been active in lobbying on the issue of the EU’s labelling of settlement products, “appealing also to MEPs, e.g. during the annual EAPPI lobby trips to Brussels, arranged by WCC.”
- In May 2012, FinnChurchAid and EAPPI launched a campaign to “mark products from the settlements to tell their true origin…The settlements are a key obstacle to peace in the Middle East.”
Finnish Funding Based on Financial Reports Submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits, unless noted (Amounts in NIS):
|NGO||Amount and Years||Finnish Funding Mechanism|
|Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs|
|Rabbis for Human Rights||€70,000||FinnChurchAid|
- No transparency in NGO funding Dennis Mitzner, Jerusalem Post blogs, October 18, 2011
- Loathing in Helsinki Dennis Mitzner, Jersualem Post blogs, October 10, 2011