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whitewashing cover cover-for-german-report-page-001 Germany, churches, funding

Background

The German federal government provides millions of euros to political advocacy NGOs in Israel and the Palestinian Authority, through a variety of frameworks, including German federal funding programs of the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the German Federal Foreign Office, government-funded church aid, and independent development NGOs.

Officially, the funding is aimed at “combating poverty, securing food, establishing peace, freedom, democracy and human rights, shaping globalisation in a socially equitable manner, and preserving the environment and natural resources.” In contrast to these stated moral objectives, research reveals that German federal funding is allocated to, amongst others, organizations that promote anti-Israel BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) and “lawfare” campaigns, anti-Zionism, promotion of a “one-state” vision, antisemitism, and violence.

Click for a compilation of articles highlighting NGO Monitor’s contributions to the broader conversation about NGOs, funding, and accountability in Germany. 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.

Lack of Transparency

German federal funding frameworks are severely lacking in terms of transparency and public scrutiny. Selection processes, precise amounts, project evaluations, and sometimes partner organizations are not made publicly available. Precise amounts are only available for Israeli NGOs, which are required by law to report to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits.

According to reports submitted by Israeli NGOs, in 2012-2015 alone, €4 million of German taxpayer money was allocated to 15 Israeli NGOs (this may be a partial amount, as not all Israel NGOs adhere to the submission requirements), 42% of which went to organizations that promote BDS and/or “one-state” visions.

Funding Frameworks

Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

Civil Peace Service:

The BMZ program Civil Peace Service (ZFD) “sends experts to international partner organisations in order to prevent the outbreak of violence without military action and to strengthen the force of civil society.” The program is entirely funded by BMZ.

ZFD projects:

  • Steady drops: training and theater provide youth with non-violent alternatives” (2013-2020):
    • Implementing German organization: Weltfriedensdienst (WFD); local partner organizations: Al-Haq, Yes Theater.
    • Al-Haq is a leader in the anti-Israel BDS and legal warfare campaigns. The Israeli Supreme Court has identified Al-Haq’s general director Shawan Jabarin as “among the senior activists of the Popular Front terrorist organization.” (The PFLP is a designated terrorist organization by the EU.)
    • In May 2017, Yes Theater hosted a play that “tells the story of Palestinian Ali Taha, who became a martyr in 1972 at the Lod airport following the hijacking of a Belgian Sabena plane that was supposed to take off in the direction of the Lod airport in Palestine, to liberate 100 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails. The martyr Ali Taha carried out the attack together with three members of the ‘Black September’ organization, an attack that ended in his death and the death of his friend Abdel Raouf al-Atrash, and the arrest of Theresa Halsa and Rima Tannous who participated in the attack” (NGO Monitor translation).
  • Strengthening Nonviolent Initiatives”:
    • Implementing German organization: KURVE Wustrow; local partner organizations: Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP), Youth Against Settlements.
    • According to the Israeli Registrar for Non-profits, CWP has received NIS 1.5 million for this project in 2013-2017. The project has been renewed for 2017-2019.
    • CWP officials have been photographed holding a flag of the PFLP terrorist organization. (Following a publication by NGO Monitor, this image was removed from CWP’s Facebook page.) CWP actively supports economic, cultural, and academic BDS campaigns against Israel.
    • As part of this project, CWP is leading a campaign on “non-violent resistance.” CWP’s campaign summary (February 2016) appears to blur the line between violence and non-violence (all translations from the original Hebrew by NGO Monitor):
      • CWP claims “there are numerous discussions and debates as to the boundaries of non-violent resistance,” and asks “when is vandalizing property a legitimate part of a struggle and what property exactly… and of course, the ongoing discussion of the question whether throwing stones at an oppressing force is part of non-violent resistance?” (emphasis added).
      • CWP further asserts that “in many examples from which one can learn about non-violent resistance, some of the movements in the struggle also included violent groups or actions. A classic example is the struggle against apartheid in South Africa that was renown world-wide for the effect of the boycott and conducting a non-violent struggle, but in fact including much violence of different groups in the struggle.”
      • Questioning whether non-violence is the only legitimate form of protest, CWP introduces “criticism of concepts of non-violent struggle.” Examples include  “the criticism of Malcolm X towards the approach identified with Martin Luther King,” and contemporary “demonstrations and the formation of protest movements around the world and of course in the struggle against the occupation.”

German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ):

The GIZ leads several projects in the West Bank, many in partnership with local NGOs. These projects are commissioned and paid for by BMZ.

GIZ Projects:

  • Building Scenarios Towards – Socioeconomic Development in East Jerusalem (ongoing): Co-implemented by GIZ and Israeli NGO PASSIA.  In a 2015 publication PASSIA describes a wave of terror that begain in October 2015 as a “youth uprising” and refers to Baha Eleyan as a “Palestinian martyr.” Eleyan was one of two murderers to board a bus in Jerusalem in October 2015 armed with a gun and a knife, killing three and injuring seven. PASSIA denies any historical Jewish connection to Temple Mount and its Western Wall, claiming that “Zionists could not present any documentary evidence of Jewish claims to the Wall” and listing “Placing signs at the gates of Al-Aqsa Mosque indicating that they are the gates of the ‘Temple’” under “provocations.” PASSIA is also funded by the German political foundation Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.
  • Empowering Women Leaders in Government and Civil society in the Middle East” (2015-2019): Local Palestinian partner organizations include Miftah, which publishes articles accusing Israel of “massacre,” “cultural genocide,” “war crimes,” and “apartheid.” In 2013 Miftah published an article repeating an antisemitic blood libel, claiming that Jews kidnapped and murdered the children of Christians to use their blood as part of a religious ritual during Jewish holidays.
    • In a January 2017 interview for Deutsche Welle, founder and chair of the Miftah board of directors Hanan Ashrawi claimed that Palestinian “attacks and their perpetrators” (as described by the interviewer, Tim Sebastian), “are seen by the people as resistance. And you cannot somehow adopt the language of either the international community or the occupier by describing anybody who resists as terrorist (sic)” (3:20).

Zivik:

Zivik is a funding framework within the Institute for Foreign Relations of the German Federal Foreign Office, meant to promote civil conflict resolution and “international peace projects in crisis regions and advises both non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the German Federal Foreign Office."

  • Zivik manifests an extreme lack of transparency. Information on its website is very limited, and vague when provided. However, at least three Israeli NGOs reported funding from Zivik in 2015-2017 (B’TselemBreaking the SilenceIr Amim).

Church aid frameworks:

Since 1962, BMZ is obligated under German law to provide financial support for the development work of church-aid organizations, with two church NGOs chosen as representatives – the Catholic Misereor and the Protestant Development Service (EED), today merged with Brot fuer die Welt (BfW).

According to data from the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits, 71% of total German funding to Israeli NGOs active in the Arab-Israeli conflict in 2012-2015 came from BfW/EED and Misereor.

  • Misereor
  • BfW/EEDIn June 2017, BfW-EED issued a press release stressing that “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). Contrary to this claim, BfW funds radical and politicized NGOs that promote BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) and “lawfare” campaigns against Israel, such as CWP (see above), Who Profits, and Al-Haq (see above). (See below for complete funding details.)
    • 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.

Political Foundations (Stiftungen)

German “politische Stiftungen” – political foundations affiliated with parliamentary parties – are funded by the Federal Ministry of the Interior, the Federal Foreign Office, and the BMZ in direct proportion to the seats held by the parties affiliated with them.

  • Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES – affiliated with the Social Democratic Party):
    • Funds and partners with PASSIA (see above).
    • FES co-implements a Young Leaders Program(YLP) with Palestinian NGO Women’s Affairs Technical Committee (WATC). Launched in 2015, “YLP Generation III” was held in September 2017.
    • On June 10, 2017, FES held a public workshop“in Cooperation with Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network” (PNGO), about “The Cost of Division on Legal Status and Human Rights.” This followed a May 2017 workshop also held with PNGO titled “Impact of the current situation on food security in the Gaza Strip.” In March 2016, FES held a workshop with PNGO on “The vision and Role of Civil Society Organizations in Achieving the National Reconciliation.”
      • In June 2017, PNGO condemned Norway for pulling funding from a youth center named after a terrorist (see above), referring to Mughrabi as a “Palestinian Woman Freedom Fighter,” and stating that “there is a difference between freedom fighters and terrorists” (emphasis added).

German Funding to Israeli NGOs

*Data taken from the Israeli Registrar of Non-profits

NGOYearDonorAmount (NIS) 
Total18,654,487
+972 Magazine2015Heinrich Böll Foundation54,180
2016Heinrich Böll Foundation48,020
2017Heinrich Böll Foundation34,020
Adalah2015Bread for the world / EED699,565
2016Bread for the world / EED265,148
2017Bread for the world / EED19,930
Al Marsad2015Misereor263,730
2016Misereor167503
Breaking the Silence2015Misereor202,993
2016Misereor662,077
2016Bread for the world / EED75,560
2016Medico International83,532
2017Misereor200,100
2017ZIVIK40,420
B’Tselem2015Bread for the world / EED618,862
2015ZIVIK352,392
2016Bread for the world / EED740,562
Coalition of Women for Peace2015Kurve Wustrow156,397
2015Bread for the world / EED120,675
2016Bread for the world / EED125,454
2016Kurve Wustrow173,237
Combatants for Peace2015Rosa Luxemburg Foundation53,528
2015ZFD4,000
2015AGEH81,630
2016Rosa Luxemburg Foundation38,000
2016Bread for the world / EED30,889
2016AGEH102,870
2017Rosa Luxemburg Foundation31,654
2017AGEH6,250
Comet Me2016MFA - Germany2,973,690
Gisha2016MFA - Germany252,835
2017MFA - Germany159,571
2017lnstitute for Foreign Cultural Relations - Germany136,155
Hamoked2015Misereor382,500
Human Rights Defenders Fund2015Embassy - Germany148,771
Ir Amim2015ZIVIK954,611
2015Bread for the world / EED434,587
2015Heinrich Böll Foundation50,000
2016ZIVIK277,747
2016Bread for the world / EED319,960
2016Heinrich Böll Foundation21,000
Kerem Navot2016Rosa Luxemburg Foundation33,783
Mossowa2015Bread for the world / EED527,544
2016Bread for the world / EED168,421
Negev Coexistance Forum2015Rosa Luxemburg Foundation494,929
2016Rosa Luxemburg Foundation94,650
PHR-I2015Bread for the world / EED750,000
2015Medico International50,000
Who Profits2015Medico International48,840
2015Bread for the world / EED28,751
2017Medico International46,116
Yesh Din2015MFA - Germany1,048,150
2017MFA - Germany584,960
Zochrot2015Misereor239,846

 

German Funding to Palestinian NGOs

NGODonorYearAmount
AddameerHeinrich Boll2014N/A
Al-HaqHeinrich Boll2014N/A
BMZ program Civil Peace Service (ZFD)2013-2020N/A
Al-MezanMedico International2014N/A
Applied Research Institute JerusalemBMZ (Climate Change project)2015$937,211
BMZ (Climate Change project)2014$757,009
Culture and Free Thought Association (CFTA)Medico International2015$10,961
Rosa Luxemburg Foundation2015$12,266
German Agency for International Development2015$10,907
German Agency for International Development2014$29,643
Defense for Children - Palestine (DCI-P)Bread for the World-EED2014N/A
Kairos PalestineBMZ program Civil Peace Service (ZFD)2014-2017N/A
Ma'an Development CenterGerman Representative Office2014N/A
German Technical Cooperation (GTZ)2014N/A
Medico International2014N/A
MiftahGerman Agency for International Development2015$116,087
German Agency for International Development2014$50,876
Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees - PARCGerman Agency for International Development2015-2016NIS 204,340
Bread for the World - EED2012-2015€530,000
Palestinian Center for Democracy and Conflict Resolution (PCDCR)GIZ (Partner-Life and Hope Association & BUNIAN Association for training, evaluation and community studies)2014-2015€36,000
Federal Republic of Germany (Partner- GIZ)2013-2014NIS 239,000
Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR)KZE through MISEREORN/AN/A
Palestinian Center for Peace and Democracy (PCPD)German Agency for International Development2016N/A
Palestinian Vision (PalVision, or "Ruya")American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)/ Bread for the World2014N/A
Friedrich Ebert Foundation2014N/A
German Agency for International Development2014N/A
Palestinian Environmental NGOs Network- PENGONHeinrich Boll StiftungN/AN/A
Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS)Medico International2015$1,028,722
PalestinianNGO Network(PNGO)
German Agency for International Development2011-2016N/A
Youth against Settlements (Renewed with CWP)BMZ program Civil Peace Service (ZFD)2017-2019N/A
Women's Centre for Legal Aid and Counseling (WCLAC)Bread for the World-EED2014$206,730
The Federal Republic of Germany2014$13,063

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