- HEKS (Hilfswerk der Evangelischen Kirchen Schweiz) is the aid organization of the Protestant Churches of Switzerland.
- Founded in 1946 by the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches; based in Zurich and “has an office for French-speaking Switzerland in Lausanne. The French abbreviation is EPER (Entraide Protestante Suisse).”
Funding to Politicized NGOs
- In 2016, HEKS’ total project funding for “Palestine-Israel” was CHF 1,553,000. HEKS releases information on projects (listed below), amounting to 1.13 million. It is unclear how the remaining funds were used. Some of the funding likely went to the HEKS Country Office in Jerusalem, but this information has not been released.
2016 HEKS funding to “Palestine-Israel"
- Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI): CHF 225,000 from HEKS in 2016. Founded by the WCC, EAPPI promotes BDS campaigns, and utilizes rhetoric accusing Israel of “apartheid,” “collective punishment,” and “war crimes.”
- Open Forum: CHF 760,000 to partner organizations, including: Badil, Zochrot, Coalition of Women for Peace, Kayan, New Profile, Emek Shaveh, Kerem Navot, and others. In 2015, Yesh Din appears to have been a partner organization.
- Physicians for Human Rights-Israel: CHF 75,000.
- Culture and Free Thought Association (CFTA): CHF 70,000. Palestinian NGO active in many BDS campaigns.
In addition to this funding, in 2015, HEKS spent CHF 10,603 in “Palestine-Israel” on humanitarian aid. This is down from CHF 94,984 in 2014. Development funding to “Palestine-Israel” was CHF 1,336,853 in 2015, up from CHF 1,256,596 in 2014.
- In 2015, HEKS also provided over $25,000 to American Friends Service Committee (AFSC).
- In February 2014, the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) thanked HEKS for funding “a needs-assessment related to overcrowding in the Jabalia refugee camp.” Rula Hamdan, HEKS’s country representative, stated that the “project is not about building vertically or diagonally in the camps to remedy the situation, but rather to address the root causes of displacement. Palestinian refugees have found themselves in an artificial situation, in a home that isn’t there, study the social and psychological impact of overcrowding but also examine their views and feelings on their return and the right of return.”
Information for 2012-2014 taken from annual reports submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits; 2015-2016 from quarterly reports submitted to the Registrar of Non-Profits.
|Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I)||2013||868,000
- Funded a 2012 “BADIL-Zochrot Study Visit to Cape Town” in order to “transform the thinking about return from pure abstraction to something more concrete, in the hope that our struggle will contribute to it someday becoming a lived reality.” Following this visit, Zochrot published “The Cape Town Document.” Conclusions include:
- Visions for a New State: “It is our hope that the new political structure created in de-Zionized Palestine will be that of a single democratic state (as opposed to the logic of ethnic separation embedded in the so-called ‘two-state solution’) with clear separation of church and state. This society will ideally be demilitarized, but due to the highly speculative and futuristic nature of this document, and the unstable political situation in the region, we have not managed to come to an agreement regarding the necessity of a standing army.”
- HEKS claims to have been “among the first” to sign a petition calling on Israel to allow building materials into Gaza. HEKS and the others petitioners purposefully ignore the dangers of Hamas acquiring dual-use materials, claiming that “the blockade, including restrictions on building materials, cannot be justified on security grounds.”
- HEKS co-sponsored Breaking the Silence’s 2015 exhibition in Zurich. Breaking the Silence promotes “war crimes” charges against Israel, based on anonymous and unverifiable hearsay “testimonies.”
- Promotes a Palestinian “right of return” stating: “Those suffering the most at the roughly 1.8 million refugees and internally displaced persons now living in the occupied Palestinian territories and in Israel. The most of them are descendants of the refugees who had to leave their villages in 1948 and 1967 and to this day are still awaiting a permanent solution.” If implemented, this “return” would effectually mean the end of Israel as a Jewish state.
- Promotes BDS initiatives, and in 2012 sponsored an ad in the Swiss paper Neue Zürcher Zeitung supporting the Migros supermarket’s decision to boycott Israeli products and urging readers to back the initiative.
Archive of Articles about HEKS