Netherlands

Profile

Country/TerritoryNetherlands

Activity

Background

  • The Netherlands funds numerous Israeli and Palestinian NGOs directly through government entities including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), the Embassy in Tel Aviv, and the Representative Office in Ramallah (NRO), and indirectly by outsourcing to Dutch church groups and aid organizations, such as ICCO and Oxfam-Novib.
  • In 2013-2017, Israeli and Palestinian NGOs also received direct Dutch funding through the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (Secretariat), a joint mechanism for funding NGOs, created by the governments of the NetherlandsDenmarkSwitzerland, and Sweden.1
  • Since 2016, the Dutch government has provided approximately €65 million in direct and indirect funding to NGOs operating in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.
  • According to the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs “2018 Work Plan,” contracts signed between the Dutch MFA and NGOs included new guidelines for funding:
    • “The Dutch cabinet has a strict policy that the Netherlands does not finance activities that propagate BDS against Israel.”
    • “The Dutch cabinet has a strict policy that the Netherlands does not finance orgnizations that promote hate-speech, racism, anti-semitism in any sort or format.”

Direct Funding

Funding via Representative Office in Ramallah (NRO)

NRO Funding to Palestinian NGOs

NRO Funding to Israeli NGOs

  • Breaking the Silence makes sweeping accusations based on anecdotal, anonymous, and unverifiable accounts of often low-ranked soldiers. These “testimonies” lack context, are politically biased, and erase the complicated reality of asymmetrical warfare. In addition, they reflect a distorted interpretation of the conflict in order to advance the political agenda of Breaking the Silence activists, thereby fueling the international campaigns against Israel.
    • In 2018, the Dutch MFA granted €191,840 to Breaking the Silence for “bilateral support.” One of Breaking the Silence’s objectives for this project states that its efforts will include encouraging “diaspora Jewish communities to voice their opposition to the occupation.” Breaking the Silence will also use the Dutch funds to “increase opposition in the international arena to Israel’s prolonged occupation of the oPt” through challenging “key international public figures…to respond.”
  • B’Tselem actively pursues its political agenda throughout Europe and at the UN, and accuses Israel of “apartheid,” perpetrating “war crimes,” “beating and abus[ing]” Palestinians, “demolition of [Palestinian] houses as punishment,” and forced “deportations.”
    • In 2018, the Dutch MFA granted €176,000 to B’Tselem for “bilateral support.” Among the activities supported by the Dutch funding is a “report on the role of the Israeli Supreme Court.” According to Dutch government documentation, “B’Tselem regularly refers to the Supreme Court as one of the main mechanisms that permits the ongoing occupation and human rights violations by granting judicial legitimacy to Israel’s policies.”
  • Gisha employs “apartheid” other international legal rhetoric to promote a partisan political and ideological agenda.
  • Bimkom regularly files petitions in an attempt to alter government policies related to spatial planning, planning procedures, and Bedouin communities.
  • Yesh Din is central to the allegations that Israeli investigative and court systems are unable or unwilling to investigate allegations of wrongdoing and is part of a wider “lawfare” strategy of pressing “war crimes” cases against Israeli officials in foreign courts and in the International Criminal Court (ICC). These campaigns use faulty information and skewed statistics to promote their political claims.

Funding via Representative Office in Ramallah

NGOAmount and Year
Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC)€8.4 million (2013-2018)
$11,250,000 (2017-2021)
AMAN Coalition€961,028 (2013-2017)
Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees€36.53 million (2008-2013)
The Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR)€1.2 million (2014-2017)
Musawa€817,063 (2013-2015)
€1.38 million (2016-2020)

Funding via Embassy in Tel Aviv

  • The Embassy in Tel Aviv does not publish details on NGO funding. According to information submitted by Israeli NGOs to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits, the Embassy allocated NIS 606,591 to Israeli NGOs from 2016-2018.
    • Bimkom received NIS 318,433 (2018)
      • Bimkom regularly files petitions in an attempt to alter government policies related to spatial planning, planning procedures, and Bedouin communities.
    • HaMoked received NIS 7,280 (2017)
    • Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) received NIS 140,441 (2016).
      • Regularly circulates unverifiable allegations of Israeli torture, using them as the basis for campaigns in international forums and Israeli courts.

Funding via Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs

  • The Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), in partnership with the Land Research Center, Palestinian Hydrology Group (PHG), and the Economic & Social Development Center of Palestine, received €8.4 million (2013-2018) from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • In August 2017, Dutch Open Aid published a new project (€60,000; 2017-2018) called Voices For Change with the Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights “designed to help Palestinian women in three marginalized communities in East Jerusalem to achieve their financial and social rights by holding relevant Israeli Gov’t offices and Jerusalem Municipality accountable for rendering various welfare services to them.”
  • Diakonia received €251,712 (2016-2019) from the Dutch government for “Enhancing Legal Knowledge on Humanitarian assistance and Development in Area C”
    • Diakonia’s “International Humanitarian Law” (IHL) program, which has its own online “Resource Center,” exploits international law, demonizes Israel, and promotes anti-Israel lawfare campaigns and a narrative based solely on Palestinian victimization. The IHL program focuses exclusively on Israel; Diakonia does not conduct similar types of programs in terms of content or resources involving any other conflict region in the world.
    • Diakonia “Partners” with a number of NGOs that promote BDS and lawfare campaigns against Israel and even blatant antisemitism, including: BADILSabeelAl-HaqAlternative Information Center (AIC)B’Tselem, and Al-Mezan.
  • The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also provided funding to Israeli NGOs, Comet-Me and B’Tselem.
    • Comet-ME received NIS 4 million (2017) from the Dutch MFA, as part of a €2.39 million grant (2017-2020).
    • Comet-ME also received a grant of €494,962 (2016-2017) from the MFA.
      • The 2016-2017 MFA grant was provided for a project that “fits the ambition to implement politically relevant projects: it helps a very vulnerable community in Area C (priority of the EU), enabling the people to remain in an area where settlement activities and pressure from the Israeli government could otherwise force people to leave.” (emphasis added)
    • B’Tselem received NIS 7,115 (2017) from the Dutch MFA for “Human Rights Defenders.”

Human Rights and Humanitarian Law International Secretariat

Indirect Funding

Oxfam-Novib

Interchurch Organization for Development Cooperation (ICCO)

Kerk in Actie

Cordaid

PAX

  • PAX (formerly IKV Pax Christi) received €9.9 million from the Dutch government in 2015-2016 through the MSFII funding program. PAX was chosen in “2015 as a strategical partner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.” In 2016, PAX received €12.8 million from the Dutch government.
  • Pax does not disclose funding to Israeli or Palestinian NGOs.

Footnotes

  1. Previously, the NGO Development Center (NDC) in Ramallah managed these pooled government finances through its Human Rights/Good Governance (HR/GG) program. (See NGO Monitor’s reports on the previous counterproductive funding via the NDS here and here.)

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