- The Netherlands funds numerous Israeli and Palestinian NGOs directly through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), the Embassy in Tel Aviv, and the Representative Office in Ramallah (NRO), and indirectly through Dutch aid organizations 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 Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland, and Sweden.1
- According to the Dutch MFA’s “Human Rights Report 2018,” the Netherlands provided over €2.7 million in direct and indirect funding to human rights NGOs operating in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.
- In June 2016, the Dutch Parliament passed a resolution calling for “the ending of funding to organizations that directly or indirectly pursue a boycott or sanctions against Israel.”
- According to the Dutch MFA’s “2018 Work Plan,” contracts signed between the Dutch MFA and NGOs included new funding guidelines that ensure:
- NGOs adhere to the Dutch Parliament decision that the “Netherlands does not finance activities that propagate BDS against Israel” (NGO Monitor translation).
- The Netherlands does not finance “organizations that promote hate-speech, racism, anti-semitism in any sort or format” (NGO Monitor translation).
Funding via Representative Office in Ramallah (NRO)
- Highly politicized organizations funded through the Representative Office in Ramallah (NRO) include the Union of Agricultural Works Committee (UAWC), Al Mezan, Breaking the Silence, B’Tselem, Gisha, Bimkom, Yesh Din, and the Palestinian Working Woman Society for Development.
- A 2018 report published by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that the Dutch representative office in Ramallah provided €489,151 for “Various confidential projects” in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.
NRO Funding to Palestinian NGOs
- In 2013-2021, Union of Agricultural Works Committee (UAWC) received approximately $20 million from the NRO.
- UAWC is identified by Fatah as an official “affiliate,” and by USAID as the “agricultural arm” of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a designated terrorist organization by the US, EU, Canada, and Israel. According to academic scholar Glenn E. Robinson, UAWC was founded in 1986 by “agronomists loosely affiliated with the PFLP.”
- Utilizes highly biased and demonizing rhetoric, accusing the “Israel occupation forces” of “continuing its brutal and immoral offensive  war on Gaza” and an ongoing “policy of collective punishment in disregard for the international law and humanitarian law.”
- In 2018, Al Mezan received €192,280 from the NRO.
- Al Mezan is highly active in anti-Israel lawfare campaigns, exploiting courts and international legal bodies to seek arrest warrants against Israeli government officials, file lawsuits against companies and governments doing business with Israel, and lobby for cases against Israelis at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
- In 2018, Palestinian Working Woman Society for Development (PWWSD) received €83,600 from the NRO.
- PWWSD utilizes highly biased and distorted rhetoric, accusing Israel of “apartheid policies,” “Judaization” of Jerusalem, and “constant violations of Human Rights.”
- In 2018, the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) received €443,114 from the NRO.
- ICHR is a “quasi-governmental Palestinian organization,” established in 1993 with a declared mandate “to follow-up and ensure that different Palestinian laws, by-laws and regulations, and the work of various departments, agencies and institutions of the State of Palestine and the Palestine Liberation Organization meet the requirements for safeguarding human rights.”
- In 2013-2018, the AMAN Coalition received €961,028 from the NRO.
NRO Funding to Israeli NGOs
- In 2018, Breaking the Silence received €191,840 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.”
- 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, B’Tselem received €176,000 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.”
- B’Tselem actively pursues its political agenda of “international consequences” and international pressure on Israel via lobbying of the UN and European governments.
- Accuses Israel of “apartheid,” perpetrating “war crimes,” “beating and abus[ing]” Palestinians, “demolition of [Palestinian] houses as punishment,” and forced “deportations.”
- In 2018, Gisha received €62,700.
- In 2018, Bimkom received €75,240.
- Bimkom regularly files petitions in an attempt to alter government policies related to spatial planning, planning procedures, and Bedouin communities.
- In 2018, Yesh Din received €160,930.
- 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 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.
- In 2018, Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) received €26,780.
- PCATI regularly circulates unverifiable allegations of Israeli torture, using them as the basis for campaigns in international forums and Israeli courts.
- In 2017, HaMoked received NIS 7,280.
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) and a further $11,250,000 (2017-2021) from the Dutch MFA.
- UAWC is identified by Fatah as an official PFLP “affiliate,” and by USAID as the “agricultural arm” of the PFLP. According to academic scholar Glenn E. Robinson, UAWC was founded in 1986 by “agronomists loosely affiliated with the PFLP.”
- Land Research Center claims that the Balfour Declaration “placed a toxic dagger in Palestine that aims at restricting the advancement of the Arab Nation and disconnecting its east from its west,” and is part of a “continuous conspiracy.” LRC outlines “the conspiracy in years,” which also includes the American war in Iraq, the “Fatah-Hamas conflict,” and the Arab Spring.
- Palestinian Hydrology Group is part of Stop the Wall, a grassroots network organization engaged in BDS and delegitimizing Israel through international advocacy.
- 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, and 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: BADIL, Sabeel, Al-Haq, Alternative Information Center (AIC), B’Tselem, Al-Mezan, and others.
- The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also provided funding to Israeli NGOs, Comet-Me, B’Tselem, and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel.
- Comet-ME received NIS 4 million (2017) from the Dutch MFA, as part of a €2.39 million grant (2017-2020).
- Comet-ME is also receiving 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
- The Netherlands, together with the governments of Switzerland, Denmark, and Sweden, jointly funded the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (Secretariat). This funding mechanism had an initial budget of $20 million (2013-2017). This funding mechanism had a budget of $20 million for over four years (2013-2017). The funds were managed by the Institute of Law at Birzeit University (IoL-BZU) in Ramallah and the NIRAS consulting firm. (Read NGO Monitor’s report “Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat: Abusing Public Funds to Perpetuate Conflict.”)
- The Secretariat received over €3.7 million from the Netherlands, out of €3.9 million appropriated (2013-2018).
- The Secretariat funded highly politicized NGOs that promote BDS campaigns and engage in legal warfare against Israeli officials and companies that do business with Israel. Some of these NGOs have reported ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a terrorist organization designated as such by the U.S., EU, Canada and Israel; promote blatant antisemitism; distort facts; advance a “1948 agenda”; exploit the false “apartheid” analogy; and undermine peace and contribute to radicalization.
- In January 2018, Minister Zijlstra (Foreign Affairs) and Minister Kaag (Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation) noted that “Support for Palestinian and Israeli human rights organizations by the Netherlands and the other partners through the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat will expire at the end of this year .”
- According to the 2018 budget of the Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, “the government will continue to support Israeli and Palestinian human rights organizations. The government is examining various options for this.”
- Large-scale indirect funding for political advocacy NGOs is channeled through Dutch aid-organizations, most frequently Oxfam-Novib. Other aid-organizations include: Interchurch Organization for Development Cooperation (ICCO), Kerk in Actie (KIA), PAX, and the Catholic Organization for Relief and Development Aid (Cordaid). NGOs in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza have received over €13 million since 2012 through this form of indirect funding from the Dutch government.
- Oxfam-Novib received €126.8 million from the Dutch government (2016-2018). Oxfam-Novib is also head of the IMPACT alliance, which received €373.7 million from the Dutch government in 2011-2015. As of July 2019, Oxfam-Novib’s projects in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza listed as “active” have combined budgets of approximately €10 million.
- Oxfam-Novib supports the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), Adalah, Al Mezan, Bimkom, Breaking the Silence, Coalition of Women for Peace, Culture and Free Thought Association, Emek Shaveh, Gisha, HaMoked, MIFTAH, Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC), Palestinian Medical Relief Society, Palestinian Working Women Society for Development, Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ), The Coalition for Accountability and Integrity – AMAN, Union of Health Work Committees (UHWC), Women’s Affairs Center (WAC), Womens Centre for Legal Aid a Counselling (WCLAC), Women’s Studies Center, Yesh Din, as well as other “undisclosed” partners.
Interchurch Organization for Development Cooperation (ICCO)
- Interchurch Organization for Development Cooperation (ICCO) received €19.6 million in 2016 from the Dutch government and provided over NIS 3 million to Israeli NGOs from 2012-2016. Following the loss of MSFII funding, ICCO’s funding to Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza has decreased significantly. In 2016, ICCO provided NIS 43,168 to Who Profits, according to information submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits.
- As of 2015, ICCO no longer lists Israel, the West Bank, or Gaza in the list of countries it operates in, or in its list of projects. According to its 2017 Annual Report, Amman, Jordan is the only country in the Middle East in which ICCO operates.
- In November 2010, NGO Monitor revealed that ICCO had transferred Dutch government funds to Electronic Intifada (EI) (known amount of €200,000 between 2006-2010). Dutch FM Uri Rosenthal told the Jerusalem Post, “I will look into the matter personally.”
- In January 2011, Minister Rosenthal had a “frank and open discussion” with ICCO, noting that EI’s activities are “directly contrary to Dutch government policy.” The Minister dismissed ICCO claims that its funding of EI comes from private donations as “disingenuous.”
- ICCO refused to change its policy and defended support for BDS and EI as “a peaceful and legal way to push for an end to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.”
Kerk in Actie
- Kerk in Actie (KIA) runs projects co-financed with the government, but does not detail which ones. KIA partners include Rabbis for Human Rights, Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) and Sabeel.
- From 2012-2015, Cordaid funded 23 projects in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, with a total budget of €4.7 million. The majority of the funding allocated by Cordaid was provided by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs via the MSFII program. The projects were all completed on or before December 31, 2015.
- Cordaid has funded Ma’an Development Center, Israel Social TV, Culture and Free Thought Association, Mada al-Carmel, Sadaka Reut, Baladna, and Kayan, among others.
- 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.
Dutch Funding to Israeli and Palestinian NGOs
|Union of Agricultural Works Committee (UAWC)||NRO||€8,400,000||2013-2018|
|Palestinian Working Woman Society for Development||NRO||€83,600||2018|
|Independent Commission for Human Rights||NRO||€623,113||2017-2020|
|Breaking the Silence||NRO||€191,840||2018|
|Public Committee Against Torture in Israel||NRO||€26,780||2018|
|HaMoked||Embassy TLV||NIS 7,280||2017|
|Association for Civil Rights in Israel||Embassy TLV||NIS 140,437||2016|
|Geneva Initiative||Embassy TLV||NIS 209,993||2018|