- 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.
- 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.”
- In January 2022, the Dutch Foreign Minister announced that the Netherlands will cease all funding to the Union of Agricultural Works Committee (UAWC). According to the Minister, an “external investigation of the UAWC made it sufficiently plausible that there had been ties at individual level between employees and board members of UAWC and the PFLP for some time.” The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) is a designated terrorist organization by the US, EU, Canada, and Israel. (See more on UAWC below.)
- 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
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, Society of St. Yves, and the Palestinian Working Woman Society for Development.
- In 2020, the Dutch government’s NL website removed details and funding amounts that were granted to Israeli and Palestinian NGOs. Funded NGOs were named under the project “RAM CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATION SUPPORT.”
- The amounts each NGO received was revealed the 2019 Mensenrechtenrapportage(Human rights report) that was made public on June 16, 2020. In addition, the NRO provided €415,625 for “Various confidential projects” in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.
NRO Funding to Palestinian NGOs
- Union of Agricultural Works Committee (UAWC)
- In 2013-2021, UAWC received approximately $20 million from the NRO.
- UAWC is identified by Fatah as an official “affiliate,” and by USAID-engaged audit 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.” For more information on UAWC’s PFLP ties, read NGO Monitor’s report “Union of Agricultural Work Committees Ties to the PFLP Terror Group.”
- On October 22, 2021, the Israeli Ministry of Defense declared UAWC a “terror organization” because it is part of “a network of organizations” that operates “on behalf of the ‘Popular Front’.”
- On July 20, 2020, the Dutch government announced it was freezing funding to UAWC over the NGO’s close links to the PFLP. Foreign Minister Stef Blok and Development Minister Sigrid Kaag revealed that an internal government audit concluded that Dutch funds were used to pay the salaries of two UAWC employees – Samer Arbid and Abdel Razeq Farraj – currently standing trial for their alleged roles in an August 2019 bombing that murdered an Israeli civilian. In January 2022, the Dutch Foreign Minister announced that the Netherlands will cease all funding to the Union of Agricultural Works Committee (UAWC). According to the Minister, an “external investigation of the UAWC made it sufficiently plausible that there had been ties at individual level between employees and board members of UAWC and the PFLP for some time.”
- On August 30, 2020, the PFLP referred to Arbid as a “prisoner and commander,” and “one of the heroes of the Bubeen operation” — referring to the August 2019 bombing.
- On February 2, 2017, diplomats from the NRO met with senior officials from UAWC to sign an $11.5 million grant agreement. The Dutch contingent was led by its “Head of Cooperation,” Henny de Vries.
- As seen in a picture posted on the Representative Office’s Facebook page, UAWC representatives to the signing ceremony included individuals currently standing trial or incarcerated due to their involvement in PFLP activities, as well as another official associated with jailed PFLP leader, Ahmed Sa’adat.
- Al Mezan
- In 2018–2019, Al Mezan received €202,055 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).
- A number of Al Mezan officials and employees are members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and Hamas – both designated as terrorist organizations by the US and the EU. Additionally, Al-Mezan officials and board members speak at PFLP events, and many have posted material on their social media accounts promoting terror groups or utilizing antisemitic imagery and rhetoric. For more information on Al Mezan’s PFLP ties, read NGO Monitor’s report “Al Mezan Center For Human Rights’ Ties to the PFLP Terror Group.”
- Palestinian Working Woman Society for Development (PWWSD)
- Independent Commission for Huma Rights (ICHR)
- In 2018– 2019, ICHR received €743,114 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.”
- AMAN Coalition
NRO Funding to Israeli NGOs
- Breaking the Silence
- In 2018–2019, Breaking the Silence received €200,955.
- In 2018, Breaking the Silence received funding for “bilateral support.” One of Breaking the Silence’s stated objectives for this project is efforts to encourage “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 2018–2019, B’Tselem received €184,800
- In 2018, B’Tselem received funding 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.
- Yesh Din
- In 2018–2019, Yesh Din received €169,111
- In 2018, Yesh Din received funding for “bilateral support.” According to the grant agreement, Yesh Din is expected to ensure that the “Issue of impunity of ISFP [Israeli security forces personnel] in cases of offences committed against Palestinians in the West Bank and in Jerusalem remains on international agenda and in discussions between GOI [Government of Israel] and foreign government representatives. Increased international awareness on systemic impact of law enforcement failure for Palestinian communities, forcible home entries and the human rights situation in the West Bank and in Jerusalem (emphases added).
- 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 606,591to Israeli NGOs from 2016-2018.
- Beginning in 2019, all funding to Israeli NGOs was allocated via the NRO (see above) under the project RAM CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATION SUPPORT.
Previous Embassy funding includes:
- 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.” (See more on UAWC above.)
- 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.
- 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), and Al-Mezan.
- The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also provided funding to Israeli NGOs, including Comet-ME.
- 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)
- Comet-ME received NIS 4 million (2017) from the Dutch MFA, as part of a €2.39 million grant (2017-2020).
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-Novibreceived €126.8 million from the Dutch government (2016-2018).
- 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 (UAWC), Women’s Affairs Center (WAC), Women’s Centre for Legal Aid a Counselling (WCLAC), Women’s Studies Center, Yesh Din, as well as other “undisclosed” partners.
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.
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|