Italy

Profile

Country/TerritoryItaly

Activity

  • The Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS, a branch of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs) provides millions of euros to highly politicized non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that promote anti-Israel narratives, lawfare, and BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns. Some of these organizations have ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a terrorist organization designated as such by the USEUCanada, and Israel.
  • In 2015-2018, AICS provided approximately €10 million to 18 projects in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.

Direct Funding to Politicized NGOs

  • In 2018, AICS granted €446,820 to Al-Haq and the Italian NGO Cooperazione Per Lo Sviluppo Dei Paesi Emergenti (COSPE).
  • In 2018, AICS granted €241,471 to the Italian NGO Organizzazione Per Lo Sviluppo Globale Di Comunita’ In Paesi Extraeuropei Onlus (Overseas) and €527,102 to the Italian NGO Associazione Di Cooperazione E Solidarieta (ACS) for projects with the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC).
    • 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.”
    • 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’.”
    • Utilizes highly biased and demonizing rhetoric, accusing the “Israel occupation forces” of “continuing its brutal and immoral offensive [2014] war on Gaza” and an ongoing “policy of collective punishment in disregard for the international law and humanitarian law.”
    • In 2010, UAWC organized “a solidarity day with the Secretary General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Ahmed Saadat…” The “solidarity day” featured Muhammad Bakri, executive director of the Union of Agricultural Work Committees in Gaza, and celebrated “the tenth anniversary of the assassination of Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze’evi” (an attack perpetrated by the PFLP).
  • In 2018, AICS granted $136,612 to Ma’an Development Center via the United Nations Mine Action Service.
  • In 2018, AICS granted $304,450 to the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) for a project in partnership with Palestinian and Israeli NGOs including Jerusalem Legal Aid Centre (JLAC), Society of St Yves, Yesh Din, HaMoked, and Bimkom.
    • One of NRC’s principle projects in Israel, “Information, Counselling and Legal Assistance (ICLA),” exploits judicial frameworks to manipulate Israeli policy, bypassing democratic frameworks. NRC’s legal projects are funded mainly by Norway, the European Union(EU), and the United Kingdom (UK).
    • JLAC is highly active in promoting BDS campaigns, lobbies international bodies, and utilizes highly inflammatory rhetoric, including accusations of “collective punishment,” “ethnic cleansing,” and “apartheid,” as well as supporting a Palestinian “right of return.”
    • Society of St Yves accuses Israel of “discriminatory policies” and “breach[ing] international law,” and claims that “[Palestinian] land [is] swallowed up by the Israeli armed forces.”
    • 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.
    • HaMoked regularly engages in advocacy, filing petitions and briefings to various government agencies and the United Nations. HaMoked makes inaccurate and inflammatory allegations of Israeli “apartheid,” “deportations,” “torture,” and “forcible transfers,” and accuses Israel of “collective punishment” and of “ghetto-ization of the West Bank.”
    • Bimkom regularly files petitions in an attempt to alter government policies related to spatial planning, planning procedures, and Bedouin communities.
  • In 2018, AICS granted $218,854 to Save the Children, in partnership with Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCI-P) and East Jerusalem YMCA.
    • Several past and current DCI-P board members and employees have apparent ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a terrorist organization designated as such by the USEUCanada, and Israel.
    • On October 22, 2021, the Israeli Ministry of Defense declared DCI-P a “terror organization” because it is part of “a network of organizations” that operates “on behalf of the ‘Popular Front’.”
    • DCI-P leads the campaign exploiting children to promote demonization of Israel. Many of its allegations are false and part of attempts to smear Israel with allegations of “war crimes” and promote BDS.
  • In 2018, AICS granted $862,076 to Save the Children, in partnership with Ma’an Development Center, Palestinian Center for Democracy and Conflict Resolution, and the East Jerusalem YMCA.
  • In 2015-2018, ActionAid Palestine was a local implementing partner on a €1 million grant from AICS.
  • From 2014-2017, AICS granted approximately €1.6 million to the Italian NGO Vento di Terra (VdT). Another implementing partner is the Palestinian NGO Bisan Center for Research, which has reported links to the PFLP terrorist organization.
  • Community Association of Pope Giovanni XXIII (APG23)
    • In 2015, 56% of APG23’s income was from government sources (€5 million of a total €22.3 million).
    • Supports BDS and is signatory to BDS Italia’s campaign statement.
    • Operation Dove (Colomba), the main program of APG23 in Israel, supports “groups of pacifists and activists who oppose, by non-violent methods, the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories” and “the advocacy work and legal support of Israeli human rights organizations that monitor violations perpetrated against Palestinians.”
  • Un Ponte Per (UPP)
    • According to UPP, in 2016 the organization received €5.1 million in “public and private contributes” (out of a total income of €5.4 million). UPP does not detail the sources of government funding.
    • Supports BDS campaigns against Israel.

Italian Funding to Political NGOs

NGOPartnerYearAmount
Al-HaqCooperazione Per Lo Sviluppo Dei Paesi Emergenti (COSPE)2018€446,820
Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC)Organizzazione Per Lo Sviluppo Globale Di Comunita’ In Paesi Extraeuropei Onlus (Overseas)2018€241,471
Associazione Di Cooperazione E Solidarieta (ACS)€527,102
Ma’an Development CenterUnited Nations Mine Action Service2018$136,612
2017$9,290
Save the ChildrenDefense for Children International – Palestine (DCI-P) and East Jerusalem YMCA2018$218,854
Ma’an Development Center, Palestinian Center for Democracy and Conflict Resolution, and the East Jerusalem YMCA$862,076
Norwegian Refugee CouncilJerusalem Legal Aid Centre (JLAC), Society of St Yves, Community Action Centre (CAC), Yesh Din, HaMoked, Jerusalem Community Advocacy Network (JCAN), Peace Now, Haqel, CCPRJ, BIMKOM and Terrestrial Jerusalem2018$304,450

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