Medico International




  • Medico International states that it “struggles for the human right to the best possible access to good health. In doing so we support local partners… in their endeavors to create the economic, social and cultural conditions which allow each person to attain the highest health standard possible.”
  • Based in Germany and Switzerland, with projects in Africa, the Middle East, Central and South America, and Asia.


  • According to its 2016 Annual Report, Medico International’s 2016 budget was €18.4 million, an 11.7% increase from 2015, “largely due to an increase in public subsidies of €1.2 million.” MI received €5.4 million in public funds in 2016, which amounted to over 45% of its total income (€11.5 million).
  • Donors include Germany (through the German Federal Foreign Office [AA] and German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development [BMZ]) and the Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) of the European Union. Private donors include Brot fur die WeltMisereor, and the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation – all of which receive most of their funding from the German government.
  • According to its 2016 annual report, MI’s “Donations from public entities increased by 26.9% in the reported year [2016]… but are still in a framework the does not pose a threat to medico’s independence” (NGO Monitor translation, emphasis added).
  • MI’s 2016 Israel/Palestine budget was €2.2 million. Donors for activities in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza include Germany (AA and BMZ).

Funding for Politicized NGOs

  • Funds highly politicized Israeli and Palestinian advocacy NGOs, including Who Profits,  AdalahBreaking the Silence (BtS), Physicians for Human Rights – Israel (PHR-I), the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), the Freedom Theater (TFT) and the Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS). Of these, Breaking the Silence, PHR-I, Adalah, and Who Profits received core funding in 2016. (See below for complete funding information.)
    • Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) has reported links to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), designated by the U.S., EU, Canada, and Israel as a terrorist organization. In 1993, USAID identified the UAWC as “the PFLP’s agricultural organization.”
    • Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS) regularly invites “delegations of consuls and country representatives to vulnerable areas… [and] international solidarity groups to witness and document human rights abuses.” Mustafa Barghouti, president of PMRS, takes part in BDS activities, stating, “We are now in the early stages of a campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions directed at this Israeli government for its refusal to abide by international law. Such action successfully overturned Jim Crow laws in the American South and apartheid in South Africa, and we are slowly applying it to Israeli occupation and apartheid.”
    • In 2016, the Freedom Theater produced and performed the play “Images from the life of Ghassan Kanafani” based on the writings of Ghassan Kanafani, who is described by TFT as an “iconic figure in the Palestinian struggle for liberation,” and “a prominent member of PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine),” a terrorist organization designated as such by the EU and others. The play was supported by Sweden and the EU.
    • Who Profits was founded “in response to the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement” against Israel. Who Profits initiates international BDS campaigns, targeting Israeli and foreign banks, security companies, civil infrastructure facilities, and private companies. It supports BDS campaigns around the world in finding target companies.
    • Adalah is one of the most politically active NGOs in opposing Israeli policy regarding the Bedouin in the Negev. It publishes an online “Discriminatory Laws Database,” that claims to collect “text, analyses, and legal action for present and proposed discriminatory laws in Israel and the OPT [Occupied Palestinian Territories].” This deceptive list does not distinguish between laws and legislative proposals and refers to Zionism pejoratively.
    • Breaking the Silence collects testimonies of soldiers who served in the Occupied Territories during the Second Intifada,” claiming that the “testimonies portray a…grim picture of questionable orders in many areas regarding Palestinian civilians [which] demonstrate the depth of corruption which is spreading in the Israeli military.” It is active in “war crimes” charges against Israel. These charges were based on anonymous and unverifiable hearsay “testimonies.”
    • Under the guide of medical expertise and scientific fact, Physicians for Human Rights- Israel (PHR-I) promotes distorted and false narratives aimed at demonizing and delegitimizing Israel in the international arena.
  • Funds a project titled “EU advocacy & lobbying for a just Middle East politics [sic]” of Brussels-based NGO European Middle East Project (EuMEP). Head of EuMEP, Martin Konecny, wrote an opinion article for Al-Jazeera in June 2016 calling on FIFA “ to exclude settlement clubs from the Israeli Football Association,” as part of a broader campaign against Israel initiated by several pro-BDS groups.
  • MI openly supports political activities and lobbying of its partners. According to MI’s 2015 annual report, “in addition to humanitarian aid, [MI’s local partners] also bring the political crisis into light. They collect material for the International Court of Justice in the Hague and pursue political interventions.” (p.25, NGO Monitor translation)
  • Advertised a “book presentation” with Breaking the Silence (BtS) in Ramallah on May 17, 2011, to launch “Occupation of the Territories: Israeli Soldier Testimonies 2000-2010.” Following criticism from NGO Monitor, the event was cancelled. MI’s Israel director Tsafrir Cohen claimed that funding for BtS comes from MI’s “own donations, i.e. there are no state or EU moneys involved.”

Political Advocacy

  • In a June 2017 blog post on MI’s website, MI’s Head of Public Relations and Media Spokesperson, Katja Maurer, wrote: “The Israeli right is cleverly trying to cement the status quo and thus to turn it into a prospective solution. They do this first and foremost with accusations of antisemitism and the implication that behind the demand for harsh measures to enforce UN resolutions – binding under international law – is directed against the existence of the State of Israel and is therefore antisemitic. Such a reversal of political responsibility is possible only because the Israeli right understands the Shoa, and not European nationalism and the resulting disintegration of multinational states, as the explanation for the existence of the country… The experience of centuries-long persecution in Europe thus becomes a universal Jewish narrative. In contrast, other experiences remain underrepresented. Among these, that Jews in the Ottoman Empire could live relatively safely, in comparison to Europe in any case. Only the foundation of the State of Israel changed this, leading to the half voluntary half forced exodus of most Jews from Arab lands” (emphases added, NGO Monitor translation).
  • In a December 2015 article titled “Internal Colonization,” MI Near East Coordinator Riad Othman accuses Israel of “internal and external land grab” and “erosion of democratic values,” describing the Israeli government as “blatantly racist” and claiming that “[i]t is becoming increasingly apparent that democratic values and rights are not intended for all citizens of the country, but for those who belong to the Jewish majority… The actions of the Israeli government demonstrate what MI’s partners in Israel such as Breaking the Silence, Adalah or Physicians for Human Rights have long warned against” (NGO Monitor translation, emphasis added).
  • In an article from July 2016, MI Spokesperson Katja Mauerer describes Israel as a “non-liberal democracy” and claims that “[t]he 1967 occupation has been wiped out of the collective memory, the green line is irrelevant.” The article ends with a plea for donations, on the premise that “[t]he measures with which our Israeli partners try to protect themselves against defamation, attacks and criminalization are costly.” (NGO Monitor translation).

2014-2016 Funding

NGO Recipient AmountYearProject Title
Who ProfitsNIS 51,692
NIS 48,8402015
NIS 61,6072014
Physicians for Human Rights- IsraelNIS 50,000
Promoting health rights of residents in the West Bank and the public activity of the NGO
NIS 47,4072014
Breaking the SilenceNIS 83,5322016General support
NIS 42,000
2015General support
NIS 40,0002014General Support
AdalahNot available
Core Support
NIS 47,7962014
Comet-MENIS 780,3562014

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