MISEREOR

Profile

Country/TerritoryGermany

Activity

  • MISEREOR is the official aid framework of the Catholic Church in Germany – since 1962, the German government is obligated under German law to provide financial support for the development work of church-aid organizations.
  • MISEREOR views government advocacy as a central goal: “MISEREOR aims to influence public opinion and policymaking… This is how MISEREOR helps enable its partners and the beneficiaries to overcome structural injustices… appeal[ing] to the consciences of the powerful in Europe.”

Funding

  • In 2018, total income was €232.2 million; total expenses were €259.5 million, of which €3.6 million was spent on Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.
  • 2018 donors include the Catholic Central Agency for Development (KZE) and the Association of Dioceses in Germany (VDD).
  • According to a November 2018 German parliamentary question, Germany funded six projects in the West Bank and Gaza implemented by the Catholic Central Agency for Development (KZE), a subsidiary of MISEREOR.

2017-2018 Funding to Misereor

Donor20182017
Catholic Central Agency for Development (KZE)€165.5 million€143.1 million
Association of Dioceses in Germany (VDD)€7.1 million€7.3 million

Political Advocacy

  • MISEREOR has provided grants to a number of highly biased and politicized NGOs active in the Arab-Israeli conflict, including:  Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), Yesh DinBreaking the SilenceZochrot, and HaMoked. (See table below for available financial information.)
    • PCHR founder and director, Raji Sourani, was “prohibited from leaving Palestine (sic) from 1977 to 1990.” According to a 1995 article in the Washington Report, Raji Sourani served “a three-year sentence [1979-1982] imposed by an Israeli court which convicted him of membership in the illegal Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine…” He was also denied a US entry visa in 2012. Sourani was imprisoned an additional three times “in 1985 and 1986…” and held in administrative detention in 1988. From 1986 to 1987 he was “restricted from legal work for one year by an Israeli military decision issued by the Israeli Military Governor.”
      • In February 2014, the PFLP organized a ceremony in Gaza honoring Sourani for winning the “Alternative Noble Prize.” Rabah Muhana, a member of the PFLP Political Bureau, delivered a speech at the prize ceremony.
      • On November 14, 2017, Sourani spoke at a book launch hosted by the PFLP for a book about their “leader” Ahamad Saadat.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Zochrot supports a “One State Solution” or a “de-Zionized Palestine,” and refers to Israel as having an “ethnicized and racialized Zionist” system.
    • 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.”
  • In January 2017, as a member of the church umbrella organization CIDSE’s Palestine-Israel Working Group, MISEREOR released a report titled “No Place Like Home: A Reader On The Forced Internal Displacement Of Palestinians In The Occupied Palestinian Territory And Israel,” that was designed as a tool to lobby the European Union. The report calls for European “concrete action” and “promoting accountability” against Israel in order to “address[] the Israeli policies which are the root causes of displacement.”
  • In 2014, published a guide, together with Bread for the World (BfW-EED), the aid framework of the Protestant Church in Germany, purporting to promote “fair tourism in Israel and Palestine taking into account international law.”
    • The guide seeks to “encourage travelers and pilgrims to view the Holy Land as a coherent travel destination and not to limit themselves to one side of the border… Until now travel programs and itineraries have been largely determined by the interests of the Israeli tourist industry”. (p. 4-5, NGO Monitor translation)
    • The guide dedicates a chapter to the Kairos Palestine Document, titled “Pilgrimage of Change” (p. 10, NGO Monitor translation). The Kairos-Palestine-Document denies the Jewish historical connection to Israel in theological terms, calls to mobilize churches worldwide in the call for BDS, and characterizes terrorist acts of “armed resistance” as “Palestinian legal resistance.”
    • Recommends tours of politicized anti-Israel organizations such as the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), which promotes BDS and advocates for a one-state solution.
    • Recommends politicized and highly biased organizations, such as Al-HaqBreaking the SilenceSabeel, and Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), as sources of information.
  • In July 2014, MISEREOR and BfW- EED held a conference in Berlin on “The ICJ’s Wall Opinion Revisited: Towards its effective Implementation.” The event addressed “the impact of the wall … on the human rights of the local population, … attempt to clarify the role of the United Nations and …the role of third parties in ensuring the implementation of the legal obligations described in the advisory opinion.” Contrary to the narrative at the conference, the security barrier was built in response to terror attacks emanating from the West Bank and has saved countless lives since its construction.
  • Listed as a sponsor for a 2013 conference, organized by radical Israeli NGO Zochrot, which promoted the Palestinian “Nakba” and the “right of return,” meaning the elimination of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.
  • MISEREOR sponsored a 2013 UN event with a presentation by an official from Al-Haq on “Depleting Palestine: Unlawful Extraction of Natural Resources in Occupied Territory”, a leader in the anti-Israel lawfare and BDS campaigns. This panel was an attempt to further the BDS agenda at the UN.
  • Together with Bread for the World, supported and promoted Breaking the Silence’s “Testimonies of a crew” exhibit in Berlin, spreading anonymous and unverifiable allegations against Israeli soldiers.
  • Helped prepare a CIDSE booklet, “Gaza Dignity under Siege: Voices from Behind the Blockade,” featuring testimonies of pro-Palestinian activities, accusing Israel of disproportionate force and abuse of power, and omitting Israeli perspectives and security concerns.

Funding to Israeli and Palestinian NGOs (amounts in NIS)

2015-2016 amounts based on NGO annual financial reports; 2017-2018 amounts based on quarterly financial reports submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits.

NGO2018201720162015
Zochrot270,550310,345354,377
Breaking the Silence400,686310,260662,075346,074
Hamoked884,164382,500
Yesh Din84,326
Al-Marsad1,542,320*828,555
Sadaka Reut181,464
Society of St. YvesNot disclosed
Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR)Not disclosedNot disclosed

*Al Marsad receives this funding for two projects- one funded by MISEREOR and one funded by Zentralstelle, (KZE -Katholische Zentralstelle für Entwicklungshilfe e.V.), a subsidiary of MISEREOR.

Partners

  • Misereor is a member of VENRO, an umbrella organization of development and humanitarian NGOs in Germany that was founded in 1995 in order to represent NGOs in the political arena and strengthen their influence in decision-making processes. As stated on its website, at the time of VENRO’s creation, “NGOs wanted to be not only helpers of the south, but also a critical voice in north-south politics and to exert their influence on political decision-makers.”
    • VENRO has a working group (Kofinanzierung) designated for “intensive political dialogue” (translation by NGO Monitor) with the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), advising them on funding guidelines and selection of beneficiaries. VENRO’s deputy CEO, Dr. Klaus Seitz, is head of the political department in Misereor.
  • Misereor is a member of the CIDSE network of Catholic aid organizations.

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Further Reading