Oxfam Great Britain (GB)

Profile

Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

Activity

Oxfam Great Britain (GB) is the UK affiliate of Oxfam International, an “international confederation of 17 organizations networked together in 92 countries.” Other affiliates, including Oxfam Novib (Netherlands), are also involved in politicized advocacy on the Arab-Israeli conflict.

See also NGO Monitor’s reports on Oxfam International, Oxfam Novib (Netherlands), and Oxfam-Solidarité (Belgium).

Funding

Funding to Politicized NGOs

  • Between 2013-2017, Oxfam GB granted NIS 1,860,192 to GishaB’TselemZochrotEmek Shaveh, and Yesh Din. (See below for further funding information.)
  • In 2014, Oxfam GB was listed as a supporter for a publication by Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) titled “One Rule, Two Legal Systems: Israel’s Regime of Laws in the West Bank,” which alleged a “comprehensive regime of separation between the laws applying to settlers and those applying to Palestinians in the West Bank, based on an ethnic-national distinction.”
  • In 2013, Oxfam GB was listed as a sponsor for the Zochrot conference titled “From Truth to Redress: Realizing the Return of Palestinian Refugee.” The conferences featured members of BADILIsraeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), and Christian Aid, and featured lectures entitled “The Right of Return: Reversing Ethnic Cleansing,” and Strategies and Recommendations for Israeli NGOs on Realizing Return and Promoting Justice.”
    • Following NGO Monitor inquiries, Oxfam GB tweeted, “We haven’t sponsored this conference.”

Demonization of Israel

  • Organizes a project, “Tajaawob,” in partnership with the British Council, Miftah, and Palestinian Vision, and funded by the UK, which seeks to “bridge the gap between the citizens and decision makers.” One aspect of this program is the “Officials on the Road” program, which exposes decision makers to “the daily problems faced by Palestinians…  These face-to-face encounters take place in marginalized villages, where officials are directly exposed to the difficulties faced by residents in terms of policies and provision of services.” According to its website, the decision makers are accompanied by “an informed citizen.”
    • Tajaawob’s interactive map of the region does not include Israel and refers to the Negev as “South Palestine” and the Galilee region as “North Palestine.”
  • In May 2018, during the violence on the Gaza border, Oxfam GB Program Portfolio Manager Tim Holmes condemned “the deaths and injuries of unarmed Palestinian protesters in Gaza. Unarmed Palestinians have the right to make their voices heard and the right to freedom of assembly and expression. Israel must abide by its obligations under international law to protect life and exercise the utmost restraint in accordance with law-enforcement standards on the use of force.” Holmes falsely referred to domestic law enforcement standards as applicable to the situation and ignored the violent nature of the protests, which included rockets, mortars, sniper fire, Molotov cocktails, balloon bombs, and attempts to breach the border fence in order to launch attacks on IDF positions and Israeli civilian communities.
  • In February 2018, as a member of Association of International Development Agencies (AIDA), published a report titled “50 Years of Occupation: Dispossession, Deprivation and De-development” that accused Israel of “systemic, decades-long squeeze of Palestinian economic prospects and human rights.”
  • Published the 2015 Association of International Development Agencies (AIDA) “joint agency briefing paper titled, “Charting a New Course: Overcoming the Stalemate in Gaza,” misrepresenting international law and distorting legal terminology to place primary blame for the 2014 Gaza war on Israel. The paper omits Hamas rocket attacks against Israeli civilians, as well as terror tunnels running beneath the border into Israel. The paper further encourages contact with Hamas, stating: “Restricted contact can undermine humanitarian access and implementation of humanitarian programmes…”
  • In August 2014, Richard Stanforth, Oxfam GB’s Regional Policy Advisor, stated that “Palestinian armed groups have fired rockets causing fear and panic in parts of Israel,” and stated that “the targeting of Israeli civilians is despicable, but the entire population of Gaza has been increasingly paying for the actions of just a few.”
  • In response to rockets being fired from Gaza in 2008, Barbara Stocking, then director of Oxfam GB, blamed Israel, “We must be clear that the plight of the people of Sderot, facing a daily barrage of rockets from Gaza, will not end unless Israel too stops its blockade and military attacks.”
  • In 2014 had a demonstration in central London where Oxfam GB activists trapped 150 men, women, and children in tiny boxes purporting to illustrate “the conditions faced by the people in Gaza who are trapped by the blockade.” The demonstration made no mention of Hamas’ smuggling of weapons and rockets to target Israeli citizens, theft of humanitarian aid, or that Gaza shares a border with Egypt.
  • In 2014, Oxfam GB employed false legal language by calling on the “UK government to clarify what it is doing to bring an end to this collective punishment-the best step toward securing a lasting peace.” According to Nishant Pandey, then head of Oxfam in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel, “There is a closing window of opportunity for international pressure to end this blockade, and the UK government should play a vital role. The people of this region deserve good news, and lifting the blockade is a necessary step toward a lasting peace between Palestinians and Israelis.”
  • In 2009, Oxfam GB “argued against the blockade, which punishes the ordinary people of Gaza for rocket fire and the imprisonment of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit over which they have no control. International humanitarian law defines this as collective punishment which is illegal.”

BDS Activities

  • Oxfam GB called on the international community to sanction Israel regarding the blockade of Gaza, as they “will be guilty of a dereliction of duty if it [the international community] stands by and watches the blockade continue to impose further misery on Palestinians in Gaza.”
  • In 2014, following the resignation of Scarlett Johannsen, an “Oxfam Ambassador,” Oxfam released a letter in the name of Mark Goldring, the Chief Executive of Oxfam GB, stating, “While Oxfam respects the independence of our ambassadors, Ms. Johansson’s role promoting the company SodaStream is incompatible with her role as an Oxfam Global Ambassador. Oxfam believes that businesses, such as SodaStream, that operate in settlements further the ongoing poverty and denial of rights of the Palestinian communities that we work to support. Oxfam is opposed to all trade from Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law.”
    • In response, Johannson released a statement that she and “Oxfam have a fundamental difference of opinion in regards to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement…I remain a supporter of economic cooperation and social interaction between a democratic Israel and Palestine.”
  • In 2009, Barbara Stocking, former director of Oxfam GB, stated that “We support the right of consumers to know the origin of the products they purchase. Trade with Israeli settlements — which are illegal under international law — contributes to their economic viability and serves to legitimize them. It is also clear from our development work in West Bank communities that settlements have led to the denial of rights and create poverty for many Palestinians.”

Oxfam Sex Scandal

  • On February 9, 2018, The Times of London revealed that employees of Oxfam procured prostitutes, some of whom were children, while doing relief work in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.
  • In the aftermath of the revelations, Oxfam released an internal memo from 2011 on the investigation into the allegations. The report describes a concerted effort at the highest levels to deal quietly with the abuse, as well as incompetence and mismanagement in human resource policies.
  • According to the report, Oxfam executives were primarily concerned about “potentially serious implications for the programme [and] affiliate relationships” if they were to fire the senior official responsible for the scandalous behavior.
  • In May 2018, following the scandal, Oxfam GB CEO Mark Goldring resigned from his post.

Partners

Appendix 1

Grants Donated (amounts in NIS)

Information for 2016-2017 based on quarterly reports submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits; 2013-2015 on annual reports.

Receiving NGOYearGrant Donated
Gisha201746,070
2016197,141
2015223,265
2014216,185
B’Tselem201426,163
Zochrot201425,878
201325,615
Emek Shaveh201563,000
Yesh Din20131,036,875

2015-2018 Grants Received (amounts in £)

Donor2018201720162015
Austria256,000300,000
Canada348,000219,0001,386,000235,000
Denmark2,814,000608,0001,003,000645,000
Finland1,013,0001,350,0001,408,000927,000
Germany1,103,000863,000432,000305,000
Ireland1,064,000999,000869,000184,000
Netherlands953,0001,294,000
New Zealand532,000533,000
Norway462,000283,000
Sweden6,550,0007,861,0007,576,00012,441,000
Switzerland3,678,0004,255,0002,585,0002,267,000
United Kingdom21,750,00032,453,00050,161,00045,913,000
United States11,703,0007,627,0006,921,0006,227,000
DFID20,914,00023,339,00038,034,00034,306,000
ECHO (European Union)20,794,00017,958,00018,635,00031,644,000
EuropeAid (EU)8,291,00011,375,0007,750,0009,027,000
UNICEF9,094,00010,928,0007,123,00010,967,000
OCHA10,501,00010,636,0005,660,0002,000,000
UNHCR5,238,0003,397,0001,940,000
UNDP3,959,0003,551,0002,466,0004,030,000
Oxfam Affiliates 68,688,00041,602,00046,225,00031,009,000

 

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