• The Swedish government funds numerous Israeli, Palestinian, and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), the Embassy in Tel Aviv, the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (Secretariat), and indirectly by outsourcing to Swedish church groups and aid organizations such as Diakonia.
  • In 2016, Sweden provided at least $14.8 million to NGOs involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Many of these NGOs and church aid organizations or are involved in anti-peace activities such as incitement, BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions), and legal attacks (“lawfare”) against Israel.
  • Some of these groups also have alleged ties to terrorist organizations.
  • In August 2018, OmVärlden, an online magazine owned by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), published 20 articles making numerous false accusations about NGO Monitor. The articles consisted almost entirely of innuendo, factual inaccuracies, and antisemitic motifs reminiscent of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion (spider web, conspiracy theories).

Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat

Secretariat funding bds cartoon, ngo monitor

  • Sweden, together with the governments of Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, and the Netherlands, jointly funded the Secretariat, with Sweden being the lead donor. For 2014-2017, this funding mechanism had a budget of approximately $19.4 million. The funds were managed by the Institute of Law at Birzeit University (IoL-BZU) in Ramallah and a Swedish consulting company, NIRAS.
  • Sida initially provided over $5 million to the Secretariat (2014-2016). In 2017, Sweden extended its funding through 2018, with an updated total commitment of over $9 million.
  • In correspondence with NGO Monitor, April 2, 2018, the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs stated that in regards to the Secretariat, Sweden “finished its activities according to plan by the end of 2017… Sweden is now considering how to best support efforts to strengthen respect for human rights in the future.”
  • In 2016, Sida paid $34,678 for an internal review of the Secretariat. It is unknown who carried out this evaluation.
  • In 2015, Sida paid $57,950 for an external evaluation of the Secretariat: “Study of effectiveness of core funding to CSOs in the field of Human Rights and IHL in the oPt – Study of effectiveness of core funding to CSOs.” This evaluation was conducted by four individuals, one of whom appears to have worked for Diakonia (see below) and another who was a board member of the Israeli NGO Zochrot (see below).
  • The Secretariat funded highly politicized NGOs that are involved in the whitewashing of violence and terrorism, legal warfare (“lawfare”) against Israeli officials, BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns, advancing a “1948 agenda,” exploiting the false “apartheid” analogy to discredit Israel, and even promoting antisemitic propaganda. Some of these groups also have alleged ties to terrorist organizations. NGO Monitor has extensively documented numerous concerns relating to the Secretariat.

Direct Funding from the Swedish Government:

Direct Swedish Funding to NGOs Active in the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Total$26,987,241 $18,751,098 $26,884,584 $15,629,411
The Secretariat$1,559,790$1,186,338$2,219,108$2,339,455
NGO Development Center$1,864***---$1,226,349$1,228,214
Islamic Relief Worldwide: Sweden$1,576,371$606,634$1,147,107$1,168,675
Gaza Community Mental Health Programme (GCMHP)$743,451$937,207$961,808$924,085
Palestinian Medical Relief Society$1,151,620$1,127,021$1,316,835$1,053,468
Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)$594,032$588,557$592,108$116,973
Diakonia$2,964,259, of which IHL: $583,099$2,515,037, of which IHL: $474,535$2,281,819, of which IHL: $438,338$1,423,606, of which IHL program: $593,169
Swedish Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) via Swedish Council of Churches$874,648$711,803($15,783)---
Kvinna Till Kvinna$1,331,245$1,065,720$1,466,317$220,644
Church of Sweden$664,587$540,445$167,320$184,122
The Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR)$437,324$355,901$350,385---
Pingst formerly Swedish Pentecostal Movement (PMU)$83,540$291,926$264,891---
Swedish Mission Council South$280,422$133,445$1,013,192$747,335
Forum SYD$880,715$690,379$292,053---
We Effect- Swedish Cooperative Centre$961,805
Olof Palme$1,675,789$1,207,955$1,330,988---
Save the Children$875,132$552,228$416,796---
European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR)------$116,795
Health Work Committees---------$1,169,727

*Downloaded from https://openaid.se/aid/sweden/palestine/all-organisations/2016/#activities on July 18, 2017

**Partial funding as of July 18, 2017; funding for 2017 is not finalized

***As predecessor to the Secretariat

**** According to SIDA, “unspecified projects” include:

  • Palestinian Infrastructure Development via World Bank.

  • Local Development through Rehabilitation and Revitalization of the Historic Environment in Palestine, the SIDA agreement partner is UNESCO.


Islamic Relief Sweden

  • Islamic Relief Sweden received $3.7 million (2014-2017) from Sida (see table above).
  • Islamic Relief Sweden also received $3 million indirectly Sida funding through Forum Syd (see below).
  • On June 19, 2014, Israel’s Defense Minister declared IRW to be illegal, based on its alleged role in funneling money to Hamas, and banned it from operating in Israel and the West Bank. Hamas is a designated terror organization by Israel, the US, EU, and Canada. According to media reports, the decision was made after “the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), the coordinator for government activities in the territories, and legal authorities provided incriminating information against IRW.”
  • In November 2014, the United Arab Emirates banned IRW as a terror organization.
  • In January 2016, HSBC Banking group in the UK severed ties with IRW over terror funding fears.

Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)

  • NRC received $1.8 million (2014-2016) from Sida (see table above). Sida provided 6% of NRC’s funding in 2016, down from 8% in 2015.
    • In 2014, the NRC reallocated nearly Swedish krona (SEK) 60,000 of its funding in Gaza, stating that the “reallocation will fund two NGOS in Gaza (PCHR and Al Mezan) to monitor Housing, Land and Property (HLP) violations and home destruction resulting from Operation Preventative Edge in Gaza in July/August 2014. The information collected has been used to inform the international community of the extent of damage in Gaza and to feed into international justice mechanisms, including UN procedures.”
  • One of NRC’s principal projects in Israel, “Information, counseling, and legal assistance (ICLA),” exploits judicial frameworks to manipulate Israeli policy, bypassing democratic frameworks.
    • In 2014, Sida contributed SEK 4 million to the ICLA program in the West Bank and Gaza.
    • NRC reported funding 4,069 cases from June 2009 until August 2014, via NGOs in Israeli courts.
    • A lawyer affiliated with the NRC program stated that the objective of these cases are an attempt to “try every possible legal measure to disrupt the Israeli judicial system… as many cases as possible are registered and that as many cases as possible are appealed to increase the workload of the courts and the Supreme Court to such an extent that there will be a blockage” (emphasis added).
    • NRC demonstrates a lack of transparency and inadequate accountability. It does not provide information regarding amounts transferred to implementing partners. In addition, some of these NGOs are highly active in damaging lawfare campaigns.


  • Diakonia has received multiple grants from Sida, amounting to nearly $7.8 million (2014-2016) (see table above).
  • Diakonia received €250,000 (2016-2019) from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a project called “Enhancing Legal Knowledge on Humanitarian Assistance and Development in Area C.”
    • In 2014-2017, Diakonia transferred over SEK 16.6 million to its local programs, and its country and regional offices (see table above). Of this, nearly $1.5 million (2014-2016) went to the Diakonia International Humanitarian Law (IHL) program. The IHL program, which has its own online “Resource Center,” exploits international law, vilifies Israel, and promotes 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 in any other conflict region in the world.
    • Diakonia also provides funding to local Israeli and Palestinian organizations, but does not reveal how much it provides. Some information is revealed by Sida (see “indirect funding” below).
  • Diakonia supports settlement boycotts and accuses Israel of “collective punishment,” “war crimes,” and “violations of international humanitarian law (IHL),” ignoring Hamas terror attacks against Israeli civilians and Israel’s legitimate right to self-defense.
  • Funds some of the most highly biased and politicized NGOs active in the Arab-Israeli conflict including: Alternative Information Center (AIC), Physicians for Human Rights- Israel (PHR-I), Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP), and Sabeel. Diakonia’s “partners” include Alternative Information Center (AIC), Sabeel, Al-Haq, Al Mezan, BADIL, and Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS) (see “indirect funding” below).

Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI)

  • The Swedish Council of Churches received nearly $1.6 million (2014-2015) designated for EAPPI from Sida (see table above).
  • EAPPI’s rhetoric includes accusations of “apartheid,” “collective punishment,” “war crimes,” and “Bantustans”; supporting a Palestinian “right of return”; and promoting the Kairos Palestine document that calls for BDS against Israel, denies the Jewish historical connection to Israel in theological terms, and rationalizes, justifies, and trivializes terrorism, calling it “legal resistance.”
  • Sweden sends about 20 participants on the EAPPI program annually. Upon returning to their home countries, many EAPPI activists use their experience in the West Bank to promote campaigns, including BDS.

Kvinna Till Kvinna (KTK)

Church of Sweden

  • The Church of Sweden (CoS) received multiple grants amounting to nearly $1.8 million (2014-2016) from Sida.
  • CoS promotes settlement goods labeling.
  • A 2014 Church of Sweden document states that spending and projects in the Middle East region amounted to SEK 10.2 million. In many cases, it is unclear how this funding is distributed or where the projects are specifically located.

NGO Development Center

Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS)

  • PMRS received $3.6 million (2014-2016) from Sida (see table above).
    • Sida committed over $5.3 million to support of PMRS (2016-2020).
    • Sida provided over $4.8 million to PMRS from 2012-2015.
  • PMRS repeatedly claims that Israel violates “human rights,” employs methods of “collective punishment,” “deploys non-conventional weapons against civilians,” and seeks to “oust the Palestinians… into densely populated enclaves fully controlled by Israel and geographically separate.”

Gaza Community Mental Health Programme (GCMHP)

  • GCMHP received $2.7 million (2014-2016) from Sida (see table above).
  • GCMHP uses unsubstantiated medical claims as an avenue to criticize the Israeli government, including allegations that the Jewish state engages in “collective punishment,” “massacres,” and “war crimes.”


  • Oxfam received nearly $2.4 million (2015-2016), as part of a total funding package of approximately $10.8 million for 2015-2020 from Sida (see table above).
  • Oxfam consistently paints a highly misleading picture of the Arab-Israeli conflict, departing from its humanitarian mission focused on poverty. Most Oxfam statements erase all complexity and blame Israel exclusively for the situation, and these distortions and their impacts contribute significantly to the conflict.
  • Oxfam claims to work with over 60 partner organizations in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, but does not name these organizations.

International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH)

  • International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) received $2.3 million (2014-2016) in core funding as part of a $5.2 million project (2012-2017).
  • In March 2017, Sida funded a document written by Al-Haq, International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH), Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS), CCFD- Terre Solidaire, and the French League of Human Rights (LDH) that recommends that the French government pressure French financial institutions to “disengage without delay from any financial link with the Israeli banking system” and create “a legislative proposal prohibiting enterprises from all sectors to invest in the settlements.” The document only points to very minor and indirect connections, if at all, to settlements, and French courts have repeatedly found that such business activity is not illegal.

European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR)

  • ECFR received nearly $500,000 in 2016 and $118,000 in 2017 from Sida.
  • ECFR writes extensively on what it calls the “differentiation” policy, calling for sanctions against Israeli entities (and certain individuals) that have activities in or apparent financial contacts with Israeli settlements, claiming that this does not constitute BDS.
  • In 2017, ECFR published, “

Health Work Committees

The Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR)

  • ICHR received approximately $1.2 million (2014-2016) from Sida. Sida has committed approximately $1.3 million to the ICHR for 2014-2017.
  • 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.”
  • ICHR refers to the 2014 Gaza war as “Israeli military aggression against the Gaza Strip.”

Pingst (formerly Swedish Pentecostal Movement – PMU)

  • Pingst received $644,721 (2014-2016) from Sida (see table above).
  • PMU provided SEK 5.1 million to “Palestine” for development projects and SEK 99,774 for humanitarian projects in 2014.
  • PMU claims that they do “not implement the actual projects itself, but instead coordinates humanitarian aid with local and international partner organisations whose values are close to those of PMU; partners who we know have the same outlook on mankind reflected and turned into action to help the most vulnerable people.”
    • Pingst and PMU do not reveal which organizations they fund or how much they provide to these NGOs.

Swedish Mission Council South

  • Swedish Mission Council South is an umbrella group of 34 Swedish church groups, including Caritas Sweden and PMU.
  • Swedish Mission Council South received multiple grants amounting to $1.4 million (2014-2016).
  • It is unclear from its website and annual reports what the organization does in the West Bank and Gaza.
  • Coordinates projects with Diakonia, Pingst, and the Church of Sweden.

Forum Syd

  • Forum Syd received grants totaling nearly $1.9 million (2014-2016) from Sida (see table above).
  • Forum Syd does not appear to work directly in the West Bank and Gaza, but rather funds international NGOs that channel funds to NGOs in the region, including Palestine Solidarity in Sweden (Palestinagrupperna i Sverige – PGS), Islamic Relief Sweden, and Föreningen Emmaus Björkå (see below for more details about these organizations).

We Effect (formerly Swedish Cooperative Centre)

Save the Children

The Olof Palme International Center

Unspecified funding


  • Sida paid $66,490 (2014-2016) for another evaluation, “Research to better promote human rights in Israel/Palestine.”
    • The evaluation was written by Jessica Montell, a member of the Secretariat’s Reference Group and former B’Tselem Executive Director. The Swedish government failed to respond to NGO Monitor’s concerns about conflicts of interest in this evaluation.



Indirect Funding

Indirect funding from Sweden:

NGOFrameworkYearSum (SEK)
Alternative Information Center (AIC)Diakonia2017630,000
Country Office JerusalemDiakonia201736,000
867,287 (PCSD program)
Diakonia Head Office (MENA)Diakonia2015298,881
120,152 (PCSD program)
2014170,874 (PCSD program)
Physicians for Human Rights-IsraelDiakonia2017360,000
Regional office Middle East and Northern AfricaDiakonia2017378,000
The Lutheran World FederationDiakonia20144,120,758
Lutheran World Federation-Department for World Service, JerusalemChurch of Sweden20171,060,000
Women's Affairs Technical CommitteeDiakonia2017382,950
Palestinagrupperna i SverigeForum Syd2014-20178,353,000
Föreningen Emmaus BjörkåForum Syd2016117,000
Islamic Relief, SwedenForum Syd20161,041,000
IM Country officeIndividuell Människohjälp20171,791,692
Health Work CommitteesIndividuell Människohjälp2017743,948
Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS)Individuell Människohjälp2017790,678
Arab Network for Civil EducationIndividuell Människohjälp2017315,759
Women’s Studies Center (WSC)Kvinna till Kvinna201772,000
Women Affairs CenterKvinna till Kvinna2017171,000
Kvinna till Kvinna regional supportKvinna till Kvinna20172,226,600
Kvinna till Kvinna regional project coordinationKvinna till Kvinna20172,580,018
Olof Palmes Internationella CenterOlof Palme2017270,000
OPC Mena Office in RamallahOlof Palme2015650,268
Democracy and Workers' Rights CenterOlof Palme2017495,000
PYALARAOlof Palme2017540,000
Save the Children Int’lSave the Children Sweden20156,021,000
YWCA of PalestineSwedish Mission Council20161,058,997
ACT Palestine ForumChurch of Sweden2016
Department on Service to Palestine RefugeesChurch of Sweden20171,206,000
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan & the Holy LandChurch of Sweden2017800,000
Liaison OfficerTrossamfundet Svenska kyrkan2017280,000
Who ProfitsTrossamfundet Svenska kyrkan2017450,000
Wi’am Palestinian Conflict Resolution and Transformation CenterTrossamfundet Svenska kyrkan2017225,000
We EffectWe Effect20172,025,000
Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ)We Effect2017900,000



Diakonia has transferred nearly SEK 8 million in Sida funding to NGOs in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza since 2014.

  • Sabeel
    • Received SEK 1.4 million (SEK 360,000 per year from 2014-2017) from Diakonia.
    • According to the Diakonia-sponsored 2013-2015 project description, Sabeel claims that Israel is “routinely committing violations of the Geneva Conventions, a set of principles instituted after World War II to ensure that civilians would ‘never again’ suffer as they had under Nazi occupation. Israel is one of the leading violators of these conventions today.”
  • Women’s Affairs Technical Committee (WATC)
    • Received SEK 1.5 million (2014-2017) from Diakonia.
    • WATC rhetoric includes accusations of “apartheid” and “ethnic cleansing.”
    • Releases videos regularly on its YouTube Channel glorifying “resistance” and condemning Israel.
    • In May 2017, WATC inaugurated a youth center for girls in the town of Burqa, near Nablus. As reported by Palestinian Media Watch, the center was named after Dalal Mughrabi, a terrorist who in 1978 murdered 37 civilians, including 12 children. Funding for this building was provided by Norway, UN Women (United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women), and Palestinian Authority Ministry of Local Government. Upon learning that the center had been named after a terrorist, the Norwegian government and the United Nations issued strong condemnations. Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende stated that “We have asked for the logo of the Norwegian representation office to be removed from the building immediately, and for the funding that has been allocated to the centre to be repaid.”
  • Alternative Information Center (AIC)
    • Received SEK 2.5 million (SEK 630,000 per year 20142017) from Diakonia.
    • Prior to the organization’s founding, AIC co-founder Michael Warschawski was a leader of “Matzpen,” the anti-Zionist Trotskyite organization. Warschawski was jailed in the 1990s for publishing an informational pamphlet for the PFLP terror group (verdict on file with NGO Monitor).
    • Co-director of AIC Nassar Ibrahim is former editor of El Hadaf – the PFLP’s weekly publication.
  • Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I)
    • Received SEK 2.5 million (2014-2017) from Diakonia.
    • In October 2015, during a wave of violence against Israeli civilians, PHR-I, along with other politicized NGOs in Israel, called upon Israel to end its policy of “extrajudicial killings” and “collective punishment.” The group criticized Israeli policy and actions of self-defense, without even noting the intensification of attacks against Israelis.
  • Lutheran World Federation
    • Received SEK 4.1 million (2014) from Diakonia.
    • Founding member of the ACT Alliance, which promotes rhetoric against Israel, international BDS campaigns, and the Kairos Palestine document – that characterizes terrorist acts of “armed resistance” as “Palestinian legal resistance,” denies the Jewish historical connection to Israel in theological terms, calls to mobilize churches worldwide in the call for BDS, and compares Israel with the South African apartheid regime.
  • Diakonia local offices:
    • Diakonia transferred over SEK 12 million (2014-2017) to Diakonia MENA and Jerusalem offices (see table above).

Forum SYD

Individuell Människohjälp (IM)

  • Health Work Committees (see “direct funding” above)
    • HWC received SEK 2.1 million (2015-2017) from Individuell Människohjälp (IM) (see table above).
  • Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS)
    • PMRS received SEK 790,678 (2017 budgeted) from IM.
    • PMRS’ President, Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, referred to the Gaza conflict as a “horrendous massacre,” and used the terms “ghetto” and “apartheid” on a radio program.
    • PMRS refers to the security barrier, constructed in the wake of virulent campaign of suicide bombings targeting restaurants, cafes, buses, and shopping malls, and killing hundreds of Israelis, including scores of children, and wounding thousands as the “apartheid Wall.”

Kvinna Till Kvinna (KTK)

  • Kvinna Till Kvinna transferred SEK 8.6 million (2015-2017) to its regional offices.
  • Women’s Studies Centre (WSC)
    • Received SEK 576,752 (2015-2017) from KTK.
    • In September 2016, Sama Awiedah presented at a conference hosted by the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) at a panel titled “BDS and the intersection of feminism and national liberation struggle.” The panel discussed how the “BDS campaign against Israel serves as one manifestation of resistance to colonialism and imperialism and towards envisioning an alternative future.”
  • Women Affairs Centre (WAC)
    • Received SEK 988,637 (2016-2017) from KtK (see above).
    • On March 8, 2016, WAC was a signatory to the “Palestinian Women’s Call for Worldwide Women’s Endorsement of BDS,” which called on women and feminists to join BDS campaigns, as “the Israeli regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid has for decades denied the Palestinian people our inalienable right to self-determination.”
  • KtK funds a project with WSC and WAC called “Bereaved to Bereaved,” which “support[s] women whose homes have been demolished and family members have been killed or imprisoned, as a result of the occupation.” This project does not indicate that those family members almost certainly were engaged in violent activities.

Olof Palme Center

  • Olof Palme transferred SEK 1.2 million (2015-2017) to its local offices.
  • PYALARA (The Palestinian Youth Association for Leadership and Rights Activation)
    • Received SEK 1.7 million (2015-2017) from Olof Palme Center.
    • In January 2014, PYALARA co-produced a TV program referring to Jews as “crows” and armed “rats” while visuals of Israeli soldiers appear on screen. The broadcast continued, “But we know that the gates will smile only when we enter them… Jerusalem will never accept any language other than Arabic and any nationality other than Palestinian, no matter how much the flags of the foreigners fly in its sky.”
  • Democracy and Workers’ Rights Center in Palestine
    • Received SEK 1 million (2016-2017) from Olof Palme Center.
    • In October 2015, at the height of a wave of terror attacks against Israelis, DWRC posted a statement released by the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) on Facebook and Twitter, calling on Palestinians to boycott Israel as a show of “solidarity” with the “current phase… [of] Palestinian popular resistance” and praising the “increased [] isolation of Israel and [] its regime of settler-colonialism, apartheid and occupation.”

Svenska Missionsrådet (Swedish Mission Council)

Church of Sweden

We Effect



  1. Until 2014, NDC managed the pooled finances of Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands through its Human Rights/Good Governance (HR/GG) program. In 2014, pooled funding to the NDC was replaced by the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (“Secretariat”), managed by the Institute of Law at Birzeit University and Niras.

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