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ACT Alliance

Profile

Country/TerritoryInternational
Websitehttp://www.actalliance.org/
Founded2010, as a merger between ACT International and ACT Development.
In their own words“Committed to working towards a world community where all God’s creation lives with dignity, justice, peace and full respect for human rights and the environment.”

Funding

  • In 2016, total income was $4 million; total expenses were $4.1 million.
  • In 2016, $8.1 million was allocated to the Middle East, of which $411,256 was allocated to the “Occupied Palestinian Territories.”
  • In 2017, ACT Alliance and DanChurchAid requested $1.3 million from the United Nations for Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI). It is unclear if they received any of this funding.
    • EAPPI sends volunteers to the West Bank to “witness life under occupation.” Upon completion of the program, the volunteers return to their home countries and churches where many engage in anti-Israel advocacy, including advocating for BDS campaigns in churches, comparing Israel to apartheid South Africa and Nazi Germany, and other delegitimization strategies.

Activities

Political Advocacy

  • ACT Alliance members have “advocated for the EU not to participate in Israel’s violations of international law” and have called for “measures to ensure the correct labelling of settlement products and, further, a ban of imports of settlement products.”
  • Supported the EU’s decision to label products exported from Israeli communities over the 1949 armistice lines, calling it “an important measure towards ensuring continued, full and effective implementation of existing EU legislation.”
  • In May 2018, ACT Alliance released a statement “condemn[ing] the killing of Palestinian people on their own land” following the Great March of Return. The petition ignores the violent nature of the protests, which included Molotov cocktails, arson, and attempts to breach the border fence with Israel.
  • In December 2017, following President Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, ACT Alliance General Secretary Rudelmar Bueno de Faria stated that this decision will “add to the human suffering of the Palestinians.”
  • Together with Norwegian Church Aid, published a “Country plan 2011-2015: The occupied Palestinian Territory with Israel and faith-based organisations in the Middle East,” presenting a highly biased and politicized view of the conflict and accusing Israel of “excessive use of force,” “demolitions,” “displacement,” “harassment,” and using “human shields,” and promoting the Palestinian narrative of “Nakba” [meaning the establishment of Israel is a “catastrophe”].

ACT Palestine Forum

  • The ACT Palestine Forum (APF) is a coalition of ACT Alliance Members that are active in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza under the Act Alliance network.
  • According to its website, ACT Palestine Forum’s advocacy goals include contributing “to a global discourse on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that addresses the consequences of occupation.”
  • Encourages its followers to “become an Ecumenical Accompanier” through the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI).
    • EAPPI was founded by the World Council of Churches (WCC), which continues to fund the project. EAPPI presents a one-sided Palestinian narrative, and promotes the claim to a “right of return.” EAPPI sends political activists to “witness life under occupation”; many return and promote BDS and other forms of demonization around the world.
  • Promotes the Kairos Palestine document, which calls for BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) against Israel; denies the Jewish historical connection to Israel in theological terms; and rationalizes, justifies, and trivializes terrorism, calling it “legal resistance.”
  • APF calls for people to “Boycott settlement products and organize for campaigns in your country to pressure Israel to comply with International Law and Universal Principles of Human Rights.”
  • In March 2018, APF published “Water in the Gaza Strip,” which promotes the false allegation of Israeli water discrimination against Palestinians. APF ignores evidence that Israel provides Palestinians in the West Bank with more water than required under the Oslo framework and that poor management by the PA of infrastructure, waste, and theft of up to 50 percent of supplies in some Palestinian areas. In so doing, APF manipulates and distorts water and land issues in order to portray Israel as a brutal regime.
  • In January 2018, APF published “January 2018 Prayers: Home Demolitions” accusing Israel of “collective punishment.” APF lists as “Opportunities for Advocacy” the Israeli NGOs Christian Peacemaker Teams, Israeli Committee against Home Demolitions, and Passia.
  • In response to a wave of terrorism against Israeli civilians that began in October 2015, APF published a statement erasing the context of terror, condemning “the killing of both Palestinian and Israeli civilians, use of excessive force by Israeli police and army against protesters, extra judicial killings, collective punishment in the form of severe restrictions of movement, closure of Palestinian neighborhoods and punitive home demolitions in East Jerusalem” (emphases added). The statement also places sole blame on Israel, explaining that “we will not see an end to the conflict without an end to the Israeli occupation.” APF does not acknowledge that the Palestinians killed were in the midst of carrying out terror attacks against Israelis.
  • Published a February 2013 Advocacy Paper, “The ‘Permit Regime’ and Israeli Attacks on Palestinian Freedom of Worship,” alleging that “Under Israeli military occupation, repression has become the worst of history compared to that of South Africa. It’s a sophisticated form of social, economic, political and racial dicrimiation, strangulation, and genocide, incorporating the worst elements of colonialism and apartheid as well as repressive dispossession, displacement and state terrorism to separate Palestinians from their land and heritage, deny them their rightful civil and human rights, and gradually remove or eliminate them altogether. The ID/permit system is one of many elements designed to make greater Israel an ethnically pure Jewish state.”
  • Website links to the 2012 report, “Trading Away Peace: How Europe helps sustain illegal Israeli settlements,” which repeats the BDS agenda, calling on the EU and national governments to wage political warfare through various forms of economic sanctions on Israel.
  • Supported the Palestinian initiative to join the International Criminal Court (ICC) and states that “the United States should support such non-violent means of pursuing justice in accordance with international law,” omitting that the bid was a political maneuver to “internationalize” the conflict against Israel.
  • Website also promotes a number of highly biased and politicized publications by EAPPIWCC, Kairos Palestine, BADIL, and others.
    • BADIL is the main Palestinian “right of return” NGO, and a leader of BDS campaigns and political warfare against Israel. This NGO publishes antisemitic cartoons on its website, as well as imagery calling for the destruction of Israel (also a form of antisemitism) and denying Israel’s right to exist. Cartoon published by BADIL include classic antisemitic tropes, featuring a Jewish man, garbed in traditional Hasidic attire, with a hooked nose and side locks. He stands above a dead child and skulls, holding a pitchfork dripping with blood. Additional graphics deny the legitimacy of Israel in any form, and oppose peace agreements.

ACT Alliance Members

  • Bread for the World (BfW –EED)
  • Christian Aid
  • Church of Sweden
    • Focuses on international advocacy, stating that “advocacy work targets those with economic and political power in Sweden, the EU and the UN.”
    • In August 2016, Church of Sweden sponsored a “Kairos Palestine summer camp” aimed at “ramping up the pressure on Israel by increasing the Church’s support of and participation in the BDS movement.” Anna Karin Hammar, the head of the camp and a reverend doctor for Church of Sweden, gave a presentation at the camp where she stated, “BDS may be the only chance to liberate both Palestinians and Israeli Jews from the occupation.  We should have nothing to do with the Israeli banking system” and there should be “no military cooperation between Sweden and Israel.”
  • Church World Service
    • Lobbies churches, policymakers and the general public and in the U.S. “to give voice to the issues that affect hunger people and promote sustainable solutions.”
    • In September 2016, Reverend John L. McCullough, President and CEO of Church World Service, was a signatory on a letter to U.S. Presidential candidates stating that “Ongoing settlement expansion that has led to 570,000 Israelis living in East Jerusalem and the West Bank is eroding the viability of the two-state solution. The blockade of Gaza has led to immense human suffering. This status quo is clearly contrary to global security interests, including those of the U.S., and a source of violent extremism throughout the region.”
    • In April 2016, McCullough signed an “Atlanta Summit of Churches in the USA and the Holy Land” document titled “Pursuing Peace and Strengthening Presence,” that “Encourage[d] reference to the Kairos Palestine message as an established initiative.” Kairos Palestine 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.”
  • DanChurchAid (Denmark)
  • Diakonia (Sweden)
    • Diakonia’s “International Humanitarian Law” (IHL) program, which has its own online “Resource Center,” exploits international law, demonizes Israel, and promotes anti-Israel 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 involving any other conflict region in the world.
    • The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine Israel (EAPPI) “extend[ed] a special thanks to Diakonia for providing their expertise on international law in contribution” to EAPPI’s core publication, “Faith Under Occupation” (jointly published with the World Council of Churches and the Jerusalem Inter-Church Centre). The publication places sole blame on Israel for the difficulties faced by Christians in the Holy Land and seeks to “disprove” what it calls “unfounded Israeli and Christian Zionist propaganda that Palestinian Christians are depopulating due to Muslim fundamentalism in Palestinian society.”
  • FinnChurch Aid (Finland)
  • Interchurch Organization for Development Cooperation-ICCO (Netherlands)
    • ICCO’s Guidelines on Lobby and Advocacy announce: “In ICCO’s view, the Dutch government ought to be playing a more active role in putting pressure on the government of the state of Israel.” ICCO has therefore “decided to focus its lobby and advocacy efforts” on “trying to influence the Dutch government directly, targeting key officials responsible for policies on the Middle East,” “targeting the Christian community in the Netherlands via the Olive Tree Campaign,” and “exerting pressure on Dutch companies that profit from the occupation.”
    • In November 2010, NGO Monitor revealed that ICCO had transferred Dutch government funds to Electronic Intifada (EI) (known amount of €200,000 between 2006-2010). Dutch FM Uri Rosenthal told the Jerusalem Post, “I will look into the matter personally.”
      • In January 2011, Minister Rosenthal had a “frank and open discussion” with ICCO, noting that EI’s activities are “directly contrary to Dutch government policy.” The Minister dismissed ICCO claims that its funding of EI comes from private donations as “disingenuous.”
      • ICCO refused to change its policy and defended support for BDS and EI as “a peaceful and legal way to push for an end to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.”
  • Middle East Council of Churches
    • In June 2017, MECC was a signatory to an “Open Letter” from the National Coalition of Christian Organizations in Palestine to the World Council of Churches, accusing Israel of “Discrimination and inequality, military occupation and systematic oppression.” The letter calls upon the WCC to “recognize Israel as an apartheid state,” and “unequivocally condemn the Balfour declaration as unjust, and that you demand from the UK that it asks forgiveness from the Palestinian people and compensates for the losses.” The letter also defends “our right and duty to resist the occupation creatively and nonviolently,” through “economic measures that pressure Israel to stop the occupation…in response to Israel’s war on BDS. We ask that you intensity those measures.”
    • Together with the WCC, the MECC co-founded the Jerusalem Interchurch Centre (JIC), which claims to “bring the voice and the concerns of Palestinian Christians to the wide ecumenical family and to the world.” Together with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine Israel (EAPPI), the JIC arranges highly biased and politicized international ecumenical visits to join Ecumenical Accompaniers (EAPPI volunteers) for “short gatherings and solidarity actions,” including “observing checkpoints” and “gate watches at the wall.” The Israeli perspective is entirely omitted.
  • Norwegian Church Aid
    • Held campaign titled “Close the Weapons Loophole!” calling on Norwegian authorities to stop “sell[ing] weapons to Israel.”
    • On June 2, 2016, NCA was a signatory on a letter calling on the EU to “uphold its legal responsibilities and hold Israel accountable for its violations of international law and to defend the right of individuals and institutions to take part in the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for justice and equality.”
  • HEKS/EPER (Switzerland)
  • East Jerusalem YMCA
    • EJ-YMCA runs the Free Palestine Campaign in response to what it claims is “‘routine’ Israeli occupation policy, movement restrictions, harassment, destruction of YMCA property, and even random arrests.” The program aims to “to provide reliable and accurate information about the history and present reality of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to mobilize local and international organizations to work in solidarity with us to promote justice and peace and to bring about an end to the Israeli military occupation of Palestine.”
    • YMCA launched and manages (together with YWCA) the Joint Advocacy Initiative (JAI), which calls for a “wide boycott of goods from Israel, from Israeli settlements and from companies that contribute to the occupation until the occupation has ended and Palestinians enjoy their basic human rights.” JAI published a “BDS Resource” page as well as a “List of Products from Settlements in the Occupied Territories and List of Settlements.”
  • Lutheran World Federation
    • Utilizes highly biased and politicized rhetoric, placing primary blame for the continuation of the conflict on the “Israeli occupation…Restrictions on movement [that] continue[s] to hamper [Palestinian] growth prospects…” The statement omits Palestinian terror attacks against Israeli civilians, the legitimate right of the state of Israel to self-defense, and the complexities of the conflict.
    • In June 2016, the Lutheran World Federation held a meeting in Germany calling for “urgent international efforts to resolve the region’s conflicts through negotiation rather than further violence” as well as for “the cessation of all Israeli settlement activities in the occupied territories.”

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