|In their own words||“HRDF saw its calling to help human rights defenders struggling to finance legal actions” following “increasing violations of the liberties of individuals and organizations peacefully defending human rights in Israel and the Palestinian Occupied Territories, as well as attempts to silence the voices of condemnation and protest through legislation and aggressive military and police policy.”|
- In 2016, total income was NIS 1.1 million; total expenses were NIS 1 million.
- Donors include: Switzerland, Germany, Spain (AECID), Cordaid (Netherlands), HEKS-EPER (Germany), New Israel Fund, and DanChurchAid (Denmark).
- Based on financial information submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits, in accordance with the Israeli NGO transparency law, HRDF received NIS 1,921,527 from foreign governmental bodies between 2012-2017. (See chart below for detailed funding information.)
- According to annual reports, donations from foreign governments comprised 75.1% of total donations from 2012-2014.
- In 2011-2016, the New Israel Fund (NIF) authorized grants worth $840,620 to HRDF (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016).
- HRDF “operates a hotline for emergency assistance, and provides legal counsel and representation for all types of legal proceedings: from on-call lawyers during protest activities, assistance during arrest and detentions by the police, military or security services, to representation in court trials, and more.”
- While HRDF quotes the UN definition of “human rights defenders,” it ignores the universality of the concept by readily admitting that “[p]reference will be given in allocating resources to finance the criminal cases against community leaders who are human rights defenders and active in the struggle against human rights abuses towards the Palestinians in the West Bank.”
- HRDF has funded “legal aid and defense to HRDs who face different forms of legal persecution” including “Israeli and Palestinian HRDs who participate in nonviolent protests against the Israeli occupation in the West-Bank; HRDs fighting for the rights of indigenous Bedouins in the Negev/Naqab desert in Israel; HRDs fighting for LGBTQ rights; Israelis of Ethiopian origin faced with police brutality and racism; and many more.”
- On February 5, 2016, HRDF participated in “Blacklisted: Israeli Artists and NGOs for Human Rights and Peace,” a festival “to send a message that silencing, shaming and blacklisting Israelis who oppose — and speak out against — the occupation of the Palestinian territories will not work.”
- During the 2014 Gaza war, Biblash wrote a post on Facebook, demanding “end the occupation from Jordan to the sea.”
- In referring to a 2014 report by Yesh Din (an NGO closely affiliated with HRDF, see below), Biblash stated, “It is time to announce MIP [Military Investigative Police] as an invalid mechanism and stop the cooperation with its false and cover-up investigations and invest in an outside, trusty investigation mechanism with a clear and broad mandate. And of course, in dismantling the Israeli apartheid regime.” (September 15, 2014).
- Alma Biblash, HRDF Executive Director, was also an activist in the Sheikh Jarakh Solidarity Movement and the Israeli NGO Coalition of Women for Peace, a leader of BDS campaigns against Israel.
- Attorney Michael Sfard provides legal counsel for HRDF, Yesh Din, and Breaking the Silence.
- Sfard “[a]dvises the Board of Directors [of HRDF] on application of Aid Criteria when reviewing aid requests and reviews contracts” and“[m]onitors and assesses performance of attorneys receiving aid.”
- In what appears to be a conflict of interest, Sfard was the attorney for a group of defendants receiving funds through the HRDF.
- HRDF’s board of directors includes co-founders of Yesh Din and former officials of B’Tselem, Amnesty International, Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, American Friends Service Committee, and Human Rights Watch.
- Ron Dudai, chair of the Board of Directors, was formerly a policy advisor for Amnesty International and former researcher at B’Tselem.
- Mooky Dagan is the co-founder and former board member of Yesh Din and of Akevot – The Institute for Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Research.
- Sahar Vardi is the Israel Program Coordinator for the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC).
- Vardi previously worked for the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions and Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement.
- Vardi has described the objectives of BDS: “in terms of profit, the real losses will not come from the boycott of products, but from divestment. That’s where the big money is. The last thing I’ll say about the BDS movement is that it’s fun. They’ve started using all these flash mobs and [other] cool activities. It accesses people who normally wouldn’t care. There are huge companies being affected, and [activists] are having fun.”
- In May 2015, Vardi was a signatory on a statement titled “From Israeli citizens to FIFA: Show Israel the red card now!” stating that “We are Israeli citizens, active against our government’s policies of racism, occupation, and apartheid. As the FIFA Congress gets underway, we would like to state clearly: Israeli apartheid, just like South African apartheid at the time, has no place in international football!”
- Khulood Badawi
- Badawi is a “consultant” for Human Rights Watch.
- Badawi was dismissed from her job with the UN’s Coordinator of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in February 2013 following blatant anti-Israel activism when she tweeted a photo of a man carrying a bleeding girl, suggesting that the girl was a victim of an Israeli airstrike that day. The photo, however, was taken in 2006 and had no connection to Israel.
Partial list of foreign donations (amounts in NIS)
Amounts based on NGO annual financial reports; 2016-2017 amounts based on financial reports submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits.
|DanChurch Aid (Denmark)||68,500|
|Norwegian Human Rights Fund||77,910||69,800|
- New Israel Fund Under Renewed Scrutiny Over Funding for Israeli NGO Led by Boycott Activist Ben Cohen, The Algemeiner, October 29,2014