Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO)
|In their own words||"PNGO is guided by the networks clear mission, where the national, developmental roles of NGOs go alongside with the building of a Palestinian democratic, civil society based on social justice, the sovereignty of law, and the respect of human rights."|
- The organization does not publish financial information, reflecting a lack of transparency.
- PNGO received a grant (2011-2016) from the German Society for International Cooperation- GIZ (Germany) for a project titled “Strengthening Civil Society in the Palestinian Territories.”
- PNGO participates in “Partnership for democratic development in Palestine,” a project (2016-2019) of Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA). The project, funded by Norway (NOK 50.8 million) is implemented along with 10 other partners including Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), Palestinian Center for Democracy and Conflict Resolution (PCDCR), and Democracy and Workers’ Rights Center [Association] in Palestine (DWRC).
- PNGO is a co-grantee of a €446,482 European Union grant (2016-2019) titled “Contributing to the respect, protection and promotion of the right to association in the Gaza Strip.”
- On June 10, 2017, the German-funded Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) held a public workshop “in Cooperation with Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network” about “The Cost of Division on Legal Status and Human Rights.” This came following a May 2017 workshop also held with PNGO titled “Impact of the current situation on food security in the Gaza Strip.” In March 2016, FES held a workshop with PNGO on “The vision and Role of Civil Society Organizations in Achieving the National Reconciliation.”
- In 2015-2016, PNGO received a grant of $30,000 from the NGO Development Center (NDC).
- In 2011, PNGO received a grant of $34,700 from the National Endowment for Democracy (United States) for “legal and judicial development.”
PNGO’s Ties to Terrorism
- On December 22, 2019, PNGO, Al-Dameer, and the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) organized a conference on “international accountability mechanisms,” featuring a speech by PFLP Prisoners Committee official ‘Alam Ka’abi. Ka’abi was sentenced to nine life sentences in 2004 for his role in recruiting and sending terrorists to a number of attacks in the early 2000s, resulting in the deaths of several Israeli citizens and injuring dozens.
- On December 20, 2017, PNGO organized a conference on “Palestinian reconciliation.” PFLP official Rabah Muhana was a guest speaker. Mahana is referred to on the PFLP’s official website as a “Member of the Front’s political bureau and one of the most prominent national leaders in the Gaza strip…he was known for his adherence to national principles, the right of return and resistance.” Mahana joined the PFLP in 1979 and was arrested by Israel multiple times, one of them in 2001 in the wake of the assassination of Israeli Minister of Tourism Rehavam Zeevi, carried out by the PFLP.
- In October 2014, PNGO co-organized a conference with the PFLP’s “Preparatory Committee” and the National Initiative Movement. One of the speakers at the event was the PFLP’s Jameel Mazhar, who “called… for escalating the mass popular resistance against the Zionist occupation, foremost of which is armed resistance, as the most effective way to confront the occupation.” PNGO’s former director Mohsen Abu Ramadan also spoke at the event, adding “it is necessary to leave the negotiations [with Israel] and take the decisions of war and peace collectively.”
PNGO Staff Ties to the PFLP
- In October 2019, Walid Hanatsheh – a member of PNGO’s board of directors and the Financial and Administrative director for Health Work Committees, an organization with ties to the PFLP – was arrested for participating in a terrorist attack in which a 17-year old was murdered. According to the indictment against him, Hanatsheh bankrolled the bombing. Following his arrest, the PFLP labeled Hanatsheh a “leader in the Popular Front.”
- Shatha Odeh, PNGO’s head of the board and head of PNGO’s Coordinating Committee, also serves as the General Director of Health Work Committees (HWC).
- Odeh attended a memorial event organized by the PFLP that centered on PFLP political bureau member Rabah Muhanna, who, according to information posted by the PFLP, “contributed to the establishment” of several PFLP-affiliated NGOs. The hall was decorated with PFLP paraphernalia.
- Mohsen Abu Ramadan, PNGO’s former directorin Gaza and former member of PNGO’s General Assembly, is a member of the Palestinian Democratic Assembly, an organization that unites the PFLP and the DFLP terror groups under one umbrella. Abu Ramadan is also referred to as “member of the coordination committee for the right of return marches.”
- In November 2019, Ashraf Abu Aram, “a human rights defender and advocacy officer of Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO),” was arrested by the Israeli security forces and “was transferred under ‘administrative detention for four months.’”
- A 2012 report in Haaretz identified Abu Aram as a PFLP member who was arrested for “allegedly planning to kidnap an IDF soldier in order to bring about the release of PFLP leader Ahmed Sa’adat from an Israeli jail.” According to the Israel Security Agency (Shabak), “Abu Aram already contacted a local weapons dealer in an effort to obtain two pistols and an automatic rifle with which to carry out the planned abduction.”
Defense of Terrorism
- In January 2020, PNGO vehemently opposed a new clause in European Union grant contracts with Palestinian NGOs that prohibits grantees from working with and funding organizations and individuals designated on the EU’s terror lists. According to media reports, PNGO claimed that Palestinian terrorist organizations are “political parties.”
- In June 2017, PNGO condemned Norway for pulling funding from a youth center named after Dalal Mughrabi, a terrorist who in 1978 murdered 37 civilians, including 12 children. PNGO referred to Mughrabi as a “Palestinian Woman Freedom Fighter,” stating that “PNGO believes this is another form of foreign domination and oppression calling Palestinian resistance a terrorist resistance against Israeli occupation…PNGO stands strong against conditional funding, especially when it threatens Palestinian right to resist foreign domination, exploitation, oppression and occupation” and that “there is a difference between freedom fighters and terrorists” (emphasis added).
- In April 2017, PNGO called on the international community not to “use aid to undermine legitimate Palestinian resistance.” According to PNGO, “We reject all de-legitimization or criminalization of lawful Palestinian resistance, whether in form of allegations of terrorism, anti-semitism or otherwise… We call on all governments and aid providers to respect our right to lawful resistance, support Palestinian human rights defenders, and ensure equal, impartial and transparent access to funding for all.”
- In 2007, PNGO played a leading role in a boycott of USAID funding, following US government demands that NGO grantees sign anti-terrorism clauses as part of their funding agreements. As part of this campaign, PNGO wrote that the anti-terror clause “ignores the legal Palestinians’ right of resistance against the Israeli occupation.” An unnamed PNGO official also commented, “They are telling us what to do and they interfere in internal politics,” describing the US list of terror groups as an attempt to “create internal conflict among Palestinians.” According to a 2013 study commissioned by the UN, PNGO “stated that its members would not sign funding agreements that included the ATC [Anti-Terror Certificate]: this is now a condition for membership under PNGO byelaws [sic]” (emphasis added).
European Legal Support Center (ELSC)
- In 2019, PNGO and the Rights Forum launched the European Legal Support Center, an initiative aimed at “defending individuals and organizations that face false and defamatory accusations of antisemitism and repression because of their support for Palestinian rights and particularly for BDS measures to achieve these rights.”
- The Rights Forum lobbies government officials, engages in “fact-finding missions,” sends briefings to the Dutch parliament alleging Israeli violations of human rights, publishes reports, and attempts to influence Dutch and EU policy.
- ELSC claims to be “developing legal strategies and tools for the defence against de-fundingand ‘de-platforming’ together with partner NGOs, lawyers and experts in this field.” It “carries out research to support activists and lawyers in European countries such as The Netherlands, UK, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy and Spain.”
- ELSC has provided legal research and support to European organizationsseeking to prohibit trade with Israeli settlements.
- In February 2020, after the European Union introduced a new requirement in grant contracts with Palestinian NGOsthat prohibits grantees from working with and funding organizations and individuals designated on the EU’s terror lists, ELSC “provided assistance” to PNGO, which was fighting the requirement, and sent a “letter of objection” stating that the EU conditional funding does not apply to Palestinian NGOs.
Demonization of Israel
- PNGO rhetoric includes accusing Israel of “apartheid,” “ethnic cleansing,” “collective punishment,” “genocide,” “war crimes,” and “Bantustans,” as well as supporting a Palestinian “right of return.”
- PNGO aided in the drafting of the NGO Code of Conduct, which endorses a rejectionist approach, obliging signatory NGOs “to be in line with the national agenda without any normalization activities with the occupier [Israel], neither at the political-security nor the cultural or developmental levels” (emphasis added).
- Instrumental in producing many of the preparatory documents for the Durban 2001 conference. According to PNGO’s former program coordinator, Renad Qubaj, “In Durban, for sure we published posters saying, ‘End the occupation,’ things like that, and we published a study, had a press conference, organized our partners and protest marches.”
- PNGO accuses Israel of having “systematically murdered” civilians and children, and of “spreading organized terrorism which is being executed by the regular Israeli army units and terrorist groups that comprise of settlers who execute criminal acts with support and protection by the Israeli government.”
- In November 2019, PNGO signed a letter to Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Fatou Bensouda, calling to open “an official, full-scale investigation into the ‘situation in Palestine’” and the “possible war crimes and crimes against humanity committed” as the “absence of an official investigation…has fuelled the already existing culture of impunity.
- In August 2018, PNGO was a signatory on a call to the British Labour Party to “reject [the] biased IHRA definition” calling it a “fraudulent definition of antisemitism.” The call further demands “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel as nonviolent measures of accountability” and a “military embargo on Israel.”
- The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, adopted by nearly 30 countries and counting, represents the international consensus definition of antisemitism, as well as how to distinguish between legitimate criticism of Israel and antisemitism. An example of the latter includes denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
- On April 5, 2018, PNGO published a press release accusing Israel of “longstanding impunity,” “systematic and continuous widespread targeting,” and “premeditated murder of innocent Palestinian people” during the Great March of Return. The press release ignored the violent nature of the protests, which included Molotov cocktails, arson, and attempts to breach the border fence with Israel.
- In November 2017, PNGO was a signatory on a call to support “A World Without Walls,” drawing comparisons between “Israel’s apartheid wall on Palestinian land to the US wall of Shame on indigenous land at the border with Mexico.”
- In March 2016, as a member of Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), PNGO stated that “Israel’s current government, its most racist ever, has dropped all pretences of ‘enlightenment’ and ‘democracy’. This has helped to expose Israel’s regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid to world public opinion like never before.”
- On February 5, 2015, PNGO published a statement calling upon the international community to “end Israel’s endemic impunity with regards to their ethnic cleansing policies (sic)… in Palestine.”
- During the 2014 Gaza War, PNGO condemned the “horrific and bloody massacres against our people in Gaza” and the “Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip,” and called on Israel to “refrain from double standards in dealing with what is happening in the Strip in terms of the genocide of the occupying power.”
- In a November 28, 2013 press release, together with Palestinian NGOs Al Mezan, Al Dameer, and Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), PNGO accused Israel of “systematic policies against the civilian population” and “human rights violations perpetrated by Israeli occupation forces… as a form of collective punishment.”
- During the 2008 Gaza War, PNGO alleged that Israel’s goal was to “eras[e] the memory of resistance and struggle … so Israel would be free to impose its goals, and instill a culture of obedience, and compliance with the occupying power.” PNGO also called for a “war tribunal” and “reparations.”
- PNGO is a member of the Palestinian BDS National Committee, the coordinating body for the BDS campaign.
- PNGO has opposed negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians, in part because “at a time when the struggle is intensifying on various levels toward strengthening the boycott campaign, which has started to yield results, ‘the negotiations will lead an end to this.’”
- In November 2007,PNGO was one of the organizers of the First Palestinian Conference for the Boycott of Israel. One of the strategies put forth at the conference is to “Emphasize that the BDS campaign does not only target Israel’s economy, but challenges Israel’s legitimacy, being a colonial and apartheid state, as part of the international community. Therefore, efforts are needed not only to promote wide consumer boycotts, but also boycotts in the fields of academia, culture and sports” (emphasis added).
- In July 2020, in response to the “Report of the Special Rapporteur addressing Israel’s Collective Punishment Policy,” PNGO called on “Third States to adopt effective measures to put an end to Israel’s illegal and inhumane policies of collective punishment, including sanctions and countermeasures, to bring the illegal situation to an end” (emphasis added).
- In May 2020, PNGO was a signatory on a statement calling for “Immediate targeted sanctions to stop Israel’s annexation and apartheid.” The statement further called for “A ban on arms trade and military-security cooperation with Israel,” “Suspension of trade and cooperation agreements with Israel,” and “Investigation and prosecution of individuals and corporate actors responsible for war crimes/crimes against humanity in the context of Israel’s regime of illegal occupation and apartheid.”
- In November 2019, PNGO signed a statement calling for the “international community to immediately impose sanctions on the State of Israel and illegal Israeli settlements” and “implement domestic legislation to prohibit and criminalize the import of illegal settlement goods and services into their territory.”
- In May 2019, PNGO was a signatory on a statement calling on the German Bundestag to revoke a joint resolution defining BDS campaigns against Israel as antisemitic.
- In 2018-2019, PNGO lobbied in support of the discriminatory UN blacklist of businesses supposedly operating across the 1949 Armistice line, aimed at bolstering BDS campaigns against Israel.
- In September 2015, as a member of the BNC, PNGO sent a joint letter to the UN Secretary General urging the UN to divest from the British security company G4S as a result of its servicing detention centers known for “widespread torture and mistreatment of Palestinian political prisoners, including children.”
- In May 2015, PNGO was a signatory on a call to “Campaign against corporate criminals, such as military company Elbit Systems, security firm G4S and key Israeli military supplier HP that enable Israeli violations of international law” and “pressure governments to impose military embargoes and trade sanctions.”
- In March 2015, PNGO encouraged the EU to “avoid involvement in financial activity and investments in illegal Israeli settlements” and “take a strong stand against economic cooperation with illegal settlements.”
- In August 2014, PNGO alleged that “many parties are also maintaining complicity in Israel’s profiteering in Gaza’s reconstruction” and called on the “international community to eschew recklessness in their distribution of aid funds to critically flawed campaigns that do nothing to sustainably assist the Palestinian people, yet do everything to support to Israel.”
- Together with Addameer, Al Mezan, Badil, and Palestinian Center for Democracy and Conflict Resolution (PCDCR), signed on a “Joint Call to Action: July 2014 – Month against the Apartheid Wall,” stating: “….it is time for a ‘legal intifada’, an intensified popular struggle and more boycotts, divestment and sanctions. It is time for accountability…. to overcome Israeli apartheid, colonialism and occupation. We ask you to expand and deepen the global BDS movement for justice…”
- On August 13, 2014, PNGO called on “Palestinian, Arab and International NGOs that provides the Palestinian people in Gaza Strip with aids to boycott the Israeli products whatever the justification is, not to reward the occupation for killing the Palestinians through purchasing Israeli products.”
- In July 2014, PNGO called “upon the international community and people worldwide” to “end the criminal aggression against the unarmed civilians in the Gaza Strip” and “ boycott, divest from, and impose international sanctions on the occupying power, until it complies with international law and ends its grave violations in the Palestinian territories. We call upon the different countries around the world to stop and terminate its contracts and arms deals with the occupying power.”
- In December 2008, PNGO urged the UN Security Council to “impos[e]… sanctions,” and EU institutions and member states to “…adop[t] immediate restrictive measures and sanctions, as well as cessation of all upgrade dialogue with Israel.”
- In January 2007, PNGO signed a “Joint Statement of Palestinian Civil Society to the World Social Forum,” which supported “…Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (or BDS) against Israel, similar to the international community’s measures against apartheid South Africa in the past.”
- Refers to the Israeli army as the “Israeli Occupying Forces,” and accuses Israel of “collective punishment,” “war crimes,” and a “policy of using Palestinian prisoners as pawns to achieve political and military gains.”
- Lobbies international frameworks against Israel and supports BDS.
- Addameer is an official PFLP “affiliate,” and a number of Addameer staff members have alleged connections to terror groups. Addameer’s chairperson and co-founder, Abdul-latif Ghaith, was banned by Israel from travelling internationally due to his alleged membership in the PFLP. He was also banned from entering the West Bank in 2011-2015.
- Supporters include: Ireland (Irish Aid), Christian Aid (UK), Norway, Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat, Interchurch Organization for Development Cooperation (ICCO), UNDP, Heinrich Boll Stiftung, HeksEper, and Sigrid Rausing Trust.
- Founded to promote a Palestinian “right of return” and a leader of international BDS campaigns. BADIL holds annual “right of return contests” and has published antisemitic cartoons on its website, as well as imagery promoting the elimination of Israel, which is a widely recognized form of antisemitism. A cartoon that won a monetary prize for 2nd prize in BADIL’s 2010 Al-Awda Nakba caricature competition is a blatant representation of classic antisemitic tropes, including a Jewish man, garbed in traditional Hasidic attire, with a hooked nose and side locks.
- Badil does not publish financial information, reflecting a lack of transparency and accountability. Badil received a core funding grant (2014-2016) from the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat.
- Defence for Children International – Palestine
- Accused Israel of “deliberate targeting of civilians” in Lebanon, “terrorizing the civilian population” in Gaza, and “collective punishment,” and referred to the Gaza conflict as Israel’s “illegal act of aggression.”
- Supports BDS (boycotts, divestments and sanctions) campaigns against Israel and is an active participant in lobbying the UN, EU, and other international bodies to promote this agenda.
- Several DCI-P board members have apparent ties to the PFLP.
- Donors include: Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (joint funding from Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland), ICCO and Kerk in Actie (Netherlands), Bread for the World (Germany), Broederlijk Delen (Belgium), French Consulate, Swiss Interchurch Aid -HEKS, Stichting Kinderpostzegeks Nederlands (Netherlands), ARCI Cultura e Sviluppo (Italy), Mundubat (Spain), Save the Children International, World Vision, UNDP, UNICEF, The United Methodist Church, The United Church of Canada, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Open Society Institute, and others.
- Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC)
- JLAC is highly active in promoting BDS campaigns, lobbying international bodies, and utilizing highly inflammatory rhetoric.
- In 2010, JLAC published the first edition of its book We Have Names, We Have a Homeland, which alleges that “brutality and sadism is the true face of Zionism and the State of occupation” and accuses Israel of “savage,” “abhorrent,” and “fascist” practices. The book continues to ask, “Has the history of humanity ever known such brutality as practiced at the hands of Israel…?”
- Donors include: Ireland, Bread for the World (Germany), Australia, Germany, Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat, Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD), UNDP, Norwegian Refugee Council, and the Welfare Association.
- Applied Research Institute- Jerusalem (ARIJ)
- Among the leaders of the political warfare against Israel, seeking to further boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS), false accusations of Israeli “apartheid” and “racism,” and support for a Palestinian “right of return”, which is inconsistent with two-state solution.
- Donors include: Spain, the EU, Sweden, Switzerland, Oxfam Novib, Rosa Luxenburg Foundation, DanChurchAid, Catholic Relief Services and the UN.
- The organization describes terror groups as “resistance fighters” and utilizes anti-Israel rhetoric, such as accusing Israel of perpetrating “massacres,” “cultural genocide,” “war crimes,” and “apartheid.”
- In March 2013, Miftah published an article written by Nawaf al-Zaru that repeated the antisemitic blood libel that Jews use Christian blood to bake Passover matzah.
- Donors include: Norway, Germany, Ireland, NGO Development Centre, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Population Fund, Oxfam Novib (Netherlands), Arab Fund (Kuwait), United Kingdom, and Canada Fund.
- Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counseling (WCLAC)
- Accused Israeli forces of “resorting to extra-judicial killing, mass intimidation and collective punishment in order to maintain their grip on Palestinian territory in violation of basic international norms.”
- Supports BDS initiatives through participation in activities and events, signing of petitions and initiatives, and membership in BDS platforms.
- Donors include: Human Rights & International Humanitarian Law Secretariat, Norway, European Union, Germany, Canada, Iceland, Oxfam Novib (Netherlands), DanChurchAid (Denmark), Bread for the World (Germany), Open Society Institute, Caritas Switzerland, UNDP, and Broederlijk Delen (Belgium).
- Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC)
- Utilizes highly biased and demonizing rhetoric, accusing the “Israel occupation forces” of “continuing its brutal and immoral offensive  war on Gaza” and an ongoing “policy of collective punishment in disregard for the international law and humanitarian law.”
- UAWC is identified by Fatah as an official PFLP “affiliate,” and by USAID as the “agricultural arm” of the PFLP. According to academic scholar Glenn E. Robinson, UAWC was founded in 1986 by “agronomists loosely affiliated with the PFLP.”
- Donors include: European Union (EU), Australia (via AusAID), Spain (AECID), Netherlands, Italy, Japan, Norwegian People’s Aid, Medico, UNDP, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, UNRWA, Catholic Relief Services, NGO Development Center, World Vision, Action Against Hunger, International Orthodox Christian Charities, Grassroots International, and others.
- Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA)
- YWCA rhetoric includes accusing Israel of “genocide” and “apartheid”; participating in BDS campaigns; promoting a Palestinian “Right of Return”; and supporting the Kairos Palestine document, which 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.”
- YWCA launched and manages (together with East Jerusalem YMCA) 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.
- Donors include: Bread for the World (Germany), Christian Aid (UK), ICCO (Netherlands), KFUK-KFUM (Norwegian YMCA-YWCA), Oxfam Quebec (Canada), Presbyterian Church, United Methodist Church, UNRWA, UNDP, United Palestinian Appeal, and Y Care International.
- Other members include Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC), Arab Thought Forum, Democracy & Workers’ Rights Center, Ramallah Center for Human Rights Studies (RCHRS), Health Development Information and Policy Institute (HDIP), Health Work Committees, Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS), Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs (PASSIA), and Women’s Studies Center.
2016-2018 Funding to PNGO
|Norwegian People's Aid||NOK 13,155,986||2018
- PNGO leads the Advocacy Working Group (AWG) of the UN Humanitarian Country Team which acts as the “senior humanitarian coordination policy and decision making forum on issues related to advocacy, access, humanitarian programming and response.” The AWG also works to “develop common messaging on humanitarian concerns, focused on increasing respect for international humanitarian law and international human rights law, and improving the protection of civilians…. altering the policies and practices creating humanitarian needs in the oPt…preventing forced displacement and forcible transfer and ensuring freedom of movement and humanitarian access.”
All Articles about Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO)