|In their own words||“swisspeace is a practice-oriented peace research institute. Our mission is to contribute to the improvement of conflict prevention and conflict transformation.”|
- Swisspeace is an associated Institute of the University of Basel and member of the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences. Swisspeace’s activities are conducted under the auspices of a number of separate programs. Its two largest programs are the Mediation program (CHF 1.03 million in 2015) and KOFF (CHF 780,666 in 2015).
- Koff is a “dialogue and exchange network facilitated by swisspeace connecting Swiss state and non-state actors active in peacebuilding.” Member organizations include Caritas Switzerland, Geneva Call, and HEKS.
- Swisspeace is heavily involved in Swiss governmental efforts to promote reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas.
- According to a 2015 newsletter, swisspeace “supports Palestinian organisations in Gaza and the West Bank in a process of mapping reconciliation-focused activities and capacities.” Neither the nature nor the beneficiaries of this support are specified.
- In the same 2015 newsletter, swisspeace promoted an event on the Kairos Palestine document, dedicated a section to promoting the European Council on Foreign Relations’ (ECFR) publication “EU Differentiation and Israeli Settlements”, and another section to the work of the NGO Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI).
- The 2009 Kairos Palestine document claims that Israel falsely defines “armed resistance” as terrorism in order to “distort the real nature of the conflict, presenting it as an Israeli war against terror, rather than an Israeli occupation faced by Palestinian legal resistance aiming at ending it,” (emphasis added). The Kairos document also 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.
- “EU Differentiation and Israeli Settlements” calls for sanctions against all Israeli entities that have activities in or apparent financial contacts with Israeli settlements, claiming that this does not constitute BDS.
- EAPPI is a program under the auspices of the World Council of Churches that sends volunteers to the West Bank to “witness life under occupation”; upon their return, these volunteers promote anti-Israel BDS.
- Swisspeace hosted a roundtable in 2015 titled “Should Switzerland bilaterally recognise Palestinian statehood?” featuring Dr. Alon Liel. Liel supports cultural boycotts of Israel, and has endorsed author Alice Walker’s refusal to have her Book The Color Purple translated into Hebrew. At the time the KOFF roundtable was held, Liel was leading a campaign calling upon European countries to recognize the state of Palestine.
- In 2013, swisspeace held an event commemorating the “Nakba,” featuring Israeli NGO Zochrot. Zochrot campaigns for a “right of return” of Palestinian refugees and their descendants and supports a “one-state framework” and the “De-Zionization of Culture and Education” as part of its vision for a “new state.”
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