Who Profits is a leader in BDS efforts against Israeli and foreign companies. The NGO maintains a public database of businesses that are often targeted in international BDS campaigns.
For more information on Who Profits, read NGO Monitor’s Report “Who Profits: Foundation for the UN BDS Blacklist.”
|Founded||Registered Israeli Amuta (non-profit organization) in 2013 formerly a research project of the Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP)|
|In their own words||“research center dedicated to exposing the commercial involvement of Israeli and international companies in the continued Israeli control over Palestinian and Syrian land”|
- In 2018, total income was NIS 891,843; total expenses were NIS 784,602.
- 2014-2019 donors include: Trocaire (Ireland), Fagforbundet (Norwegian labor organization), DanChurchAid (Denmark), Bread for the World (Germany), Diakonia (Sweden), Medico International, ICCO (Netherlands), and Nova (Spain).
- Based on financial information submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits, in accordance with the Israeli NGO transparency law, Who Profits received NIS 3,710,522 from foreign governmental bodies between the years 2014-2019 (see chart below for detailed funding information).
- According to annual reports, donations from foreign countries comprised 59.3% of total donations from 2017-2019.
- In 2017-2020, Who Profits received $350,000from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund for “general support.”
- Who Profits was founded “as a research project of the Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP) – a feminist, Palestinian-Jewish organization devoted to the struggle against the occupation…” and “in response to the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement” against Israel.
- In 2013, “in light of the expansion of Who Profits and its increasing professionalization as a research center, the project separated from CWP and became an independent organization. Who Profits and CWP continue to collaborate as sister organizations.”
- Who Profits seeks to expose “the commercial involvement of Israeli and international companies in the continued Israeli control over Palestinian and Syrian land… we focus on three main areas of corporate involvement in the occupation: the settlement industry, economic exploitation and control over population.”
- Who Profits’ initiates international BDS campaigns, targeting Israeli and foreign banks, security companies, civil infrastructure facilities, and private companies. It supports BDS campaigns around the world in finding target companies. The website provides the option to “Report a Company,” and calls on the public “to identify companies that should be included in their database.” This database includes more than 500 Israeli and international businesses.
- Who Profits has participated in campaigns against Ahava, Airbnb, HP, and G4S.
- Who Profits’ false allegations of the illegality and immorality of various business activities are echoed uncritically by UN bodies and officials and international NGOs as part of their politicized agendas. UN bodies – notably the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) – relied significantly on Who Profits in preparing a discriminatory database of businesses purportedly operating across the 1949 Armistice line, aimed at bolstering BDS campaigns against Israel.
- In February 2020, following the publication of the database, Who Profits stated that “The UN list of 112 companies involved in the Israeli occupation is an important step toward corporate accountability. However, its narrow focus and restrictive temporal frame leave out hundreds of complicit corporations and wider structures of dispossession.”
- In March 2020, Who Profits published a report presenting a false and anti-human rights narrative in which self-defense measures are delegitimized as “a marketing opportunity”: “Israel’s 2014 and subsequent military attacks on Gaza, serve as a marketing opportunity for Iron Dome technology.” Iron Dome is a wholly defensive system that targets incoming rockets and bombs, and has saved thousands of lives and prevented immeasurable damage to civilian property.
- In October 2019, Who Profits published a report titled “Profiting Through Dispossession: Another Side of Airbnb’s Complicity” alleging that “The act of plundering and privatizing refugee properties by the Israeli state, which started during the Nakba and continues to this day, has transformed the refugee properties in Yafa [Jaffa] into commodities that can now be listed by hosts on platforms such as Airbnb. In serving as a platform for these properties, as well as those in settlements in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem, Airbnb is profiting from the ongoing dispossession of Palestinians.”
- In December 2018, Who Profits published a report on how the “Israeli Wine Industry Remains Complicit in the Israeli Settlement Enterprise.” Who Profits accused Israeli wineries of “us[ing] the planting of vineyards as a means of seizing public and private Palestinian land.”
- In November 2018, Who Profits targeted corporations involved in surveillance technology within Jerusalem stating that the policies and practices of these companies “enable…a violently repressive security apparatus, designed to suppress any form of resistance to Israel’s occupation, while engineering a ‘façade of normalcy.’”
- In September 2017, Who Profits published a report, “Touring Israeli Settlements: Business and Pleasure for the Economy of Occupation,” accusing Israel of “pursu[ing] a dual strategy for its aggressive exploitation, heavily investing in Israeli tourist enterprises beyond the Green Line while simultaneously restricting and actively de-developing the Palestinian tourism industry.” Who Profits accused companies active in the tourism industry, such as Booking.com, Airbnb, and TripAdvisor, of “reaping massive amounts of profit and, in the process, strengthening the Israeli settlement enterprise and Israel’s economy of occupation as a whole.”
- In August 2017, Who Profits released a publication titled “What We Know about HP So Far,” examining HP’s “occupation-related activities” and stating that “HP, though formally defunct, remains heavily involved in the settlement enterprise and the economy of the occupation as a whole.”
- In July 2017, following a water-sharing deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Who Profits published a Facebook post stating that the “latest water-sharing agreement between Israel and the Palestinian authority only serves to highlight the vastly unequal relationship between occupier and occupied.” The post also repeated the false allegations from its 2013 report against the Israeli national water company Mekorot, that it is “exploit[ing] Palestinian water sources,” “appl[ying] discriminatory water prices, charging Palestinians higher rates than Israelis,” and “enabl[ing] extensive agricultural production in illegal Israeli settlements.”
- In May 2017, Who Profits published “Occupational Hazards: The Eco-Politics of the Israeli Occupation,” accusing six waste and recycling management companies that operate facilities in the West Bank of “enjoy[ing] an environmentally-friendly and clean image while exploiting Palestinian natural resources, taking advantage of the area’s lax environmental regulations and creating pollution in the West Bank.”
- In November 2016, Who Profits, in partnership with BADIL and Al-Haq, held a side event at the United Nation’s Forum on Business and Human Rights titled “Business and Human Rights in Palestine: The Many Facets of the Occupation Industry,” discussing “the development of a data base of corporations complicit in human rights violations in the oPt.”
- Who Profits and Coalition of Women for Peace co-authored a report titled “Knowing the Occupation Economy” (2015).
- Who Profits attached a “sample letter” (see appendix 1) to the report under the title “contact company management.” The letter seeks to “bring to your attention your company’s involvement in the ongoing expulsion of Palestinian residents from their homes and lands- a process which beginning in the 1948 Nakba, and is continuously ongoing in the day to day policies of occupation and land theft” (emphasis added).
- Also calls for lobbying the EU to cancel the EU-Israel trade agreement relating to the Israeli pharmaceutical industry.
- Who Profits acts against small and medium businesses in Israel. NGO Monitor has acquired a number of letters sent in English from the “Who Profits staff” to Israeli businesses, informing them that they will be added to the NGO’s database (see appendix 2). The consequences of being added to this “database” include being targeted by BDS campaigners and being lobbied against in various international forums.
- In May 2015, Who Profits was part of a BDS campaign against the French telecom company Orange and its connections with the Israeli company Partner. Reflecting an extreme political agenda opposed to Israeli self-defense, Who Profits makes allegations that are completely unrelated to commercial involvement in the West Bank and Golan Heights: “As part of its social responsibility policy, the company sponsors two Israeli military units, the Ezuz armored battalion and the Shachar search and rescue unit, through the provision of sports days, entertainment activities and training. During the attack on Gaza in the summer of 2014, Partner was on the front lines providing material support, cellular services and entertainment to the Israeli soldiers. The company also waived service fees for soldiers during the 2014 assault” (emphasis added).
- Based on information provided by Who Profits, a large Dutch pension fund, PGGM, announced on January 8, 2014 that it will “no longer invest in five Israeli banks.” Who Profits, as well as a number of other highly politicized NGOs, lobbied PGGM to divest from these Israeli banks as part of its economic warfare campaign against Israel.
- Published a 2009 report alleging Norwegian Government Pension Fund investments with “corporations whose activities continuously support and maintain the Israeli occupation.” In the report, Elbit, which supplies unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), was described as “One of the main subcontractors for electronic detection systems in the separation fence and the seamline barrier for the Israeli Ministry of Defense.” Elbit’s role in preventing attacks against Israeli civilians was ignored.
Current and Former Activists
- Who Profits does not publicize staff members on its website.
- Dalit Baum
- Co-founder Dalit Baum was a former board member of radical Israeli NGO Zochrot, which was established with the aim of “rais[ing] public awareness of the Palestinian Nakba” and “recognizing and materializing the right of return,” meaning the end of Israel as a Jewish state.
- Baum is the Director of Economic Activism of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), which actively promotes BDS, utilizes “apartheid” analogies, and advocates the so-called Palestinian right of return.
- On June 30, 2017, Dalit Baum spoke at the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP) “Forum to Mark Fifty Years of Occupation,” stating that “the occupation continues because it really enjoys this ongoing tremendous support and impunity from every other country of the world, including individuals in the world that normalize the situation and treat it as nothing…people of the world are obliged to stop that support. To practice noncooperation, in other words BDS” (emphasis added).
- Baum testified as an “expert” to the notorious “Russell Tribunal on Palestine,” a mock trial putting Israel and its Western allies “on trial” and promoting “existing legal actions and campaigns in the context of BDS to be stepped up and widened within the EU and globally” against Israel.
- Hadeel Badarni
- In September 2016, Hadeel Badarni, Research Coordinator for Who Profits, accused Israeli and international corporations of “continuously profit[ing] from the occupation.”
- In November 2015, during the 4th Annual UN Forum on Business and Human Rights, Badarni was a panelist in a session titled “Business and Human Rights in Occupied Palestine: Corporate Complicity in Israeli Human Rights Abuses,” alleging “corporate complicity in the systematic Israeli violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.” Badarni presented on “Israel’s exploitation of the quarries and dairies industries and industrial ties to the occupation.”
- In February 2015, Badarni spoke for the Alternative Information Center (AIC) on the topic of “What is the economy of Israel’s occupation? How do governments and corporations invest in and benefit from the occupation? And what can be done about it?”
- Ines Elias
- In August 2013, Elias, a researcher for Who Profits, was a co-author on an article titled “Despite outcry, EU guidelines on settlements will have little effect” stating that “Not only do the EU guidelines do very little to affect the occupation economy, they may also bestow legitimization on commercial activities that, despite supposedly taking place within the Green Line, yield huge occupation-born profits.”
2015-2019 Funding to Who Profits (amounts in NIS)
2015-2017 figures based on NGO annual reports, 2018-2019 figures based on quarterly reports submitted to the Israeli Registrar for Non-Profits.
|Bread for the World(Germany)||32,714||28,751|
|Facing Finance E.V (Germany-Private)||2,477|
|Rockefeller Brothers Fund (Private)||263,791||94,965|
|Church of Sweden||105,622||210,505||110,728|
|CCFD-Terre Solidaire (France)||79,893||40,017|