Release Date: Monday, 24 September 2007

Jerusalem – Following exposure of the Ford Foundation’s support for radical participants in the infamous NGO Forum of the Durban 2001 conference, Ford officials pledged to stop "support[ing] organizations whose conduct is antithetical to our objectives of promoting peace, justice, tolerance and understanding,"   However, as planning begins for a follow-on UN conference in 2009, a newly published report by Jerusalem based watchdog NGO Monitor, has revealed that despite these guidelines, many Ford-funded NGO’s continue to violate Ford’s terms.

In January 2004, the Ford Foundation published a memorandum which stipulated that NGOs receiving its funds "will not promote or engage in violence, terrorism, bigotry or the destruction of any state, nor will it make sub-grants to any entity that engages in these activities ." Ford clarified that "this prohibition applies to all of the organization’s funds, not just those provided through a grant from Ford."

However, as the latest NGO Monitor report reveals, "The Ford Foundation’s 2006 grants to NGOs involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict reflected some changes from 2005, but overall, Ford (in cooperation with the New Israel Fund) continued to support other problematic NGOs. These include major international organizations like Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) as well as Palestinian NGOs such as the DWRC and PHRO, which promote the anti-Israel boycott movement."

The report goes on to note that many of these NGOs "often exploit human rights rhetoric as part of the Durban strategy of demonizing Israel, while opposing a two state solution."

A key example is the Palestinian Human Rights Organization (PHRO), which received $150,000 from the Ford Foundation in 2006 "to promote and protect the human rights of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon through legal aid, research, education and training." PHRO is listed as having participated in the 2001 Durban Conference and continues to promote the NGO Durban strategy adopted there, which seeks to accuse Israel of "apartheid and ethnic cleansing," as well as "perpetration of racist crimes against humanity including…acts of genocide," and calls for "complete and total isolation of Israel."

In addition, a PHRO-hosted Palestinian Debate Meeting in October 2005, called for the "right of return" for Palestinians to all of Israel, and discussed the need to "organize Palestinian arms – to be considered as a political weapon."

In another example, Ford provided the Democracy and Workers Rights Center in Palestine (DWRC) $200,000 "for training, networking and legal aid on protection and promotion of labor rights in Palestine and the Arab Region".

While the DWRC is active in promoting labor rights for Palestinians, it is part of the PNGO network that signed a "call for a comprehensive academic boycott of Apartheid Israel" in May 2005.  This radical political stance is inconsistent with Ford’s funding principles.

By funding these and many other NGOs listed in the report, Ford is in violation of its own post-Durban pledge, which promises to "never support groups that promote or condone bigotry or violence, or that challenge the very existence of legitimate, sovereign states like Israel."

Commenting on the report, NGO Monitor Executive Director, Professor Gerald Steinberg said, "For Ford, declarations of good intentions to support those NGOs which build rather than abuse civil society, are not matched by actions.   To avoid repeating the disastrous policies that enabled the NGO Forum at the 2001 Durban Conference to take place, Ford must be far more careful in reviewing and ending funding to groups which demonize Israel, and promote conflict."

"This report is intended to draw the Ford Foundation’s attention to how their donations are really being used by highly political NGOs operating in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict zone, so that they can rectify the situation swiftly."


ENDS ————————————  

Editors Notes:

NGO Monitor was founded to promote transparency, critical analysis and debate on the political role of human rights organizations.  For more information, see our website at

Other recent publications and reports by NGO Monitor include:-

For further information, comment or interviews, contact Jason Pearlman +972 (0) 526-328-795

NGO Monitor – 13 Tel Hai St. – Jerusalem 92107 –   Israel – T: +972-2-5611020 – F: +972-2-5619112

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