In response to the New York Times article, “Tax-Exempt Funds Aid Settlements in West Bank,” NGO Monitor noted the numerous organizations enjoying 501(c)(3) status that are active on the other side of the Israeli political agenda (below). Many of these NGOs also directly oppose US policy by rejecting a “two-state solution,” and in some cases, they are actually violating US laws regarding boycotts or material support for terror groups. The scale of funding for these organizations is at least comparable to the $200 million in donations over the past decade claimed in the NY Times.
Prof. Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor commented: “The New York Times motto in this instance should be changed to ‘half the news that’s fit to print.’ Israel is a very porous society, in terms of the scale and impact of external funding directed towards political agendas. Many organizations use US tax-exempt status to oppose Israeli government policy, and some are among the leaders of campaigns to demonize and wage political war against Israel. In addition, European governments provide tens of millions of dollars annually, and without transparency, to opposition groups in Israel, whose allegations are reflected in the Goldstone Report. All these factors should have been part of the Times investigation—the article should not have been restricted to reflect a narrow and tendentious political position.”
1) NGOs with 501(c)(3) status include:
- ICAHD-USA (Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions) uses apartheid rhetoric, supported the Free Gaza Flotilla, sponsored the 2010 “Israeli Apartheid Video Contest,” and endorses calls for BDS (boycotts, divestment, and sanctions) against Israel. ICAHD is one of the most radical groups in Israel, rejecting a “two-state solution” and leading anti-Israel demonization.
- Friends of Sabeel North America (also Friends of Peace and Justice) is a fundraising and publicity branch of the Palestinian NGO Sabeel. Headed by Naim Ateek, Sabeel is a leader of the church divestment campaign. Ateek employs antisemitic themes and imagery in sermons promoting his “Palestinian Liberation Theology.” (For more information, see NGO Monitor’s factsheet)
- Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) “works for an end to Israeli apartheid and for Palestinians’ right to return to their land and control their natural resources.” Fiscal sponsor of ISM. (For more information, see NGO Monitor’s factsheet)
- AJ Muste provides tax-exempt funding to the fringe International Solidarity Movement (ISM). ISM encourages activists to take often-illegal “direct action” that places them in danger and in confrontations with Israeli Defense Forces. Led the violent Free Gaza Flotilla (May 2010).
- Deir Yassin Remembered (www.deiryassin.org) describes Israel as a “Zionist colonization” project functioning under “apartheid conditions.”
- Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church voted to divest from American corporations allegedly involved in the occupation, in support of the prejudicial KAIROS-Palestine document.
- B’Tselem “acts primarily to change Israeli policy in the Occupied Territories,” a political objective bolstered by B’Tselem’s office in Washington, DC, which brings its agenda directly to U.S. officials. Receives massive funding from the EU and European governments. (For more information, see NGO Monitor’s factsheet)
- WESPAC (www.wespac.org) – is a Westchester, NY-based pro-Palestinian group which sponsored Israeli Apartheid Week 2010 events in New York, and funds the radical anti-Israel group Adalah-NY.
- Groundspring.org funds radical website Electronic Intifada
- Center for Constitutional Rights (www.ccrjustice.org) – CCR’s political activity includes “lawfare” cases against Israeli officials in the US. (For more information, see NGO Monitor’s factsheet)
- Palestinian Right to Return Coalition (Al Awda) (www.al-awda.org) – Advocates for “the rights of all Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and lands of origin, and to full restitution of all their confiscated and destroyed property,” which amounts to a rejection of the “two-state solution.”
- Jewish Voice for Peace (www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org) employs apartheid rhetoric and supports BDS (boycotts, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns.
- Birthright Unplugged (www.birthrightunplugged.org) offers “alternative” tours in “apartheid” Palestine that train “Palestinian solidarity” activists to promote boycotts and demonization of Israel in the media, universities and other venues.
2) In addition, U.S. donations are central to international NGO superpowers whose biases promote anti-Israel political campaigns, including Human Rights Watch ($40 million annual budget, of which a highly disproportionate percentage is used to “help turn Israel into a pariah state,” as stated by HRW founder Robert Bernstein. Similarly, U.S. donations to London-based Amnesty International help to promote pro-Palestinian positions. These NGO activities and the lack of credibility in their publications on Israel are documented in NGO Monitor’s systematic research reports.
3) The following major funding organizations with 501c3 status provide large scale funding to NGOs, including those listed above, involved in the anti-Israel political warfare.
- George Soros’ Open Society Institute (OSI). Grantees include Human Rights Watch, Al Mezan, Gisha, PCHR, I’lam, Ir Amim, Amnesty International, Adalah, Yesh Din, Mossawa, International Crisis Group, and many other NGOs involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict.
- New Israel Fund (approximately one-third of its $31 million annual budget)
- Ford Foundation