Release Date:   19 March 2009

(Jerusalem) – Trocaire, the overseas development agency of the Catholic Church of Ireland, has attempted to suppress a report on its Middle East funding policy released today by Jerusalem-based research organization NGO Monitor. The report shows that the organization promotes a one-sided agenda and is funding radical NGOs in the Middle East which foment conflict and continued ill feeling.  

NGO Monitor sent the report to Trocaire for their comment prior to publication and received a threatening reply from the organization’s Director Justin Kilcullen.  Kilcullen registered ‘strong objections’, and accused the report of being ‘deliberately misleading, unsubstantiated and libelous’.  He further pledged to ‘rigorously defend’ Trocaire’s reputation should the report be published.  However, in his response, Kilcullen did not cite any specifics.   

Trocaire is funded by Irish taxpayers, including an estimated 116m Euros between 2007-11 from Irish Aid, which is administered by Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs.  Trocaire also receives funds from European Union and the UK’s Department for International Development.

In the political realm, Trocaire has joined forces with the powerful Palestinian NGO, Badil as an ‘international partner’ of the group’s ‘Call to Action’.  This campaign calls for boycotts against Israel, the so-called ‘right of return,’ and encourages “journalists to organize a targeted campaign to expose the lies of AIPAC and the Anti-Defamation League and to expose the Jewish and Zionist community’s double standards”.  As a partner of this campaign, Trocaire legitimizes Badil’s anti-Jewish conspiracy theories, and angers and alienates Israelis, fueling hostility in the Middle East.      

Trocaire’s statements regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict are very biased, and promote the Palestinian narrative.  This rejection of evenhandedness is inappropriate for a publicly funded aid organization claiming to create a constructive dialogue.  During the recent Gaza conflict, Trocaire Director, Justin Kilcullen dismissed lethal Iranian-made missiles fired by Hamas at Israeli civilians as “homemade”.  He went on to claim the treatment of Gazans is “worse than animals in a zoo” and pressed the Irish government to call on the EU to embrace Hamas, the genocidal terrorist organization. 

Trocaire also provides financial support for highly problematic politicized NGOs.  Zochrot, which Trocaire has supported since 2007, also promotes the so-called ‘right of return’, which, if implemented, would mean the end of the Jewish state.  Trocaire also provides funds for the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), which advocates boycotts of Israel and is spearheading attempts to prosecute Israeli leaders for ‘war crimes’ – both part of the political war, and entirely inconsistent with dialogue.  PCHR also repeatedly refers to terrorism as ‘resistance’ when directed against Israel.

NGO Monitor’s Executive Director, Prof Gerald Steinberg commented on the release of the report, “In sharp contrast to its stated goals, Trocaire does not promote peace and coexistence in the Middle East, but instead uses these slogans to promote the Palestinian side of the conflict. There is no attempt to engage with most of Israeli society, and several of the organizations that Trocaire funds delegitimize the very existence of Israel.  Instead of threatening lawsuits to prevent publication of independent analyses and a public debate on Trocaire’s policies, we suggest that Mr. Kilcullen engage in dialogue with his critics.”                 

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Editors Notes:

Please click here or the link below to view the full NGO Monitor report on Trocaire.

Please click here or the link below to view the correspondence over this report between NGO Monitor and Trocaire. 

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:-

The NGO Front in the Gaza War – Amnesty International – January 25, 2009 

‘Hijacked by Hatred’: British NGOs Use Christmas for Anti-Israel Attacks – December 23, 2008

NGOs and Durban Demonization at UN Review of Israel
– December 3, 2008

NGO Monitor’s Executive Director is, Prof. Gerald Steinberg.

Members of NGO Monitor’s International Advisory Board include Elie Wiesel, Prof Alan Dershowitz, Sir Martin Gilbert and R. James Woolsey

For further information, comment or interviews contact Dan Kosky

+972 (0) 546-305-504

NGO Monitor – 1, Ben Maimon Blvd. – Jerusalem 92262 –   Israel – T: +972-2-566-1020

F: +972-77-511-7030