In a groundbreaking publication, German Funding for Political Advocacy NGOs Active in the Arab-Israeli Conflict, NGO Monitor reports on German government funding provided to numerous non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Israel and the Palestinian Authority that engage in delegitimization campaigns targeting Israel. The funding for these political advocacy NGOs is channeled through German political foundations (stiftungen), church aid organizations, and NGOs.
“The German Government and people are important supporters of Israeli universities, Holocaust programs, and research institutes, which is very positive,” said Prof. Gerald Steinberg, President of NGO Monitor.
“However, this does not justify the damage done by NGOs that receive funds from Germany and are among the leaders of the boycott and demonization projects attacking Israel,” Steinberg continued. “There were also recipients that practice blatant antisemitism. The heads of these frameworks and German government officials should have known about and prevented such moral abuses by their NGO partners.”
For instance, German government funding for the Israeli NGO known as “Zochrot” came from the Rosa Luxembourg Stiftung, Medico International, Misereor, and the Remembrance, Responsibility and Future Foundation (EVZ). Zochrot proclaims, “the rights of the [Palestinian] refugees to return must be accepted,” which is equivalent to calling for the elimination of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. EVZ ended Zochrot funding in 2012 because “EVZ supports educational projects but does not support organizations that also have a political agenda.” Other foundations should follow this precedent.
In another example, the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung has funded a leader of BDS campaigns, Coalition of Women for Peace. Beyond this blatant political warfare, CWP officials have been photographed holding a flag of the PFLP terror group – responsible for numerous attacks against civilians. The channeling of German taxpayer funds to NGOs such as CWP via RLS is inconsistent with German policies and moral obligations.
In this detailed study, which expands on our research on Spain, Italy, the EU, and other governmental funding mechanisms, NGO Monitor examined 13 funding frameworks, and listed 35 NGO grantees and partners. In order to receive accurate and updated information on funding for NGOs in the region, NGO Monitor corresponded with the German funding organizations. However, reflecting the disturbing lack of transparency in this funding, most of the German foundations refused to provide substantive information on grants and other activities.
The NGO Monitor study also found a general absence of transparency requirements and independent evaluations of the grants through German government funding frameworks. Most of the mechanisms examined in the study do not publish the amounts provided to the grantees, in violation of good governance principles regarding the use of public funds. In addition, the grant procedures remain hidden. Most importantly, the German government lacks oversight mechanisms to monitor and evaluate the impact of taxpayer-funded activities by political advocacy NGOs.