In a detailed report released today, Jerusalem-based research institute NGO Monitor analyzes Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RFB) support for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) active in the Arab-Israeli conflict. The report shows that this funding, amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars annually, is often inconsistent, and even counterproductive, to RBF’s stated objectives. The Fund provides grants to NGOs through its Peacebuilding program, which claims to “advance just and durable peace.”
“NGO Monitor’s independent and systematic analysis of the political advocacy groups that receive funding under the Peacebuilding program indicates that their activities contradict the objectives,” said Prof. Gerald Steinberg, President of NGO Monitor. “Most of the organizations that are funded clearly lack experience or capacity for advancing a ‘just and durable peace’.”
For example, Breaking the Silence, an NGO that plays a central role in the in promoting false “war crimes” charges against Israel and presses these accusations through many events in international frameworks, received $105,000 for 2 years beginning November 2013 from RBF.
Other Peacebuilding grantees include +972 Advancement of Citizen Journalism ($100,000 for 2 years, January 2014), an English-language blog that has published endorsements of violence against Israeli civilians; and the Middle East Policy Network ($30,000 for 1 year, December 2013) that strongly supports BDS and “right of return” campaigns, regularly using “colonialism” and “apartheid” vocabulary to describe Israel.
NGO Monitor’s report notes that Daniel Levy, a trustee of the Fund, is a co-founder of J Street and a member of the board of directors of Molad-The Center for the Renewal of Democracy; both organizations are recipients of RBF funding, suggesting a potential conflict of interest. In addition, Levy is a member of the board of directors of the New Israel Fund (NIF), which is affiliated with many of the Israeli NGO recipients.
“The Rockefeller Brothers Fund provides hundreds of thousands of dollars to a number of political organizations claiming to advance a humanitarian agenda,” said Prof. Steinberg. “However, their activities are very different from the declared objectives. Rather than promote democracy and a peaceful and moral end to the conflict, these organizations exploit the rhetoric of human rights to demonize and isolate Israel, which perpetuates incitement and violence. We urge RBF officials to undertake a complete and independent review of this very damaging NGO funding.”
To read the full report: Rockefeller Brothers Fund- The Impact of Grants for Peacebuilding in the Arab-Israeli Conflict