• The Belgian government annually provides over €1 million through direct and indirect funding processes to NGOs that operate in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, some of which are highly politicized.
  • Direct funding is channeled on the federal level through the Directorate-General for Development Cooperation (DGD), a branch of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Belgian NGOs also receive funding through regional and community-level funding frameworks.
  • In 2012, DGD granted €928,523 to local Palestinian NGOs. However, reflecting a lack of transparency, the Belgian government does not reveal the NGO recipients of this funding.
  • Indirect funding is provided by Belgian NGOs, such as Broedelijk Delen, which receive large-scale Belgian government funding and in turn fund Israeli and Palestinian NGOs. For instance, in 2012, the Israeli NGO Zochrot received €40,000 from the Belgian government via Broederlijk Delen. Zochrot is a highly political NGO, that uses demonization rhetoric, accusing Israel of “ethnic cleansing,” “ongoing destruction of Palestinian localities,” “expulsion,” “massacres,” and “disregard for the rights of refugees and displaced people.

Direct Belgian Funding

In July 2011, in response to inquiries from NGO Monitor, the Belgian Embassy in Tel Aviv provided details on government funding for 2009-2011. However, in May 2013, NGO Monitor corresponded with the Embassy, asking for updated information. We did not receive a response to this request.

Details on 2012-2013 were obtained independently from NGO submissions to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits, per the NGO Transparency Law.

NGO GranteesYearAmount
Yesh Din2012NIS 392,670
Hamoked2013NIS 47,477
2012NIS 245,392
Public Committee Against Torture in Israel2010/201130000
Combatants for Peace2010/201120985
Peace Now

Yesh Din is a leader in attempts to portray Israel and its security forces as unaccountable to the rule of law, as part of a wider strategy of bringing false “war crimes” cases against Israeli officials in foreign courts and in the International Criminal Court (ICC). This NGO employs demonization and “apartheid” rhetoric in some of its activities, exploiting the language of human rights for political and ideological objectives.

Hamoked is an Israeli organization whose main objective is “to assist Palestinians of the Occupied Territories whose rights are violated due to Israel’s policies.” Hamoked has described Israel’s policies as “ethnic cleansing” and “racist.” For example, in an interview in the National, Director of Hamoked Dalia Kerstein said, “There is clearly a policy to push Palestinians out of Jerusalem and Israel to reduce what is called here the Palestinian demographic threat. It’s really a case of ethnic cleansing.”

Broederlijk Delen

Brussels-based Broederlijk Delen (BD), a Catholic development and peace organization, is a major funder of numerous highly politicized NGOs active in the Arab-Israeli conflict. In 2012, the Belgian government provided €172,000 in funding toward some of BD’s projects in Israel. Most of BD’s NGO grantees participate in global political warfare campaigns against Israel, including boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) efforts. Many oppose a two-state framework for resolving the conflict.

NGO GranteesProject20122013
ZochrotInstitutional support€50,000 (including€40,000 from Belgian Development Cooperation (DGD) NIS 229,979
Adalah"the legal defense and protection of the rights of Arab citizens in Israel with regards to land planning."€45,000 (including a €36,000 contribution from the Belgian Development Cooperation-DGD)N/A
Gisha"legal assistance and public advocacy for the Palestinian right to freedom of movement."€60,000(including €48,000 from Belgian Development Cooperation (DGD)NIS 284,143

Zochrot an Israeli NGO that promotes the Palestinian narrative of “Nakba” and “return,” also uses demonization rhetoric, accusing Israel of “ethnic cleansing,” “ongoing destruction of Palestinian localities,” “expulsion,” “massacres,” and “disregard for the rights of refugees and displaced people. Zochrot runs a “project of thinking and planning Palestinians practices of return.” Insisting on a “right of return” for 1948 Palestinian refugees and their millions of descendants amounts to a call for the elimination of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.

In response to inquiries by NGO Monitor, Broederlijk Delen wrote, “we support the work of Zochrot as we believe refugee rights are important in any context and should be openly discussed. With regard to details on funding, we wish to respect our partners’ privacy.”

Adalah, an Israeli-Arab NGO, repeatedly attempts to portray Israel as anti-democratic and racist, including frequent events in the UN and other international platforms. In the wake of the Goldstone Report, Adalah also urged governments to “re-evaluate their relationship with Israel.” Adalah’s involvement in legal warfare against Israel includes a 2008 legal opinion submitted to a Spanish court in support of the Palestinian Center for 

Human Right’s case against Israeli officials, and a “re-assessment of Israel’s practices in the occupied Palestinian territories under international law,” published in collaboration with Al-Haq.

Gisha ignores security concerns as a factor in Israel’s policy towards Gaza, asserting that the current blockade, which was found legal by the UN, exists solely for purposes of “collective punishment.” It also uses unsupported legal claims and the rhetoric of “apartheid” as part of its politicized agenda.

Additional Broederlijk Delen Funding for Israeli and Palestinian NGOs

NGO Grantees20122013
Breaking the Silence€30,000NIS 140,854
Women's Center for Legal Aid and Counseling€30,000N/A
Defence for Children International-Palestine Section€20,000N/A

Badil – Badil regularly accuses Israel of “state-sponsored racism,” “systematic ethnic cleansing,” “slow genocide,” “forced displacement of the Palestinians” and being a “colonial apartheid regime.” Its ideological agenda promotes the Palestinian narrative of the “Nakba” and so-called “right of return”, meaning the end of Israel as a Jewish state. Badil is also involved in lawfare attempts to prosecute Israeli military officials in international and European courts. In May 2010, Badil awarded second place in the category and a $600 monetary prize to a blatantly antisemitic cartoon, featuring a grotesque caricature of a Jewish man standing over dying Arab child and holding a pitchfork dripping with blood. In response, donors froze their funding to the NGO.

Defense for Children, Palestine SectionDefence for Children International – Palestine Section (DCI-PS): DCI-PS’s stated mission is “Promoting and protecting the rights of Palestinian children in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), as well as other international, regional and local standards.” However, the NGO is very active in wider anti-Israel political campaigns, including promoting the return of Palestinian refugees to Israel and “war crimes” accusations at the United Nations Human Rights Council. The organization is also active in BDS campaigns, lobbying for sanctions targeting Israel.