- Senior Dutch government officials are visiting Israel to “boost economic cooperation between Israel and the Netherlands and highlight economic opportunities.” These mutually beneficial initiatives reflect the valuable and deep-seated ties between the Netherlands and Israel.
- At the same time, Dutch government funding is going to Dutch, Israeli, and Palestinian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) active in anti-Israel boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaigns and other forms of political warfare.
- Funding for these campaigns undermines Dutch foreign policy objectives and is counterproductive for regional development and peace. As noted by then Dutch Foreign Uri Rosenthal, “Dutch efforts, and those of the international community, with regard to the peace-process in the Middle-East, are aimed at immediately resuming the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. Calls for boycott do not contribute to this.”
- Dutch funding for BDS is channeled through the NGO Development Center in Ramallah (HR/GG), as well as through Dutch aid organizations such as ICCO, Kerk in Actie, and Oxfam Novib.
- At least 9 NGOs that have received Dutch funding have endorsed the 2005 “Palestinian Civil Society Call for BDS.” This discriminatory anti-peace initiative calls for “the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era.”
Direct Dutch funding for BDS
NGO Development Center (NDC)
- The Human Rights and Good Governance Secretariat (HR/GG), managed by the NGO Development Center in Ramallah, distributes joint funds to Palestinian and Israeli NGOs on behalf of the governments of the Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden and Denmark.
- In 2012, the four donor countries provided the NDC with $6,732,221.
- BDS organizations receiving funding through the HR/GG include: Miftah, Al Mezan, Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Women’s Studies Center, Women’s Affairs Technical Committee and Land Research Center.
Indirect Dutch funding for BDS
ICCO, Kerk in Actie, and Oxfam Novib receive large scale funding from the Dutch government, and in turn fund Israeli and Palestinian NGOs that are centrally involved in BDS campaigns
- In 2012, ICCO received €82 million from the Dutch government.
- ICCO has attempted to justify BDS initiatives, which immorally single out Israel, as a “peaceful and legal way of trying to end [the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories].”
- BDS organizations with which ICCO maintains partnerships and transfers funding include: Coalition of Women for Peace, DCI-Palestine, Electronic Intifada, Addameer and Al Haq.
Kerk in Actie (KiA)
- In 2012, KiA received €233,000 in Dutch government subsidies.
- Its website features the United Methodists’ “call for an explicit boycott of all Israeli companies operating in the occupied Palestinian territories, knowing that this constitutes the absolute majority of Israeli corporations.”
- KiA further states: “This and the overwhelming support for the ‘Kairos Palestine’ document and its call ‘for an end to military occupation and human rights violations through nonviolent actions, which include boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS),’ will pave the way forward for further action by the Church to hold Israel accountable for its colonial and apartheid regime.”
- BDS organizations with which KiA maintains partnerships and transfers funding include: Sabeel, DCI Palestine Section and EAPPI.
- In 2012, Oxfam Novib received €59,563,000 from the Dutch government.
- BDS organizations with which Oxfam Novib maintains partnerships and transfers funding include: Coalition of Women for Peace, Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees, Teacher’s Creativity Centre, WCLAC, Women’s Affairs Centre, and Muwatin.
BDS NGO Campaigns
- In addition, some of these Dutch NGOs publish reports and issue statements that promote BDS efforts.
- In 2012, ICCO joined a coalition of 22 European NGOs in producing “Trading Away Peace: How Europe Helps Sustain Illegal Israeli Settlements.” The report repeats the BDS agenda, calling on the EU and national governments to wage political warfare through various forms of economic sanctions on Israel.
- In April 2013, ICCO, published “Dutch Economic Links to the Occupation.” This report “explores trade and investment relationships between companies located in Israeli settlement or profiting from the occupation of the Palestinian territories and the Golan Heights on the one hand, and the Netherlands on the other hand.”
- ICCO and Kerk in Actie also promote the Kairos Palestine Document, calling for BDS against Israel. The document also denies the Jewish historical connection to Israel.
Example of BDS organizations receiving Dutch Support:
Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP): ICCO partner CWP, is a leader of BDS campaigns, particularly via the “Who Profits” project. The “Who Profits” website serves as an “online database and information centre,” initiated “in response to the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) on Israel,” which identifies targets for BDS activism. CWP officials have been photographed holding a flag of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – an EU-recognized terrorist organization responsible for numerous attacks against civilians.
Defence for Children International – Palestine Section (DCI-PS): DCI-PS partners with ICCO, KiA. The organization’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.
Sabeel: KiA partner Sabeel, is a leader of the global church divestment movement. The organization issued a paper, “Sabeel’s Call for Morally Responsible Investment, A Nonviolent Response to the Occupation,” calling on churches to “to divest/disinvest from companies and corporations that do not respond and comply with morally responsible investment and business practices.” Sabeel uses antisemitic deicide imagery against Israel and consistently disparages Judaism as “tribal,” “primitive,” and “exclusionary.” For more information on Sabeel’s use of antisemitic rhetoric, click here.
|Dutch Funder/ Partner||Local BDS organization|
|Women's Affairs Technical Committee|
|Women's Studies Center|
|Land Research Center|
|ICCO||Coalition of Women for Peace|
|Kerk in Actie||Sabeel|
|Oxfam Novib||Coalition of Women for Peace|
|Teacher's Creativity Centre|
|Women's Affairs Centre|