• NGO Monitor’s latest analysis shows many NGOs funded by the European Commission (EC) via the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) promote conflict and demonization.
  • In 2009, the EC allocated €2,007,051 through EIDHR for Israeli and Palestinian NGOs. For the period 2007-2013, EIDHR has a worldwide budget of €1.1 billion.
  • Highly politicized Israeli NGOs funded by EIDHR include the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), Machsom Watch, Adalah, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), and Yesh Din.
  • ICAHD, Adalah, Yesh Din, and ACRI use rhetoric that demonizes Israel, including “apartheid” and “war crimes.”
  • Similarly, 2008 EIDHR recipients include Yesh Din, B’Tselem, Breaking the Silence, Gisha, HaMoked, and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel(PHR-I). See appendix I.
  • The EC claims to have evaluations of NGO funding,but these are not published. The evidence indicates that many activities do not advance the claimed objectives of promoting peace, democracy, and human rights.
  • Large-scale EC funding for these political NGOs is criticized as an attempt to manipulate and distort Israeli democracy.
Note: This analysis does not include EC funding for numerous NGO projects through Partnership for Peace and other programs. Analysis of these will be included in future NGO Monitor updates.


The European Commission provides millions of euros annually to Israeli, Palestinian, and European NGOs that are active in the Arab-Israeli conflict (see the NGO Monitor report Europe’s Hidden Hand). One of the mechanisms for NGO funding is the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR).

The evidence shows that many of the EIDHR grantees promote a narrow political perspective and embrace biased campaigns to isolate Israel internationally. NGOs such as the NGO Development Center, ACRI, Al-Dameer, B’Tselem, and Adalah advance allegations of Israeli “war crimes” and “apartheid” that distort international law and demonize Israel.

Such massive EC funding for a narrow range of NGOs also constitutes direct interference and manipulation of Israeli politics.

The lack of transparency regarding EC allocations also raises serious questions. For example, the Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions (ICAHD), a radical Israeli NGO that promotes a “one state” solution, utilizes “apartheid” rhetoric, and supports the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign, had been receiving EC funds under the Partnership for Peace Program until 2008. After PfP did not renew the grant, EIDHR provided funds.

In the absence of information related to EC funding, contrary to EU transparency laws, it is impossible to evaluate how ICAHD’s agenda was reconciled with EIDHR’s funding goals of promoting “human rights, democracy and conflict prevention.”

In the following detailed analysis, which provides background information on the NGOs, the 2009/2010 EC-EIDHR programs affecting Israel are divided into three categories:

1. Biased NGOs that consistently oppose Israeli policy;

2. NGOs and projects that require independent evaluation and careful monitoring by the EC; 

3. NGOs and projects that do not show a consistent bias.

Biased NGOs that consistently oppose Israeli policy

BeneficiaryProject TitleEC Contrib. (Euros)Start Date and DurationDescription
Adalah Combating and Preventing Torture and Ill-Treatment of Palestinian Prisoners held in Israeli Prisons and Palestinian Civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)627,526May 2009 36 months“The project is devoted to the fight against impunity and the support to the rule of law in Israel. The specific objective of this action is to combat and prevent torture and ill-treatment of Palestinian prisoners incarcerated in Israeli prisons and detention centers and Palestinian civilians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.”

Among other activities, Adalah advances “war crimes” charges against Israel at the UN Human Rights Council, in reports cited in the media, in Israeli courts, and in campaigns conducted with other political NGOs. Adalah officials promote the false claim that “the Israeli legal and judicial systems have consistently failed in providing any legal remedies to the Palestinian people.” In 2009, Adalah prevailed in 12 of its 19 cases in Israeli courts (63%), and was involved in more than 60 legal interventions. Adalah

Adalah officials, in conjunction with radical Palestinian NGO Al-Haq, wrote and edited large portions of a May 2009 publication, initiated by anti-Israel ideologue John Dugard, entitled “Occupation, Colonialism, Apartheid?: A re-assessment of Israel’s practices in the occupied Palestinian territories under international law.” The document refers to Israeli occupation as a “colonial enterprise which implements a system of apartheid” in order to delegitimize Israeli self-defense measures.

Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD)Home Demolitions and the Law169,661February 2010 24 months“The project aims to create, through extensive academic, legal and statistical research a written framework which will serve as the standard platform for legal actions in the realm of house demolitions, also leading to policy change by challenging the discriminatory basis of granting housing permits to the different communities and differential enforcement on the part of Jerusalem’s municipal government.”

Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions

ICAHD utilizes “apartheid” and “ethnic cleansing” rhetoric, and supports the boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign, including against Israeli academic and cultural institutions. ICAHD head Jeff Halper regularly refers to the Israeli “matrix of control,” claiming that a bi-national state is the only remaining option resulting from Israel’s “futile attempt to impose an apartheid regime” and “enclose [the Palestinians] in a little Bantustan-type state.” ICAHD accuses Israel of “state terrorism,” and refers to Israel’s demolition of illegally built houses as “discriminatory discourse” and “racist measures.”

Al-Dameer Association for Supporting Prisoner and Human RightsContributing to the respect, protection and promotion of children’s rights through enabling children to claim their rights and empowering civil society to promote and respect children’s rights.190,0002008-2010“Contribute to the promotion of the rights of the child by enabling children to claim and protect their own rights, whilst empowering civil society to promote child rights through research, information dissemination and law enforcement monitoring.”

Al-Dameer Association for Supporting Prisoner and Human Rights

While Al-Dameer claims to be “concerned with presenting legal services,” many of its activities constitute “lawfare,” the exploitation of courts for politicized attacks against Israel. On May 5, 2009, Al-Dameer released a statement calling for the “prosecut[ion] [of] the Israeli war criminals” and called for “the PLC to convene in a legal way and to adopt the draft law of the Palestinian Authority to Pursue the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) committed crimes against the Palestinians.” After the release of the Goldstone Report on the Gaza conflict, Al-Dameer advocated for the prosecution of “military commanders and Israeli civilians before the national courts of criminal jurisdiction, to effectuate the principle of international criminal jurisdiction of national courts.” This NGO has never issued calls to prosecute Palestinians, including Hamas, for directly targeting Israeli civilians.

B'TselemPreventing Torture through Accountability502,9532009-2011“B'Tselem will undertake a three-year project aimed at preventing the use of torture and degrading treatment by Israel's security forces in the framework of interrogations of Palestinian detainees from the Occupied Territories, and obtaining redress for victims of torture.”


This Israeli NGO “acts primarily to change Israeli policy in the Occupied Territories,” a political objective. While widely considered Israel’s premier human-rights organization, B’Tselem has faced serious criticism for its misrepresentations of international law, inaccurate research, skewed statistics (including casualty lists), and selective coverage of violations against Israelis. As with the global campaign against Israel’s security barrier, B’Tselem was at the forefront of labeling Israeli responses to terror from Gaza as “collective punishment.”

In reports based on Palestinian claims that often lack credibility, B’Tselem also claimed that Israel violated international humanitarian law in Gaza by using “excessive and disproportionate force,” failing to distinguish between civilians and combatants, and employing “prohibited weapons.” The use of problematic methodologies reinforces the Palestinian narrative of victimization and portrays Israel as the sole impediment to peace.

Women’s Fund for Human RightsMachsom Watch: Women for Human Rights77,632January 2010 24 Months“The project aims to foster respect for human rights by continuing to monitor military checkpoints and raise awareness of the overall situation in the West Bank, and particularly within Israel.”

Machsom Watch

Machsom Watch, created “to monitor the behavior of soldiers and police at checkpoints,” is a member of the radical NGO Coalition of Women for Peace, which conducts highly politicized campaigns. In June 2009, the IDF accused representatives of Machsom Watch of “interfering with … security duties” near Nablus. As documented by NGO Monitor, Machsom Watch publications consistently omit the context of terror and employ “apartheid” rhetoric and emotive language that contribute to the demonization of Israel. In many cases, their allegations are either inaccurate or unverifiable.

NGO Development Center (NDC)Strengthening Good Governance within the Palestinian NGO Sector193,2422009-2010“Strengthen the capacity of civil society to promote and deepen democratic reform through the adoption of international governance standards and principals. The project provides technical assistance and policy support to a pre-existing pool of NGOs.”

NGO Development Center

NDC is an independent Palestinian organization based in Ramallah that works with NGOs and local groups to “provid[e] … the skills, tools and funds they require to address social needs and promote self-reliance.” NDC “facilitated” and funded the “Palestinian NGO Code of Conduct,” which demands that Palestinian groups reject “any normalization activities with the occupier, neither at the political-security nor the cultural or developmental levels.” NDC also distributed $6 million to 25 NGOs (on behalf of four European governments), including recipients that employ demonizing rhetoric such as “apartheid,” endorse the BDS movement, and promote lawfare against Israeli officials.

Yesh Din Volunteers for Human Rights Access to Lands Advocacy Project226,000January 2010 24 Months“The objective of the project is to achieve a long term improvement in the human rights situation in the West Bank by documenting and disseminating accurate and up-to-date information on the Human rights violations there, by raising public awareness of such violations, and by applying legal means to end them.”
Yesh DinInvestigations of Israeli Security Forces Personnel Action 247,946 2009-2010 “The project aims to strengthening the culture of accountability among Israeli Security Forces Personnel (ISFP) by raising the standards of investigations of criminal offenses committed by ISFP against Palestinians in the West Bank.”

Yesh Din

In 2010, Yesh Din is receiving EU grants for two different projects, both directed against Israeli government policies. Yesh Din frequently petitions the High Court on Israeli policy regarding Palestinians. The organization’s stated mission is “to oppose the continuing violation of Palestinian human rights,” monitoring of law enforcement on settlers and members of the security forces, and the observation of military court procedures. Founded by Dror Etkes (formerly of Peace Now), Yesh Din employs demonization and “apartheid” rhetoric in some of its activities, exploiting the language of human rights for political and ideological objectives.

Bimkom - Planners for Planning Rights Advancing Implementation of the Or Committee Recommendations in the field of Planning and Land for the Arab Minority 174,116 January 2004 24 months “The project aims to promote equality in the field of land &, housing, infrastructure, services, employment areas and development resources for Arab localities and thus close the gaps that exist between the Arab and Jewish populations. The project also contributes to further implementation of the Or Commission recommendations regarding planning & land issues.”


Bimkom – an Israeli NGO ostensibly focused on “planning, development, and the allocation of land resources” – engages in heavily politicized attempts to change Israeli government policy, including a campaign to “retroactively legalize illegal construction in Arab neighborhoods.” In 2006, Bimkom published a study accusing Israel of constructing the security barrier as a “land-grab” in order to annex territory and ignoring the legitimate concerns of terror attacks that led to its construction. The Israeli Foreign Ministry criticized British financial support for the study, stating that “it is interference by Britain in an internal Israeli matter…. This is not acceptable in international relations.”

Bimkom regularly engages in political activity completely unrelated to planning rights, such as petitions against “collective punishment” in Gaza. Bimkom was also involved in a website detailing allegations of Israeli “violations” during the fighting in Gaza – most of which involved issues outside Bimkom’s remit and stated mandate. Similarly, Bimkom petitioned the Israeli Supreme Court (along with Adalah, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, Gisha, Hamoked, Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, and others) alleging attacks against medical teams.

NGOs and projects that require independent evaluation and careful monitoring by the EC

Al-Awna Fund A Master Plan for the Unrecognized Bedouin Villages: Securing minority rights for housing and social services 195,859 2009-2010 “The project will address the right for recognition, housing, land and social services for the 36 unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Negev.”

Al-Awna Fund – Regional Council for the Unrecognized Villages in the Negev

Al-Awna (or Al-Auna), the Regional Council for the Unrecognized Villages (RCUV), was created in 1997 as the representative body for the residents of Bedouin villages in the Israeli Negev. RCUV Chair Hussein al-Rifaya, criticized Israel’s “racist laws … used to justify … the expulsion of an indigenous population from what we consider our land.” In March 2005, al-Rifaya spoke at an Ittijah study day claiming that Israel has a policy of ethnic cleansing based on an imaginary Israeli law of the “expulsion of the invaders.” Adalah (see above) has filedpetitions on behalf of RCUV protesting Israeli policies.

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) Towards Sustainable Democracy: Reinforcing Respect for Human Rights and Democracy while Delegitimizing Racism 231,759January 2010 24 months “The project's overall objective is to effectively mobilize civil society and influential actors within Israeli society in order to curb the erosion of democratic values and to reaffirm respect for human rights while de-legitimizing racism.”

Association for Civil Rights in Israel

According to its website, ACRI “is committed to promoting the universality of human rights and defending the rights of all.” Although ACRI has engaged in some activities to further civil rights in Israel, it frequently employs rhetoric that contributes to demonization and delegitimization, and attributes social problems to racism and discrimination, even when the evidence does not sustain those claims.

For example, its 2008 annual report labeled Israel’s policies in the West Bank “Apartheid” and called the security barrier a “clear violation of international law.” During the Gaza fighting, ACRI accused Israel of “indiscriminate strikes [against] innocent Palestinian civilians.” ACRI’s 2009 State of Human Rights Report greatly exaggerates the alleged “wave of racist statements, bills and initiatives threatening the freedom of expression and … political activity.”

The Arab Center for Alternative Planning (ACAP) Promoting Equality in Planning for the Arab Minority through Due Representation in State Planning Institutions 157,319January 2010 24 months “The project aims to contribute to eliminating planning discrimination towards Arab minorities, by promoting equitable planning procedures and processes, based on due representation of the Arab sector in the planning institutions.”

Arab Center for Alternative Planning (ACAP)

ACAP is an Israeli-Arab NGO that describes itself as “work[ing] towards equality and integration of Israel’s Arab citizens … while preserving their cultural features and national identity” – in other words, a Palestinian narrative. In October 2009, ACAP representatives met with the head of the policy planning department in Israel’s prime minister’s office to discuss amendments to the 1965 building and planning law. It criticized the Israeli government for building houses for Jews on “[pre-1948] Arab land,” and posted an article decrying Israel’s attempt to “Judaify” the Negev.

Democracy and Workers Rights Center Association (DWRC) Protecting trade union rights and uniting efforts to influence socioeconomic policies 198,088 2009-2010 “Build the capacity of civil society organizations to influence policies affecting the social and economic rights of Palestinians. Activities include issuing training manuals and organising advocacy and media training programs.”

Democracy and Workers Rights Center Association (DWRC)

A group of trade unionists, lawyers, academics, and political figures created DWRC in 1993. DWRC’s website is currently non-functioning, which prevents in-depth analysis.

In the past, NGO Monitor has documented DWRC’s rejectionist agenda. For instance, in 2008 DWRC was a signatory to a Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) petition against the EU-Israel upgrade and calling for the suspension of the EU Association Agreement.

DirasatEnhancing Rights to Education in the Arab Palestinian Community in Israel-Arab Teacher Training 59.979 January 2010 24 months “The project aims to improve teacher training curricula to reflect the reality of Arab culture, history and language in Israel; produce policy proposals backed by high-quality research in preparation for advocacy for changes in Arab education system; capacity building and dialogue in both Arab and Jewish teacher colleges.”

Dirasat: Arab Center for Law and Policy

Founded in 2006, Dirasat is an Israel-based NGO whose stated aim is “to influence the decision-making process at the state level in the direction of adopting laws and policies that rest on the principles of substantive equality and inclusion, as opposed to discrimination and exclusion.” Yousef T. Jabareen, director and one of the founding members of Dirasat, authored a report, Constitution Building and Equality in Deeply-Divided Societies: The Case of the Palestinian-Arab Minority in Israel, which questions the moral legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state and implies that Israeli policy is inherently “racist” and “morally repugnant.”

Euro-Mediterranean Foundation of Support to Human Rights Defenders (EMHRF) Supporting and Strengthening the Capacity of Human Rights Defenders in the Euro-Mediterranean Region through Rapid Financial and Strategic Assistance 981,518 2009-2011 “Provide emergency financial assistance and/or strategic assistance for human right defenders and NGOs struggling to protect human rights in the Mediterranean region.”

Euro-Mediterranean Foundation of Support to Human Rights Defenders EMHRF was created by the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) in 2004 to provide “strategic financial assistance to regional, national and local human rights NGOs and institutes as well as individuals who promote, support, protect and monitor the observance of human rights in the South-Mediterranean region.” EMHRF allocates urgent and non-urgent grants to human rights defenders and small human rights organizations to assist them in their activities.

EMHRF does not publicly disclose the names, countries, or amounts provided; as such, EMHRF’s impact cannot be evaluated.

The Follow Up Committee on Arab Education (FUCAE) A Comprehensive Framework for the Arab Education in Israel: Goals, Legal Status and Pedagogic Council 122.106 November 2009 24 months “The project promotes the realization of the Arab minority regarding Israel's basic right to education. This is done via enhancing equality, recognition and participation of Arab professionals in Israel. By doing this, it aims to advance a public policy initiative to promote a comprehensive framework for the Arab education, including drafting goals, proposing a legal framework and launching the Arab pedagogic council.”

FUCAE seeks “equality between Arab and Jewish education in Israel, and changes the structure of Arab education to allow more community involvement in determining educational and cultural policy.” In 2006, FUCAE board member Nebeeh Abu-Saleh signed a Mossawa document calling Israel an “ethnocratic state” that “cannot be defined as democratic,” and claiming that only “Palestinian Arabs are the indigenous people of the country.” Dr. Ayman K. Agbaria, senior legal advisor for FUCAE, has accused Israel of trying to “Israelize the [Palestinian] collective identity and memory … [so that] Palestinians accept their inferiority within Israeli society.”

Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR) Legal Aid to Combat Land Takeovers from Palestinians in the South Hebron Hills 160,953 November 2009 24 months “The main objective of the project is to guarantee Palestinian farmers safe access to their agricultural lands. The project helps to prevent expropriation or forcible takeover of Palestinians’ lands and displacement of Palestinian farmers and their families while promoting Human Rights values among Israelis.”

Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR)

RHR claims to “seek[] to prevent human rights violations in Israel and in areas for which Israel has taken responsibility” and to “have no affiliation with any political party or ideology.” In contrast, RHR is routinely involved in politicized activities such as protests and legal advocacy on behalf of the Palestinian narrative. RHR, along with other NGOs, signed a January 2010 letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu accusing Israel of engaging in “collective punishment” against civilians in Gaza. The letter also made the tendentious claim that “damage to the civilian population during the operation [Cast Lead] was unprecedented.” RHR has also worked in cooperation with the extreme NGO ICAHD (see above).

Treatment and Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture (TRC) Breaking the Silence, Saying No to Torture 627,4822009-2011 “Reduce both the prevalence of torture and the intensity and duration of trauma suffered by those who have previously been tortured, degraded and/or ill-treated.”
Treatment and Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture (TRC) Sustaining and Enhancing Comprehensive, Communist-based Service Delivery to Victims of Torture and Politically Motivated Violence in the North and South of the West Bank 1,199,8742009-2011 “Reduce both the prevalence of torture and the intensity and duration of trauma suffered by those who have previously been tortured, degraded and/or ill-treated.”

Treatment and Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture

Located in the West Bank, TRC was created to provide psychological help to Palestinian “survivors of politically-motivated torture and violence.” The Center was “conceived under the conditions of … Israeli occupation … which has included a policy of mass imprisonment and systematic torture … as well as consistent violence, abuse and ill and degrading treatment.” TRC offers “psychosocial assistance” to survivors of torture and their families, trains mental-health professionals, and raises awareness of the effects of torture in public activities.

NGOs and projects that do not show a consistent bias

Centre for Educational Technology (CET)Human Rights Defenders 196,435 2009-2010 “The bi-lingual educational project (Arabic-Hebrew) seeks to promote human rights education and activism in the Israeli education system by creating a pedagogical bridge between schools and local human rights NGO's.”

Centre for Educational Technology 

Founded in 1971 with support from the Rothschild Foundation, CET works for the “advancement of the education system in Israel, in the Jewish world, and around the globe.” CET publishes professional textbooks and creates educational materials and digital content. CET also develops and introduces advanced technologies into schools, creates online environments and tools for assessment and evaluation, and develops curricula for the professional development of educators.

Foundation Samir Kassir Association Promoting the Freedom of the Press in the Countries of the Middle East 1,110,000 2009-2011 “Area of Activity: Jordan, Lebanon, OPT, Syria.” No description available.

Foundation Samir Kassir Association

The Samir Kassir Foundation was established in memory of Samir Kassir, a Lebanese journalist and professor of history who was assassinated in June 2005. Kassir was a prominent left-wing activist and a strong advocate of the Palestinian cause. The Foundation translates Kassir’s works into English, Italian, and Norwegian, and works to protect freedom of the press, as well as Arab culture and literature, through lectures and public gatherings.

Hebrew University of Jerusalem Fostering the Next Generation of Human Rights Leadership in Israel 191,9912009-2010 “The overall objective of the project is to, in partnership with civil society organizations, introduce human rights discourse and action to marginalized communities, universities and colleges throughout Israel.”

No specific information found.

Internews Middle East Co. Bridging Gaps: security forces and journalist rights 159,968.89 January 2009 18 months “Address the lack of access of Palestinian journalists to information related to Palestinian security whilst building trust between security staff and media as well as pressuring for the introduction of spokespersons for the security.”


Internews is “an international media development organization whose mission is to empower local media worldwide.” Internews Europe has worked to strengthen freedom of expression and democracy in the Palestinian Authority through increasing the quality, diversity and professionalism of Palestinian local radio. Internews commits itself to “encourag[ing] good governance and creat[ing] peaceful debate to counteract political violence of all kinds.”

Ma'an Bedouin Women-Men Roundtable Discussions 47,440 2009-2010 “The purpose of this action is to attain equality for and to advance the rights of the Bedouin women of the Negev, to facilitate discourse between Bedouin women and men, to raise awareness of the human and civil rights of Bedouin women, and to engage Bedouin men in the advancement of these rights.”

Ma’an: Forum of Negev Arab-Bedouin Women’s Organizations

Ma’an, founded in 2000, works to “unite Bedouin women’s organizations to better address sensitive social issues.” The forum implements projects for the advancement of women’s equality and rights through leadership enhancement, raising awareness, and legal support. Ma’an programs include the Bedouin Women’s Rights Centre in Beersheva, which provides legal aid to Bedouin women and runs courses, workshops, and lectures on the rights and status of women. Ma’an also encourages women’s activism and community involvement through the Ma’an Capacity Building and Leadership Program.

Sharek Youth Forum Association Spread the Word: Youth Journalists for Human Rights 93,241.60 November 2008-May 2010 “Enhance human rights awareness in the Palestinian territories by providing young journalists with the skills and capacities needed to monitor, enhance and report on human rights issues and fundamental freedoms.”

Sharek Youth Forum

Sharek Youth Forum’s mission is “to contribute to the development of youth through designing and implementing creative youth initiatives, programs and projects and supporting youth by giving them the opportunity to determine their needs and have their voices heard.” Programs include “A Step Forward,” which aims to empower youth by helping them enter the labor market; “Bridges,” which establishes services in remote areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip for child development; and “Partners,” which works on capacity building of youth organizations and supporting youth initiatives. The Sharek Youth Forum endorsed CODEPINK’s December 2009 Gaza Freedom March.