German Funding for Political Advocacy NGOs Active in the Arab-Israeli Conflict
Updated March 2015
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German government funding for political advocacy NGOs in Israel and the Palestinian Authority is officially dedicated to “combating poverty, securing food, establishing peace, freedom, democracy and human rights, shaping globalisation in a socially equitable manner, and preserving the environment and natural resources.”
However, German government funds are also transferred to organizations that contribute to the growing demonization of Israel and BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns, in direct contradiction to German foreign policy.
These NGOs oppose peace and negotiations, and promote narratives that reject the legitimacy of a Jewish state. Additionally, in some cases, German funding has been granted to organizations involved in blatant antisemitism.
Millions of euros originating with German taxpayers are provided annually to these NGOs. Direct funding frameworks include the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and other branches; indirect funding includes church-based aid groups and powerful political foundations associated with German political parties.
NGO grantees include some of the most radical political advocacy NGOs operating in Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The evidence shows that many recipients of German government funding do not have the competence to advance German objectives in the region.
- Zochrot – has received funding from the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, Medico International, and Misereor. This fringe Israeli NGO promotes a highly distorted Palestinian narrative, seeking to “raise public awareness of the Palestinian Nakba…The memory and responsibility that the Jewish public should take on the Palestinian Nakba are basic conditions to peace between people, but it is not enough. Along with it, the rights of the refugees to return must be accepted.” This agenda is equivalent to calling for the elimination of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. Zochrot officials have also publicly supported a one-state framework. Eitan Bronstein stated, “I don’t know who will want to return, but whoever will want to- let him return. And if the result is that there will not be a Jewish state, then there won’t be one. My preferred concept is one state from the sea to the Jordan River” (emphasis added). To bolster the narrative of “return” and Israel’s illegitimacy, Zochrot has developed the iNakba application, and accuses Israel of “ethnic cleansing” and “forcible displacement and dispossession of the Palestinian people.”
- Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP) has received funding the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, Medico International, and Bread for the World/EED. CWP, which describes itself as “a feminist organization against the occupation of Palestine and for a just peace,” is a leader of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. For example, CWP initiated the “Who Profits” campaign “in response to the Palestinian Call for boycott, divestment, and sanction (BDS) on Israel.” “Who Profits?” is an activist tool and a database that identifies targets for anti-Israel divestment and boycotts. 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. (Following the publication of NGO Monitor’s previous report, this image has been removed from CWP’s Facebook page.)
- +972 Magazine (an English language blog targeting non-Israeli audiences) has received funding from the Heinrich Boell Foundation. A number of +972’s authors demonize Israel though the immoral “apartheid” analogy, directly support BDS, and engage in vitriolic attacks against Zionist and Israeli critics. +972 published a cartoon (“The hater in the sky,” Eli Valley, May 14, 2012) depicting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raping President Barack Obama and eating his limbs. In January 2014, a regular contributor to the blog endorsed violence against civilians, writing, “I think that people living under tyranny have the right to deliberately kill adults belonging to the tyrannizing nation.”
- Al Haq – a leader in the anti-Israel “lawfare” and BDS; received funding from Medico International and EED. Central activities include filing of lawsuits and submitting anti-Israel reports to the UN Human Rights Council and other international bodies, such as “Feasting on the Occupation,” (2013) calling on the European Union and “relevant United Nations (UN) bodies” to boycott Israeli produce. In “Legitimising the illegitimate” Al Haq proposed sabotaging the Israeli court system by “flooding the [Israeli Supreme] Court with petitions in the hope of obstructing its functioning and resources.” The Israeli Supreme Court has identified Al Haq’s general director Shawan Jabarin as “among the senior activists of the Popular Front terrorist organization.” In December 2011, the Ramallah office of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung co-sponsored an Al Haq panel discussion on efforts to bring war crimes cases against Israeli officials at the International Criminal Court.
- Physicians for Human Rights Israel (PHR-I) has received funding from Medico International and from EED (2010-2013). PHR-I is very active in political advocacy and demonization of Israel. An October 2011 publication “Doctoring the Evidence, Abandoning the Victim,” accused Israeli doctors and institutions of involvement in the “torture and ill-treatment” of Palestinians. Detailed analysis of the sweeping claims demonstrates deeply flawed research, and the Israel Medical Association denounced the highly selective publication for erasing important details. Based on faulty methodology, PHR-I asserts that Israeli security officers “routinely employ interrogation methods which amount to torture and ill-treatment” and that “medical professionals are frequently involved either actively or passively in torture or ill-treatment.” Lexical or legal definitions for “torture” and “ill-treatment” are not provided and used inconsistently. During the Gaza war (Dec 2008-Jan. 2009), PHR-I accused Israel of using “extreme and disproportionate force … against the population of Gaza” and of “targeting medical teams and aid convoys.” Dr. Yoram Blachar, former president of the World Medical Association, criticized PHR-I as “a radical political group disguised as a medical organization.” See NGO Monitor Monograph, “NGO Malpractice” (July 2013) for more information about PHR-I.
- Miftah has received funding from the Heinrich Boell Stiftung and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung. Although the budget is officially designated for specific projects, these cannot be artificially separated from general organizational activities. Miftah’s publications accuse Israel of “massacre,” “cultural genocide,” “war crimes,” and “apartheid.” On March 27, 2013, MIFTAH’s Arabic-language website published an article repeating the antisemitic blood libel, in response to U.S. President Obama’s support for Israel and his celebration of the Passover Seder. After significant public criticism, MIFTAH removed the article, but attacked the blogger who exposed the article for “smearing” the organization and downplayed the centrality of the blood libel in the article. In March 2015, Michael Brochard, head of KAS Israel, stated: “Since all forms of antisemitism are intolerable for us, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation has not continued cooperation with Miftah…” (translation from original German).
The discussion of German political foundations in this report is limited to their political activities and support for political advocacy NGOs, which does not constitute the entirety of their overall activity in Israel and the Palestinian Authority. To be sure, the foundations are openly political and support projects in the region that reflect their parties’ respective ideologies.
Despite connections to the German government, funding frameworks exhibit limited transparency and accountability. Most frameworks discussed in this study do not publish details, including the amounts provided to the recipient organizations. This information, where it is available, is usually provided by recipient NGOs in reports to the Israeli government.
The process by which these German government branches, political foundations, and church aid organizations, whose budgets come from taxpayer funds, select projects to NGOs is hidden. They lack oversight mechanisms to monitor and evaluate the impact of taxpayer funded activities by these political advocacy NGOs.
On this basis, NGO Monitor recommends that:
1. Transparency regarding all NGO grants originating with German taxpayer funds be increased significantly, including all documentation related to decision making and evaluations, as well as involvement of partner organizations;
2. All funding mechanisms should make proposed grants public at least 60 days prior to any transfer of funds (pre-notification) in order to allow for submission of relevant materials and for public discussion;
3. Dedicated and independent supervisory mechanisms be established to review and evaluate all NGO grants and ensure due diligence; in particular, a Parliamentary oversight committee should be established for this purpose;
4. German government funding frameworks ensure that Israeli NGO grantees comply with Israeli funding transparency laws;
5. All funding frameworks re-evaluate guidelines and direct this funding towards projects and organizations that actually promote the stated moral objectives.
The NGO Forum of the 2001 Durban Conference adopted a strategy of political warfare and delegitimization against Israel, using allegations of “apartheid,” “racism,” “war crimes,” and similar rhetoric. Implemented by a network of NGOs, this strategy operates under the banners of human rights, democracy, peace, and humanitarian aid. These NGOs exploit tactics developed against the apartheid government in South Africa, including boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS), and abuse universal jurisdiction frameworks, such as the International Criminal Court, to target Israeli officials (“lawfare”).
Much of the funding for the NGOs that lead these demonization campaigns based on double standards and false allegations comes from European governments.
In this report, NGO Monitor focuses on German support for Israeli and Palestinian NGOs that are centrally involved in this Durban strategy of political warfare. We provide systematic analysis on the activities of these organizations, their relationships with their respective German counterparts, and when possible, funding details.
Officially, the objectives of German foreign aid include “combating poverty, securing food, establishing peace, freedom, democracy and human rights, shaping globalization in a socially equitable manner, and preserving the environment and natural resources.”
However, in contrast to these moral objectives, the research reveals NGO funding policies that promote conflict and oppose these moral values. This funding is significant; the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development’s 2013 budget for “civil society and economic organizations and institutions” is €729 million. In addition to government agencies, funding is provided through German political foundations, independent development NGOs, and church organizations.
Reflecting the lack of transparency, the different German funding frameworks do not provide detailed information on funding for Israeli and Palestinian partner organizations. The funding details provided in this report, then, have been gathered by analyzing annual reports and reports to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits, and in correspondence with the German frameworks.
German Funding Mechanisms
Direct German Government Funding
- The Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (BMZ – Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development) is the major institution responsible for German foreign aid. The Ministry has different channels for working with foreign partners, ranging from financial support through loans provided by the KfW Development Bank and the German Investment and Development Society, to technical assistance conducted by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (German Society for International Cooperation, GIZ). These organizations represent the BMZ and are ultimately controlled by the government (Vorfeldorganisationen).
Direct government funding to NGOs
|NGO||Funding||Government Funding Instrument|
|Yesh Din||NIS 479,500 (2013)|
NIS 250,000 (2012)
|Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations|
|Bimkom||NIS 195,638 (2013)||Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)|
|Comet-ME||Not Disclosed (2013)||German Foreign Ministry|
Indirect German Government Funding
1. The German government uses political foundations, Stiftungen, to promote democracy and civil society in targeted countries. Political foundations affiliated with political parties in the Bundestag receive funding as part of the German political system. Each political group is with a foundation: For example, The Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) is associated with Friedrich Ebert Foundation; the German Green Party (Die Grünen) with associated Heinrich Böll Foundation; and The Left party with the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. Government funding is proportional to electoral results, with budgets reflecting the proportion of the corresponding party in Parliament following each election.
2. Churches also play a central role in German foreign aid. The two main church-related organizations that receive funding from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung-BMZ) are Brot für die Welt – EED, which is the Protestant church’s aid framework, and MISEREOR, associated with the Catholic Church.
3. Additionally, independent NGOs, such as Medico International, partner with the German government to fund projects in Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
- The German government channels support to Israeli political advocacy NGOs via political foundations (Stiftungen). These foundations receive money from the federal budget in proportion to the size of their corresponding party within the Bundestag.
- In turn, the political foundations fund a wide variety of Israeli and Palestinian organizations and fund related activities, ranging from mainstream academic institutions to fringe political NGOs.
- Reflecting a lack of transparency, the report also demonstrates that these political foundations do not provide detailed information on funding for Israeli and Palestinian partner organizations. As such, funding information presented below is primarily provided by recipients in their reports to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits, and may be incomplete.
- As noted, the discussion of German political foundations in this report is limited to their political activities and support for political advocacy NGOs, which does not constitute the entirety of their overall activity in Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Concerns regarding the role of these foundations in the manipulation of Israeli democracy are also discussed.
- In 2012, RLF reported a budget €44 million. The foundation received €45 million in German federal funding.
- RLS lists its Israeli NGO “Partners & Projects,” but does not list names of Palestinian NGO grantees nor publish details of funding for either.
- In a 2014 report, entitled: “Confrontation in the Negev”, RLF accuses Israel of attempt[ting] to impose an unjust path which will see most Bedouins dispossessed of their land rights and relocated against their will.” The authors of the report, Oren Yiftachel and Ahmad Amara, have exhibited a certain anti-Israel bias in their previous work:
- Ahmad Amara, in an article entitled: “Moving Towards Full-Scale Judicial Boycott in the Naqab”, in reference to Israeli policy towards the Bedouins, proclaims to be in favor of boycotting the Israeli judicial system, stating: “boycott is now a better decision and that efforts towards international advocacy and local mobilization can offer results not possible through Israel’s courts.”
- Professor Oren Yiftachel, according to his CV, “analyzes the Israeli regime as ‘ethnocratic’, promoting a colonial project throughout Israel/Palestine” In addition, “Yiftachel identifies Zionism as concurrently a liberating and oppressive project, and classifies it as ‘colonialism of refugees’, which draws much of its strength from the tragic Jewish history.”
- In 2012, HBS reported a budget of €47,724,963. The foundation received €22 million in German federal support for international cooperation activities.
- The HBS Israel and Palestine websites provide limited information on its current funding partners.
- Kerstin Müller, recently appointed head of the Tel Aviv office of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, co-initiated a German Green party campaign to label and boycott Israeli goods produced over the Green Line.
- According to HBS’ former president Ralf Fucks, HBS “support(s) political initiatives aiming to achieve a negotiated peace between Israel and the Palestinians, and we are committed to international guarantees for a two-state solution.
Konrad Adenauer Foundation:
- In 2012 KAS’s expected annual budget was €138 million. For 2012 KAS, expected to receive €128 million in federal funds.
- In December 2011, the Ramallah KAS office, along with the Palestinian NGO Al Haq, hosted a panel discussion on efforts to bring war crimes cases against Israeli officials at the International Criminal Court. Al Haq has been centrally active in lobbying for such politicized cases (“lawfare”) – see below.
Friedrich Ebert Foundation
- In 2012, FEF received €139.734.600 in grants from the German federal ministry.
- In December 2011, Michael Broning, director of FES’ Jerusalem office, co-wrote an article with the director of the Palestinian Government Media Center in Ramallah, Ghassan Khatib. The article, “What about Israeli Rejection,” was a rebuttal to an opinion article by two Israeli government officials (“The Problem is Palestinian Rejectionism”) and argued that there is no problem of Palestinian rejectionism and that Israeli intransience is the major impediment to peace. This type of collaboration in promoting the Palestinian political narrative is highly problematic and inconsistent with German government funding for FES.
Table 1: German funding to Israeli/Palestinian NGOs via German Foundations (2010-2014)1
|Zochrot||NIS 19,993 (2014)||Rosa Luxemburg Foundation|
|Coalition of Women for Peace||NIS 146,026 (2011)|
NIS 197,969 (2010)
|Rosa Luxemburg Foundation|
|Mossawa||Not Disclosed||Heinrich Boell Foundation|
|Not Disclosed||Friedrich Ebert Foundation|
|Sadaka Reut||NIS 190,952 (2010)||Rosa Luxemberg Foundation|
|Miftah||$24,416 (2011)||Heinrich Boell Foundation|
|Konrad Adenauer Foundation|
|Parent's Circle||Not Disclosed||Friedrich Ebert Foundation|
|Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality||Not Disclosed||Rosa Luxemberg Foundation|
|Combatants for Peace||Not Disclosed||Rosa Luxemberg Foundation|
|Not Disclosed||Heinrich Boell Foundation|
|ARIJ||Not Disclosed (2012)||Heinrich Boell Foundation|
|Ma'an Development Center||Not Disclosed||Heinrich Boell Foundation|
|+972 Magazine||NIS 24,000 (2014)|
NIS 48,000 (2013)
|Heinrich Boell Foundation|
- Medico International (MI), based in Frankfurt, claims to focus on campaigning for health services, broadly defined. Its mission statement refers to “comprehensive social action that aims at the implementation of the right to health….assistance is an element within social action that fights for democracy, social justice and respect for human rights – together with the victims of destitution and despotism.”
- In 2012, Medico International spent € 1,245,297,89 on projects in Israel/Palestinian territories. This includes funding, from the BMZ and the German Federal Foreign Office.
- Medico International’s activities regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict are highly politicized, as reflected in the statements of Tsafrir Cohen, who is responsible for public relations in “Palestine & Israel.” In March 2013, Cohen published an op-ed article on BDS campaigns, calling on the German government to pressure Israel politically. Cohen has also urged German politicians to pressure Israel and to “fight against the Israeli occupation.”
- In 2012, Medico was one of 22 NGO co-authors of a publication, “Trading Away Peace,” which called on the EU and national governments to wage political warfare through various forms of economic sanctions on Israel. This NGO lobbying was central to subsequent EU policies on these issues.
- In April 2013, Medico International posted a YouTube video titled, “Countering Displacement.” The video description demonizes Israel, stating that in the “in the rural areas of the West Bank, access to health services is considerably reduced by the Israeli occupation policies. Their goal is evidently to oust the Palestinians living there into densely populated enclaves fully controlled by Israel…”
1. Bröt Fur die Welt- EED
- Bröt für die Welt (Bread for the World) was founded in 1959 in the framework of the Evangelical and Free Churches in Germany, within the Ecumenical Diakonia, a department of the Social Service Agency (Diakonisches Werk) of the German Evangelical Church.
- EED, The Church Development Service (Evangelischer Entwick-lungsdienst) is associated with the regional Protestant and Free Churches in Germany, and supports over 1,500 projects annually, implemented through ecclesiastical and civil society partner organizations.
- On August 30, 2012, the Church Development Service (Evangelischer Entwicklungsdienst-EED) merged with Brot für die Welt and formed a new agency, “Brot für die Welt – Evangelischer Entwicklungsdienst” (Bread for the World – Protestant Church Development Service), as part of the new Protestant Agency for Diakonia and Development (Evangelisches Werk für Diakonie und Entwicklung).
- For the year 2012, BfW received €122,822,673 in “public funding.” 99% of the public funding was from the German Federal Ministry of Economic Development BMZ office. Bread for the World also received 1 Million euros from the Federal Foreign Office Budget.
- In 2012, BfW spent € 1.505.607 on Israel for 13 projects and €4.133.758 for 18 projects on “Palestine.”
- Both Brot für die Welt and EED are highly politicized and active in the Arab-Israel conflict. Most of their bias is implemented indirectly through their funding partners. In 2012, the combined organization, together with Misereor, endorsed the policy of labeling goods produced over the 1949 Armistice line, as part of the wider BDS campaign.
- On July 7, 2014, Brot für die Welt – Evangelischer Entwicklungsdienst (EED) and Misereor (see below) are holding a conference in Berlin on “The ICJ’s Wall Opinion Revisited: Towards its effective Implementation.” The event will “address the impact of the wall … on the human rights of the local population, … attempt to clarify the role of the United Nations and …the role of third parties in ensuring the implementation of the legal obligations described in the advisory opinion.”
- Since the issuing of the ICJ’s non-binding and entirely politicized decision, the NGO network has sought to “enforce” it by filing frivolous universal jurisdiction lawsuits, lobbying at the International Criminal Court (ICC), and using it as a basis to have EU and European governments enact BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) policies against Israel. The conference framework and the list of speakers (see below) reflect the blatant propagandistic nature of the event, as well as its exploitation of academic, human rights, and legal terminology.
- Most of the speakers involved in this conference are affiliated with radical Palestinian NGOs, deeply involved in delegitimization, BDS, and lawfare targeting Israel:
- Shawan Jabarin – general director of Al Haq, a Palestinian NGO leader in lawfare and BDS activities. Jabarin has been denied exit visas by Israel and Jordan on several occasions due to alleged ties to the PFLP terrorist group. A June 2007 decision by the Israeli Supreme Court called Jabarin a “Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde,” a human rights campaigner by day and a terrorist by night. Jabarin participated in the session of the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People – a core anti-Israel forum.
- Hamdi Shaqqura – Deputy Director for the Programs Affairs of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR). For details of PCHR advocacy, see NGO Monitor’s website.
- Chantal Meloni – worked closely with PCHR in its lobbying for ICC investigations into alleged Israeli war crimes (Meloni previously worked for PCHR as part of the organization’s “International Legal Unit) ; participated in a meeting of the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. Participated as PCHR representative in ICC roundtable (2010) promoting the prosecution of Israelis.
- Manal Hazzan-Abu Sinni –head of the legal department of Society of St. Yves – see NGO Monitor’s website for details on Society of St. Yves political and legal campaigns against Israel.
- Vera Gowlland-Debbas –submitted remarks to the ICC on “the Legal Effects of Palestine’s Decleration Under Article 12(3) of the ICC Statute” during a 2010 roundtable discussion. Debbas participated in a meeting of the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. Speaker at Russell Tribunal on Palestine (New York) – see Deconstructing the Russell Tribunal on Palestine.
- MISEREOR is the aid framework of the Catholic Church in Germany, and a member of CIDSE, a network of Catholic aid organizations. The organization claims to “work with a host of domestic partners to provide assistance against poverty and political suppression.”
- MISEREOR’s 2012 annual budget was €182.7 million, of which Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) granted €113.8 million.
- Government advocacy is a central goal of Misereor. The organization “aims to influence public opinion and policymaking. Political education, the exchange of experiences and networking are key elements of this work. This is how Misereor helps enable its partners and the beneficiaries to overcome structural injustices … appeal[ing] to the consciences of the powerful in Europe.”
- Misereor also sponsors events in the Arab-Israeli conflict that are highly politicized or in connection with biased partners:
- Misereor co-sponsored a September 2013 conference on “Realizing the return of Palestinian refugees.” Organized by Zochrot, the conference advocated for a “one-state solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Lecture topics included a discussion on the specifics and logistics of refugee “return” and a talk on how “to end the colonial nature of Israel.” The logistical and demographic reality of a complete return of all Palestinian refugees from the 1948 Arab-Israel war and their descendants to modern Israel, leading to a single bi-national state, would necessarily mean that Israel, as the national homeland of the Jewish people, would cease to exist.
- Misereor supported and promoted Breaking the Silence’s (BtS) “Testimonies of a crew” exhibit in Berlin. BtS has been active in promoting war crimes charges against Israel after the 2009 Gaza war, despite the fact that the charges were based on anonymous and unverifiable hearsay “testimonies.” BtS has also encountered criticism for its international exhibitions such as the Misereor sponsored exhibit; critics argue that BtS abandons its stated mission of changing Israeli society from within by focusing on international lobbying and advocacy.
- Sponsored a 2013 UN event with a panel on “Depleting Palestine: un-lawful extraction of natural resources in occupied territory” presented by an official from Al Haq, a leader in the anti-Israel “lawfare” and BDS (boycotts, divestments and sanctions) campaigns. This panel was an attempt to further the BDS agenda at the UN.
Table 2: German funding to Israeli/Palestinian organizations via German independent NGOs (2011-2014)2
Research shows that organizations receiving German government funding, either through direct or indirect funding processes, are involved in activities that contradict German funding objectives. Indeed, many German-funded NGOs execute projects in a context that aims to delegitimize Israel. This includes being involved in boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) activities, Lawfare campaigns, promoting “one-state” agendas, and other forms of demonization.
Research into the activities of NGOs receiving German government funding, shows that at least 10 organizations are involved in the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel.
- At least 7 NGOs that have received German 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.”
- NGOs receiving German government funding such as Medico International and CWP have published detailed reports promoting BDS and identifying companies to be targeted by international activists.
Organizations receiving German funding and that are active in BDS campaigns include:
1. CWP – Has received funding from the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, Medico International, and Bread for the World. CWP initiated the “Who Profits” campaign “in response to the Palestinian Call for boycott, divestment, and sanction (BDS) on Israel.” “Who Profits?” is an activist tool and a database that identifies targets for anti-Israel divestment and boycotts. 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. (Since the distribution of this report to some of CWP’s funders, this image has been removed from CWP’s Facebook page.)
2. Who Profits – Has received funding from Medico International. Who Profits?” created by CWP, is an activist tool and database that identifies targets for anti-Israel divestment and boycotts. Who Profits seeks to expose “the commercial involvement of Israeli and international companies in the continued Israeli control over Palestinian and Syrian land… we focus on three main areas of corporate involvement in the occupation: the settlement industry, economic exploitation and control over population.” It initiates international BDS campaigns, targeting Israeli and foreign banks, security companies, civil infrastructure facilities, and private companies.
3. DCI-Palestine – Has received funding from EED. 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.” DCI – Palestine, is a signatory of the 2005 BDS call. General Director Rifat Odeh Kassis is a major BDS advocate, and is also the coordinator of Kairos Palestine, which is a central leader in the BDS campaign. DCI-PS’s website section on “ways you can get involved” cites BDS as a “suggested action.” The NGO is also 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.
4. EAPPI – Has received funding from Bread for the World. Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) stated mission is “to accompany Palestinians and Israelis in their non-violent actions and concerted advocacy efforts to end the occupation.” EAPPI promotes the Palestinian victimization narrative and demonizes Israel, including participating in commemorating the Palestinian “Nakba” (catastrophe) and promoting the so-called “right of return,” meaning the end of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. EAPPI promotes the Kairos Palestine document that calls for BDS against Israel, noting that “These advocacy campaigns must be carried out with courage, openly sincerely proclaiming that their object is not revenge but rather to put an end to the existing evil.” EAPPI’s core publication, “Faith Under Occupation,” falsely blames Israel for the oppression of Christians in the Holy Land. It also seeks to “disprove” what it calls “unfounded Israeli and Christian Zionist propaganda that Palestinian Christians are depopulating due to Muslim fundamentalism in Palestinian society.”
5. +972: Has received funding from the Heinrich Boell Foundation. A number of +972’s authors demonize Israel though the immoral “apartheid” analogy, directly support BDS, and engage in vitriolic attacks against Zionist and Israeli critics. +972 published a cartoon (“The hater in the sky,” Eli Valley, May 14, 2012) depicting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raping President Barack Obama and eating his limbs. In January 2014, a regular contributor to the blog endorsed violence against civilians, writing, “I think that people living under tyranny have the right to deliberately kill adults belonging to the tyrannizing nation.”
Many NGOs receiving German funding are involved in Lawfare campaigns targeting Israel. With this lawfare strategy, organizations aim to exploit courts in democratic countries in order to harass Israeli officials with civil lawsuits and criminal investigations for “war crimes,” “crimes against humanity,” and other alleged violations of international law.
Organizations receiving German funding and that are active in Lawfare campaigns include:
1. Al Haq – Has received funding from Medico International and EED. Al Haq is a leader in the anti-Israel “lawfare” and BDS campaigns. The organization regularly files lawsuits and submits anti-Israel “reports” to the UN Human Rights Council and other international bodies. For instance, in 2013, Al Haq issued a position paper, “Feasting on the Occupation,” calling on the European Union and “relevant United Nations (UN) bodies” to boycott Israeli produce. In a report entitled: “Legitimising the illegitimate” the organization proposed sabotaging the Israeli court system by “flooding the [Israeli Supreme] Court with petitions in the hope of obstructing its functioning and resources.” The Israeli Supreme Court has identified Al Haq’s general director Shawan Jabarin as “among the senior activists of the Popular Front terrorist organization.” In December 2011, the Ramallah office of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung co-sponsored an Al Haq panel discussion on efforts to bring war crimes cases against Israeli officials at the International Criminal Court.
Examples of Al Haq Lawfare cases include:
- In 2006, filed a case against the British government to end export licenses to Israel; it was dismissed by the UK Court of Appeal in 2008. A similar case filed in 2009 was also dismissed in the preliminary stages.
- Filed a lawsuit, Bil’in (Village Council) v. Green Park International Ltd. (Quebec, Canada 2008), accusing a Canadian company of “aiding, abetting, assisting and conspiring with the State of Israel” to commit “war crimes.” Canadian courts dismissed this case and imposed costs on the plaintiffs.
- Worked with Al Mezan to secure an arrest warrant in the UK against Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak in September 2009.
- Supported the December 2009 arrest warrant secured in the UK by Hamas against Israeli opposition leader and former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, claiming she bore “special responsibility for the war crimes and possible crimes against humanity that characterized Israel’s actions during the assault on Gaza.”
2. Yesh Din – Has received funding from The Institute for Foreign Cultural. According to Emily Schaeffer, a lawyer on Yesh Din’s legal team, “Yesh Din was founded to use law as a tool to fight the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.” Yesh Din has become 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). On October 10, 2013, the Israeli NGO Yesh Din published a report, “Lacuna: War Crimes in Israeli Law and Court-Martial Rulings,” labeling Israel’s legal system “defective” and calling for the adoption of legislation to “criminalize war crimes in Israeli law.”
3. Adalah – Has received funding from EED and Medico International. Adalah submitted a legal opinion to a Spanish court in support of a Palestinian Center for Human Right’s case against Israeli officials. Adalah issued a statement to the UN Human Rights Council calling for lawfare in the wake of the Gaza war. In addition, Adalah’s publication entitled: “Democratic Constitution,” (2007) calls for replacing the Jewish foundation of Israel with a “democratic, bilingual and multicultural” framework; Jewish immigration would be restricted to “humanitarian reasons.” Adalah officials, in conjunction with radical Palestinian NGO Al-Haq, wrote and edited large portions of a May 2009 pseudo-academic study that refers to “a colonial enterprise which implements a system of apart-heid.” The report delegitimizes Israeli self-defense measures as “inhumane act[s] of apartheid…perpetrated in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over another.”
Promoting “One-state” framework
While the German Government is actively working towards achieving a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, some recipients of German government funding are in favor of, and promote a “one-state” agenda.
Organizations receiving German funding and that promote a “one-state framework:
Zochrot – Has received funding from the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, Medico International, and Misereor. This Israeli NGO seeks to “raise public awareness of the Palestinian Nakba…The memory and responsibility that the Jewish public should take on the Palestinian Nakba are basic conditions to peace between people, but it is not enough. Along with it, the rights of the refugees to return must be accepted.” This agenda is equivalent to calling for the elimination of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. Indeed, Zochrot officials have also publicly supported a one-state framework. Eitan Bronstein stated, “I don’t know who will want to return, but whoever will want to- let him return. And if the result is that there will not be a Jewish state, then there won’t be one. My preferred concept is one state from the sea to the Jordan River” (emphasis added). To bolster the narrative of “return” and Israel’s illegitimacy, Zochrot also accuses Israel of “ethnic cleansing” and “forcible displacement and dispossession of the Palestinian people.”
The network of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that claim to promote human rights and humanitarian agendas in the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict often use antisemitic themes and imagery.
Organizations receiving German funding and that are involved in blatant antisemitism include:
Miftah – Has received funding from the Heinrich Boell Foundation and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. Although the budget is officially designated for specific projects, these cannot be artificially separated from general organizational activities. Miftah’s stated mission is to “promote the principles of democracy and good governance within various components of Palestinian society; it further seeks to engage local and international public opinion and official circles on the Palestinian cause.” The first of the “Strategic Objectives” is “to disseminate the Palestinian narrative and discourse globally to both official and popular bodies and decision-makers.” Miftah’s publications accuse Israel of “massacre,” “cultural genocide,” “war crimes,” and “apartheid.” On March 27, 2013, MIFTAH Arabic-language website published an article repeating the antisemitic blood libel, in response to U.S. President Obama’s support for Israel and his celebration of the Passover Seder. After significant public criticism, MIFTAH removed the article, but attacked the blogger who exposed the article for “smearing” the organization and downplayed the centrality of the blood libel in the article. In March 2015, Michael Brochard, head of KAS Israel, stated: “Since all forms of antisemitism are intolerable for us, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation has not continued cooperation with Miftah…” (translation from original German).
In an attempt to distance Israel from the International community, many organizations lobby international bodies such as the EU, UN with distorted and politicized information.
Organizations receiving German funding and that are involved in international advocacy include:
1. Negev Coexistence Forum – Has received funding from the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. NCF, based in Israel, works to “provide a framework for Jewish-Arab collaborative efforts in the struggle for civil equality and the advancement of mutual tolerance and coexistence…remains focused solely on the specific problems confronting the Negev.” The organization is active in delegitimizing Israel internationally, including United Nations submissions calling for “world intervention to aid the Bedouin community” and identifying Israel as a “discriminate country” that denies many rights by “forced politicization” and “policy of displacement.” Accuses Israel of “double standards and discriminatory actions” against the Bedouin population in the Negev. During a June 2013 session at the European Parliament, a Negev Coexistence Forum representative referred to Israeli policy in the Negev as “apartheid.”
2. Breaking the Silence – Has received funding from Medico International and MISEREOR. Breaking the Silence (BtS) plays a central role in the demonization and BDS campaigns targeting Israel, based on “testimonies of soldiers” to “demonstrate the depth of corruption which is spreading in the Israeli military…Israeli society continues to turn a blind eye, and to deny that which happens in its name.” The NGO was active in promoting false “war crimes” charges against Israel after the Gaza fighting in January 2009, and continues these campaigns through many events in international frameworks. In 2010 BtS published a book of anonymous and unverifiable “testimonies,” Occupation of the Territories – Israeli Soldier testimonies 2000-2010.
Other forms of demonization by Israeli/Palestinian NGOs receiving German funding include:
3. Combatants for Peace – Has received funding from the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation and the Heinrich Boell Foundation. The organization’s political goals are to “terminate the Israeli occupation, to halt the settlement project and to establish a Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem, alongside the State of Israel.” CFP was part of the “Remove the Siege = Stop the War” coalition that stood “in defiance of the siege and the destruction and military bombardment…being exercised in Gaza with careless disregard…[and] protest the on-going massacre,” in partnership with highly politicized groups such as New Profile, Alternative Information Center (AIC), Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), Ta’ayush and Coalition of Women for Peace (see above). The Israel Foreign Ministry reportedly accused a joint tour of CFP and Breaking the Si-lence of promoting a political message – “speaking out against Israel’s policy in the territories” – as opposed to their stated mission to “educate towards reconciliation and non-violent struggle.” The Rosa Luxemburg Foundation funds CFP’s highly controversial and contentious “Alternative Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Day Ceremony,” which “challeng(es) the consensual narrative as cultivated by the state-choreographed ceremonies.”
4. Comet-ME – Has received funding from Medico International. The organization was established in 2009 to “build renewable energy systems for communities that are not connected to the electricity grid because of political reasons and build local capacity to install and maintain those systems.” However, Comet-ME’s work is also very political and may be in violation of Israeli law. In an article regarding building in Area C of the West Bank, co-founder Elad Orian stated, “We don’t get any permits [from the Israeli Civil Administration], so we simply build without.” Orian is a political activist and a member of the audit committee of Zochrot (see above). Orian also signed a petition in support of Tali Fahima, a pro-Palestinian activist who was convicted for contact with terrorists.
5. ARIJ – Has received funding from the Heinrich Boell Foundation. Founded in 1990, ARIJ claims to be a “non-profit organization dedicated to promoting sustainable development in the occupied Palestinian territories and the self-reliance of the Palestinian people through greater control over their natural resources.” In contrast, its research is highly political and biased. A December 2008 publication labels Jerusalem’s mayor a “racist” who supports “ethnic cleansing.” ARIJ is active in promoting BDS and other anti-Israel activities.
6. Al Mezan – Has received funding from Medico International. Al-Mezan consistently refers to the Israeli army as the “Israel Occupation Forces (IOF),” erasing the context of Palestinian terror and delegitimizing Israeli self-defense. During the Gaza conflict, Al Mezan publicized allegations of “Israeli massacres,” “slaughtering civilians,” “scandalous war crimes,” and “despicable disregard to civilian life.” The use of human shields by Hamas and the rocket attacks against Israeli civilians are erased. Al Mezan has also cooperated with Al Haq and Adalah in promoting lawfare cases against Israeli officials, including the highly publicized “war crimes” allegations against former Minister of Defense Ehud Barak in London in September 2009.
7. New Profile – Has received funding from Bread for the World. New Profile claims to advocate for the demilitarization of Israeli society, and provides legal and other support for those who refuse to serve in the IDF. In an undated interview, co-founder Ruth Hiller stated, “New Profile has signed statements in support of divestment and feels it is an important tool in challenging companies and corporations involved in the Israeli occupation of Palestine….The Caterpillar campaign is an excellent example of protesting the link between big corporation, occupation and the militarization of Israeli society.” Hiller has herself signed BDS petitions, including one telling entertainers not to perform in “apartheid Israel.”
8. PHR-I – Has received funding from Medico International and EED. PHR-I is very active in political advocacy and demonization. An October 2011 publication “Doctoring the Evidence, Abandoning the Victim,” accused Israeli doctors and institutions of involvement in the “torture and ill-treatment” of Palestinians. Detailed analysis of the sweeping claims demonstrates deeply flawed research, and the Israel Medical Association denounced the highly selective publication for erasing important details. Based on faulty methodology, PHR-I asserts that Israeli security officers “routinely employ interrogation methods which amount to torture and ill-treatment” and that “medical professionals are frequently involved either actively or passively in torture or ill-treatment.” Lexical or legal definitions for “torture” and “ill-treatment” are not provided and used inconsistently. During the Gaza war (Dec 2008-Jan. 2009), PHR-I accused Israel of using “extreme and disproportionate force … against the population of Gaza” and of “targeting medical teams and aid convoys.” Dr. Yoram Blachar, former president of the World Medical Association, criticized PHR-I as “a radical political group disguised as a medical organization.” See NGO Monitor Monograph, “NGO Malpractice” (July 2013) for more information about PHR-I.
9. Sadaka Reut – Has received funding from the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, Bread for the World and MISEREOR. Sadaka Reut “educates and empowers Jewish and Palestinian Israeli youth and university students to pursue social and political change through bi-national partnership.” Its activities promote the Palestinian victimization narrative, and involve cooperation with radical NGOs including CWP and Zochrot for a project aimed at “Introducing the Palestinian Nakba into the Israeli Public.”
10. Parents Circle – Has received funding from Bread for the World and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation. Parents Circle promotes a highly biased view of the conflict based on the Palestinian narrative and draws an immoral equivalence between terror victims and terrorists. This organization is the subject of intense controversy and criticism in Israel, particularly from other bereaved parents. Officials often utilize the reconciliation platform to advance their personal political views. Their presentations and political activities indicate that the NGO is highly ideological, and promotes a one-sided narrative of the conflict. During a Parents Circle program at a Seattle synagogue in October 2013, official Bassam Aramin attempted to draw an equivalence between the Israeli Shas political party and the Hamas terror organization.
11. Ma’an Development Center – Has received funding from the Heinrich Boell Foundation. In 2009 the organization published “Boycotts, Divestment & Sanctions: Lessons learned in effective solidarity,” a guide to grassroots and international BDS campaigns. Ma’an Development Center refers to Israeli “colonization,” and Israeli governments are described as “consecutive occupation governments since 1948.” The security barrier is consistently referred to as the “Apartheid Wall” and the section that surrounds Qalqilya is described “[a]s a control mechanism,” which “takes on the form of an enclosed cage in this area, transforming it into an open air prison.”
12. Rabbis for Human Rights – Has received funding from MISEREOR. RHR promotes the Palestinian narrative of victimization and demonizes Israel, including rhetoric claiming that “Israel’s foul and discriminatory policies against Palestinians, despite its obligation toward them as the occupier…Israel is forcing Palestinians to live in a completely separate universe where time has stood still, and prevents them from properly planning their most basic needs and infrastructure.”
13. Hamoked – Has received funding from MISEREOR. 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.”
14. Society of St. Yves – Has received funding from MISEREOR. According to its mission statement, the Society of St. Yves “provides gratis legal assistance, counsel and advocacy to members of the community. Through National and International Lobby and Advocacy we are able to bring the situation of the poor and marginalized to the attention of communities around the world.” The organization promotes Palestinian Nakba campaigns and initiated a petition against the building of the security barrier, protesting the decision of the Special Appeals Committee that deemed the construction of the barrier as legal and justified. The Society of St. Yves repeatedly uses the language of de-monization, referring to “forced displacements,” and works with radical anti-Israel organizations including the Right of Return Organization -Geneva, Al Mezan, Badil, Defence for Children-PS, Addameer, Al Haq, Adalah and ICAHD.
- Funding information is provided primarily by recipients in their reports to the Israeli registrar of Non-Profits and may be incomplete. “Not disclosed” refers to funding data that was not listed in annual reports and not provided through correspondence with the respective funding framework.
- Funding information is provided primarily by recipients in their reports to the Israeli registrar of Non-Profits and may be incomplete. “Not disclosed” refers to funding data that was not listed in annual reports and not provided through correspondence with the respective funding framework.