In Israel, there is an intense public debate surrounding the New Israel Fund (NIF) and its role and influence on government policy. The activities and campaigns of NIF-funded NGOs (non-governmental organizations) on the Arab-Israeli conflict and immigration issues, in particular, have been met with harsh responses from the political realm, including calls for an official investigation.
NGO Monitor has analyzed the NIF’s 2016 financial reports (latest available), detailing grants to a wide variety of Israeli NGOs. Our analysis focuses on the 20% of NIF funding that is distributed to 29 advocacy NGOs active in political campaigns that involve – to different degrees – demonization of Israel. In addition to funding through the NIF, many of the grantees receive substantial budgets annually from European government sources, often exceeding their NIF allocations (for details, see NGO Monitor funding summaries for each NGO).
NIF financial documents also show:
- Expenses in 2016 were $31 million, approximately the same as in 2015. Total revenue was $28 million, a 14% decrease from 2015 ($33 million).
- Total authorized grants to all NGOs was approximately $13.5 million in 2016, approximately the same as in 2015. (See Table 1.)
- It is unclear if changes in annual grants to NGOs reflect policy change, or a pattern of bi-annual and multi-annual grants.
- The amounts listed in the annual financial statements comprise both “core grants” made directly by the NIF and “donor advised” grants. NIF details the division between these two funding formats in a separate online report.
Table 1: Overview of NIF Finances 2013-2015
|Donor Advised Grants (from paid grants)**||10,370,982||10,763,898||9,255,344|
*Data from NIF 2016 Financial Report
**Donor advised grants are a subset listed on the NIF website under “Grants of 2016,” in which individual donors, with the approval of the NIF, designate the grantees.
- A number of NGOs involved in political activities related to the demonization of Israel continue to be funded by the NIF, as documented by NGO Monitor.
- In 2016, the NIF authorized $2.3 million in grants to 25 political advocacy groups analyzed in 2015 by NGO Monitor, representing a 6% decrease. (See Table 2) In addition, the NIF began new funding for 4 organizations. Therefore, the overall authorized grants for these 29 NGOs is $2.8 million.
- Many of the advocacy groups receive more “donor advised” funds than NIF core grants (see Table 3), suggesting that these donors have a major role in setting the NIF agenda. This also suggests the need for a discussion of the relationship of these donors and their preferred grantees within the NIF network.
- As of 2015, it appears that NIF no longer funds Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement and Baladna.
- NIF increased its grants to Breaking the Silence, B’Tselem, Yesh Din, and Ir Amim.
Table 2: Multiyear Review of Authorized Grants to Political NGOs (2011 – 2016, USD)
|Bimkom: Planners for Planning Rights||338,340||168,500||248,000||177,000||295,000||340,500|
|Breaking the Silence||120,947||85,115||83,993||138,882||104,304||438,766|
|Combatants for Peace||-||-||-||5,000||20,243||22,862|
|Gisha: Legal Center for the Protection of Freedom of Movement||56,165||30,808||22,771||44,491||29,150||6,687|
|HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual||101,481||175,250||14,800||31,400||37,450||1,300|
|Haqel: Jews and Arabs in Defense of Human Rights||-||-||-||-||-||78,375|
|Human Rights Defenders Fund (HRDF)||224,340||32,365||75,920||91,300||199,000||21,7695|
|Molad: The Center for the Renewal of Democracy||-||435,000||736,000||61,6000||417,694||101,196|
|Negev Coexistence Forum||39,466||45,532||49,339||69,861||49,888||61,672|
|Nine Seven Two: Advancement of Citizen Journalism||10,000||84,389||31,378||54,120||38,117||17,332|
|Parents' Circle: Bereaved Parents||0||0||14,225||2,807||16,902||4,972|
|Physicians for Human Rights ג€“ Israel||161,864||166,464||71,380||185,262||91,679||102,906|
|Rabbis for Human Rights||328,927||271,14||295,493||243,464||296,420||107,648|
|Reut Sadaka Jewish-Arab Youth Movement||24,203||7,910||13,691||27,564||38,430||6,844|
|SISO - Save Israel. Stop the Occupation.||-||-||-||-||-||120,100|
|Solidarity Sheikh Jarah||-||7,910||13,961||-15,000||-||-|
|The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel||28,000||66,582||1,670||5,015||41,643||36,000|
|Women's Fund for Human Rights (Machsom Watch)||28,781||32,270||118,788||69,968||243,535||87,077|
|Zazim - Community Action||-||-||-||-||-||182,013|
Table 3: Division between core and donor advised grants (USD)
|NGO||Core||Donor Advised||Total (Paid)|
|Bimkom: Planners for Planning Rights||112,500||190,500||303,000|
|Breaking the Silence||137,500||331,553||469,053|
|Combatants for Peace||20,300||9,412||29,712|
|Gisha: Legal Center for the Protection of Freedom of Movement||-||15,687||15,687|
|HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual||-||37,750||37,750|
|Haqel: Jews and Arabs in Defense of Human Rights||-||5,800||5,800|
|Human Rights Defenders Fund (HRDF)||168,500||79,195||247,695|
|Molad: The Center for the Renewal of Democracy||750,00||182,889||257,889|
|Negev Coexistence Forum||53,000||8,172||61,172|
|Nine Seven Two: Advancement of Citizen Journalism||-||34,847||34,847|
|Parents’ Circle: Bereaved Parents||7,000||4,927||11,927|
|Physicians for Human Rights – Israel||10,000||117,271||127271|
|Rabbis for Human Rights||27,500||170,523||198023|
|Reut Sadaka Jewish-Arab Youth Movement||6,000||13,073||19,073|
|SISO – Save Israel. Stop the Occupation.||50,000||60,100||110,100|
|Solidarity Sheikh Jarah||-||-||-|
|The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel||35,000||-||35,000|
|Women’s Fund for Human Rights (Machsom Watch)||25,000||84,925||109,925|
|Zazim – Community Action||100,000||19,512||119,512|