NGO Monitor analyzed New Israel Fund’s (NIF) 2021 financial report (latest available – released in July 2022), detailing grants to 260 Israeli non-governmental organizations (NGOs). We focused specifically on the approximately 13% of NIF’s funding that is distributed to 35 political advocacy NGOs claiming to promote human rights in the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Many of the NGOs in the NIF network also receive large grants from European governments, in some cases providing 90 percent or more of their total budgets.
NIF’s financial reports show:
- 2021 revenue — $31.8 million, a 37% decrease from 2020 ($50.9 million).
- 2021 total contributions — $29.3 million, a 28% decrease from 2020 ($40.8 million). NIF’s donor-advised contributions also decreased 83.6% to $1.4 million from $8.4 million in 2020 (See Table 1).
- The amounts listed in the NIF’s annual financial statements comprise “core grants” made directly by the NIF, “donor-advised” grants, and grants from the Progressive Jewish Fund. NIF details the division between the “core” and “donor-advised” formats in a separate online chart (see Table 4). According to the NIF, “For reasons connected to the schedule of our grant payments, this figure may differ from the amount paid to a grantee in the reporting year.”
In analyzing NIF’s financial documents, NGO Monitor found that:
- The NIF continues to fund a number of NGOs centrally involved in political advocacy activities related to the Arab-Israeli conflict, as documented by NGO Monitor. Of note are coordinated and concerted efforts by B’Tselem, Adalah, Breaking the Silence, Gisha, Combatants for Peace, Kerem Navot, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, and Yesh Din.
- Over the last two years, these groups have been part of a network of NGOs that promote artificial and manufactured definitions of apartheid to extend the ongoing campaigns that seek to delegitimize and demonize Israel. (Read NGO Monitor’s Policy Paper “False Knowledge as Power: Deconstructing Definitions of Apartheid that Delegitimise the Jewish State.”)
- Breaking the Silence promotes “war crimes” charges against Israel based on anonymous and unverifiable hearsay “testimonies” in international fora, making sweeping accusations against Israel and the IDF while regularly omitting crucial context such as Palestinian terror. In March 2020, Breaking the Silence alleged, “Israeli officials are now actively promoting an apartheid reality which itself blurs the lines, and our position [of not participating in ‘Israel Apartheid Week’ events on campus] may therefore have to change in the future accordingly.”
- B’Tselem actively pursues its political agenda of “international consequences” and international pressure on Israel via lobbying of the UN and European governments. In January 2021, B’Tselem launched a discriminatory and hateful campaign, under the banner of “A regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: This is apartheid.” As part of the campaign, B’Tselem attacked Israel’s role as a haven for the Jewish people (the Law of Return) and used the phrase “from the river to the sea” – echoing long-standing Palestinian terminology for the destruction of Israel. (Read NGO Monitor’s analysis: “From the “River to the Sea”: B’Tselem’s Demonization Crosses the Line.”)
- Gisha employs “apartheid” other international legal rhetoric to promote a partisan political and ideological agenda. In January 2021, Gisha published an article titled “Naming the reality,” writing that the “word apartheid evokes revulsion, as it should. There are undoubtedly differences between the apartheid regime in South Africa and Israel, but the thread that connects them is undeniable.”
- Under the guise of medical expertise and aid, Physicians for Human Rights – Israel promotes distorted and false narratives, used to demonize and delegitimize Israel in the international arena. In February 2022, during the periodic review of Israel for the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) at the UN Human Rights Committee, PHRI-I published a submission that ”deliberate policies has created a situation whereby there has been a consistent
- damage to the Palestinian health services, which are — as a result of Israeli policies — inferior and less available than those offered to Israelis; namely, apartheid in health.”
- In 2021, the NIF authorized $4.8 million in grants to 35 political NGOs — a 28% increase (see Table 2), and 30% of total grants.
- NIF increased its grants to Breaking the Silence, B’Tselem, Gisha, HaMoked, and Physicians for Human Rights – Israel, and decreased funds for Adalah, Bimkom, Molad, Standing Together, and Yesh Din. It is unclear if these changes reflect a policy change or are due to multi-year grants in which the amounts fluctuate through the cycle.
- NIF began funding the Israeli Center for Public Affairs, a new NGO founded by and employing former Breaking the Silence staff.
Progressive Jewish Fund
- The Progressive Jewish Fund was launched by the NIF in October 2019, as a donor-advised “national progressive Jewish platform from which to make both US and Israel-based grants… to give to organizations – Jewish or non-Jewish – whose values are consistent with NIF’s principles and policies.” In part, this appears to be an attempt by NIF to attract Jewish donors to specific recipients and seeking an alternative to local federations, some of which had refused to transfer donations to radical anti-Israel groups.
- 256 NGOs (27 of which are also grantees under the existing NIF donor-advised framework) received funds through NIF’s Progressive Jewish Fund in 2021 (see Table 3), including:
- Alliance for Middle East Peace (ALLMEP)
- ALLMEP is a coalition of over 150 member organizations, “building people-to-people cooperation, coexistence, equality, shared society, mutual understanding, and peace among their communities.” However, in contrast to these stated goals, its members include a number of highly biased and politicized NGOs that promote agendas based solely on the Palestinian narrative of victimization and completely omit Israeli perspectives.
- ALLMEP regularly engages in lobbying, approaching “opinion makers, elected representatives, government officials, American and international funders, and the international community about the critical opportunities and needs of people-to-people efforts.”
- IfNotNow is a US-based fringe group that uses highly polarizing tactics in attacking American Jewish institutions, citing supposed “support for occupation.” IfNotNow has organized protests and sit-ins at the headquarters of leading American Jewish communal organizations, infiltrated Birthright trips, as well as “run small, weekend-long orientation trainings on our movement DNA – our collective strategy, story, and structure.”
- Human Rights Watch
- Human Rights Watch is a powerful NGO, with a massive budget, close links to Western governments, and significant influence in international institutions. Its publications reflect the absence of professional standards, research methodologies, and military and legal expertise, as well as a deep-seated ideological bias against Israel.
- HRW is a leader of demonization campaigns, including lobbying the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate Israeli officials, and leading BDS campaigns targeting banks, soccer clubs, and other businesses operating in Israel.
- HRW is spearheading the campaign to promote artificial and manufactured definitions of apartheid to extend the ongoing demonization and delegitimization of Israel. HRW’s 2021 report accusing Israel of apartheid was used as the basis for the UN Human Rights Council’s permanent Commission of Inquiry against Israel. (Read NGO Monitor’s Policy Paper “False Knowledge as Power: Deconstructing Definitions of Apartheid that Delegitimise the Jewish State.”)
- Alliance for Middle East Peace (ALLMEP)
Table 1: Overview of NIF Finances 2017-2021 (amounts in USD)
Table 2: Multiyear Review of Authorized Core and Donor Advised Grants to Political NGOs (2017 – 2021, USD)
|Breaking the Silence||828,326||572,134||629,926||510,942||359,219||$2,900,547|
|Combatants for Peace||39,301||45,348||37,636||25,449||21,180||$168,914|
|Gisha: Legal Center for the Protection of Freedom of Movement||124,367||92,431||97,790||82,516||37,803||$434,907|
|HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual||197,687||60,387||78,189||104,119||83,375||$523,757|
|Haqel: Jews and Arabs in Defense of Human Rights||41,816||4,502||305||60,590||140,972||$248,185|
|Human Rights Defenders Fund (HRDF)||150,565||171,745||200,550||116,892||175,984||$815,736|
|Israeli Center for Public Affairs||221,284||$1221,284|
|Molad: The Center for the Renewal of Democracy||17,000||35,833||25,000||47,206||68,857||$193,896|
|Kerem Navot (Naboth's Vineyard)||15,000||15,000||5,000||5,000||12,610||$52,610|
|Negev Coexistence Forum||46,926||46,813||59,766||82,000||73,406||$308,911|
|Nine Seven Two: Advancement of Citizen Journalism||332,747||274,119||313,219||151,540||127,531||$1,199,156|
|Parents' Circle: Bereaved Parents||26,107||3,048||2,666||13,456||73,406||$118,683|
|Physicians for Human Rights - Israel||409,787||320,728||274,997||317,174||86,894||$1,409,580|
|Rabbis for Human Rights||114,293||43,861||43,985||37,120||42,775||$282,034|
|Reut Sadaka Jewish-Arab Youth Movement||27,892||3,100||4,050||4,049||11,050||$50,141|
|The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel||75,073||79,639||45,800||35,550||38,450||$274,512|
|Women's Fund for Human Rights (Machsom Watch)||113,607||104,107||117,171||112,234||129,397||$576,516|
|Zazim - Community Action||257,776||211,852||327,793||190,948||314,022||$1,302,391|
Table 3: 2019-2021 Progressive Jewish Fund Funding (amounts in USD)
|Alliance for Middle East Peace||35,000||2,500||500,000|
|Breaking the Silence||11,000||1,800|
|Combatants for Peace||12,000||4,000||2.500|
|Nine Seven Two: Advancement of Citizen Journalism||12,500||2,500||7,500|
|Parents' Circle: Bereaved Parents||5,000||5,000|
|Physicians for Human Rights||5,000|
|The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel||1,800|
|Women's Fund for Human Rights (Machsom Watch)||1,800|
Table 4: Breakdown of 2021 Funding (amounts in USD)
|NGO||Core funding||Donor Advised||Total|
|Breaking the Silence||120,000||703,023||$823,023|
|Combatants for Peace||5,000||40,790||$45,790|
|Gisha: Legal Center for the Protection of Freedom of Movement||18,000||69,078||$87,078|
|HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual||196,503||$196,503|
|Haqel: Jews and Arabs in Defense of Human Rights||10,000||35,915||$45,915|
|Human Rights Defenders Fund (HRDF)||88,650||56,420||$145,070|
|Molad: The Center for the Renewal of Democracy||17,000||$17,000|
|Kerem Navot (Naboth's Vineyard)||15,000||$15,000|
|Negev Coexistence Forum||16,000||30,901||$46,901|
|Nine Seven Two: Advancement of Citizen Journalism||328,088||$328,088|
|Parents' Circle: Bereaved Parents||5,000||22,675||$27,675|
|Physicians for Human Rights - Israel||90,000||310,784||$400,784|
|Rabbis for Human Rights||50,550||62,724||$113,274|
|Reut Sadaka Jewish-Arab Youth Movement||28,793||$28,793|
|The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel||30,000||59,237||$89,237|
|Women's Fund for Human Rights (Machsom Watch)||25,000||79,635||$104,635|
|Zazim - Community Action||100,000||157,395||$257,395|