Norwegian Funding Update 2016
- The Norwegian government, via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), provides tens of millions of kroner (NOK) through direct and indirect funding processes to politicized NGOs operating in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.
- Organizations receiving Norwegian funding lead campaigns and political activities that are inconsistent with Norway’s government policies to promote peace and a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
- As of June 1, 2016, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs allocated NOK 5 million ($600,000) to the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (IHL Secretariat), managed by the Institute of Law at Birzeit University (IoL-BZU) in Ramallah and NIRAS – a European consulting firm.
Direct Funding to Political NGOs
According to information available on the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs/NORAD website (as of August 31, 2016), for 2016 the Norwegian government has committed funds of over NOK 200 million (over $24 million) to politicized organizations active in the region. These funds are distributed via NORAD, the Embassy in Tel Aviv, the Representative Office in Al Ram, the IHL Secretariat, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 2015, Palestinian entities received NOK 741 million from Norway.
Norway funds projects in Israeli and Palestinian areas under two categories: “Palestine” and “Middle East Regional.” Israeli organizations can only receive funding as “Middle East Regional.” In correspondence with NGO Monitor, a representative from the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Tel Aviv explained
“As Israel is not on the DAC list of countries and territories1 eligible to receive official development assistance, all Israeli organizations we support under the budgetary main sector ‘152 – Conflict prevention and resolution, peace and security’ are required to have a cross-border approach. For this reason, all funds allocated to this sector are transferred from the Ministry’s regional budget for the Middle East, and not a country-specific budget.”
Contrary to Norway’s classification, Terrestrial Jerusalem, an Israeli NGO, is funded (under sector 152 and categorized) through the country-specific budget for “Palestine.”
In addition, revealing a lack of transparency, two “undefined” organizations, categorized under “Middle East Regional,” are receiving NOK 3.1 million and NOK 2 million in 2016.
Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat
- As of June 1, 2016, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs allocated NOK 5 million ($600,000) to the Human Rights & International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (IHL Secretariat).
- Norway joins Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands, in funding the IHL Secretariat. This funding mechanism has a budget of $17.6 million over four years. The funds are managed by the Institute of Law at Birzeit University (IoL-BZU) in Ramallah and a European multidisciplinary consulting company, NIRAS.
- The IHL Secretariat funds highly politicized NGOs that engage in lawfare against Israeli officials and companies that do business with Israel, promote BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns, advance a “1948 agenda,” exploit the false “apartheid” analogy to demonize Israel and even promote antisemitic propaganda.
- NGO Monitor has extensively documented numerous concerns relating to the IHL Secretariat.
|Organization||Total agreed (NOK)||2016 (NOK)||2015 (NOK)||Funding Source|
|Human Rights & International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (IHL Secretariat)||5,000,000|
|5,0000,00||---||Rep.office in Al Ram/Palestine|
The following organizations located in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza receive direct funding from the Norwegian MFA/NORAD:
|Organization||2019 (NOK)||2018 (NOK)||2017 (NOK)||2016 (NOK)|
|Maan Development Center||2,300,000||1,200,000||611,000||1,457,676|
|Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights||1,000,000|
|Gaza Community Mental Health Programme (GCMHP)||2,310,000||1,500,000||1,500,000|
|Women's Centre for Legal Aid and Counseling (WCLAC)||2,600,000||2,800,000||2,600,000|
|Palestine Strategy Group||750,000||2,000,000||1,320,000|
|Hebron Rehabilitation Committee||2,250,000||1,230,000||1,240,000|
|The Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR)||2,250,000||2,250,000||2,500,000||744,745|
|Palestinian Bible Society||279,270||182,301||958,121||967,035|
*Categorized as “Middle East Regional,” exact location uncertain.
**Grant was cut from 3 million (2015-2018)
According to information submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits, the following Israeli NGOs receive funding from the Norwegian government that is otherwise not reflected above:
|Organization||2015 (NIS)||2014 (NIS)||Funding Source|
|Breaking the Silence||154,910||165,150||Embassy – Norway|
|Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I)||538,722||165,150||Embassy – Norway|
|Emek Shaveh||N/A||130,532||Embassy – Norway|
|Yesh Din||N/A||483,425||Embassy – Norway|
Funding to Norwegian and international organizations active in the region
|Organization||2017 (NOK)||2016 (NOK)||Funding Source|
|Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)||1,871,735||Middle East Section MFA|
|17,689,000||Middle East Section MFA|
|11,000,000||11,000,000||Section for Humanitarian Affairs|
|Norwegian Aid Committee (NORWAC)||13,700,000||13,700,000||Section for Humanitarian Affairs|
|Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA)||13,398,655||12,355,023||Section for Civil Society Strengthening|
|3,000,000||7,000,000||Section for Humanitarian Affairs|
|Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) – local office||-105,284||968,012||Section for Civil Society Strengthening|
|NCA - EAPPI||1,912,534||Section for Civil Society Strengthening|
|NCA - The Lutheran World Federation||303,940||188,172||Section for Civil Society Strengthening|
|NCA - Middle East Council of Churches||591,398||Section for Civil Society Strengthening|
|NCA - Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jordan (ELCJHL)||658,536.80||430,108||Section for Civil Society Strengthening|
|695,500||698,925||Section for Civil Society Strengthening|
|NCA - World Alliance of YMCAs||161,290||Section for Civil Society Strengthening|
|NCA - DanChurchAid||483,871||Section for Civil Society Strengthening|
|1,926,000||1,397,580||Section for Civil Society Strengthening|
|5,976,441||1,801,075||Section for Civil Society Strengthening|
|NCA – World Council of Churches||214,000||215,054||Section for Civil Society Strengthening|
|NCA - Asala||430,108||Section for Civil Society Strengthening|
|Save the Children (Norway)||1,233,900||Section for Civil Society Strengthening|
|Save The Children international via Red Cross||333,445||6,660,000||Section for Humanitarian Affairs|
|Quaker Service||770,073||Section for Civil Society Strengthening|
|429,927||Section for Civil Society Strengthening|
|Integrity Action||536,119||171,635||Section for Civil Society Strengthening|
|YMCA/YWCA||1,033,064||1,033,364||Section for Civil Society Strengthening|
|1,819,758||1,819,758||Section for Civil Society Strengthening|
|127,016||127,016||Section for Civil Society Strengthening|
Indirect Funding to Israel/Palestinian Political NGOs
In addition, the Israeli NGO ”Who Profits” reported receiving funds from Fagforbundet, a Norwegian labor union. Fagforbundet actively promotes BDS.
|Organization||2016 (NIS)||2015 (NIS)||Funding Source|
(Source: Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits)
Israeli and Palestinian NGOs funded by Norway
- Miftah (NOK 3.2 million for 2015-16; also received NOK 1 million in 2014)
Utilizes anti-Israel and antisemitic rhetoric. Describes terror groups as “resistance fighters” and accuses Israel of perpetrating “massacres,” “cultural genocide,” “war crimes,” and “article written by Nawaf al-Zaru that repeated the antisemitic blood libel that Jews use Christian blood to bake Passover matzah.
- Al Haq (NOK 3.2 million for 2015-16; also received NOK 1 million in 2014)
- Al Haq is a leader in anti-Israel “lawfare” campaigns and BDS activities. The NGO’s general director Shawan Jabarin is allegedly linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a designated terrorist organization by the U.S., EU, and Canada. (See NGO Monitor’s unofficial translation of a ruling by the Israeli High Court of Justice [June 20, 2007].
- 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.” In October 2013, Al-Haq and Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) held a meeting with the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to present a legal opinion, accusing Israel of “widespread and systematic commission of international crimes and violations of international law.”
- Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) (NOK 1 million for 2016; previously NOK 1 million for 2015)
- Regularly describes Israel’s policies as “apartheid” and accuses Israel of “ethnic cleansing,” “war crimes,” and the “Judaization of Jerusalem.”
- On March 15, 2010, condemned the rededication of the Hurva Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem as a “war crime,” and called on EU member states to boycott Israeli goods in protest. The Hurva Synagogue, built during the 1700s, was destroyed by Jordanian forces after they attacked and expelled the Jewish population of the Old City in 1948.
- Breaking the Silence (over NIS 150,000 in 2015 and NIS 160,000 in 2014)
- Active in promoting “war crimes” charges against Israel. These charges were based on anonymous and unverifiable hearsay “testimonies.”
- Yesh Din (over NIS 480,000 in 2014)
- On May 6, 2016, Yesh Din’s legal advisor, Adv. Michael Sfard, appeared on behalf of the organization before the UN Security Council and presented data allegedly indicating a “lack of enforcement that enables the continuous violence against Palestinians, which is part of a long-term effort to dispossess them of their lands.” This is part of Yesh Din’s broader “lawfare” strategy of manipulating data about Israeli law enforcement and pressing “war crimes” cases against Israeli officials in foreign courts and in the International Criminal Court (ICC).
- Ma’an Development Center (over NOK 4 million for 2014-2017)
- Published “Boycotts, Divestment & Sanctions: Lessons learned in effective solidarity,” a guide to grassroots and international BDS campaigns.
- 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.
- Who Profits (over NIS 136,000 NIS for 2014-2016 from Fagforbundet Labor Union)
- Initiates international BDS campaigns, targeting Israeli and foreign banks, security companies, civil infrastructure facilities, and private companies. Also identifies companies for other BDS activists to target.
- Al Mezan (NOK 2 million for 2015-16; also received NOK 1 million in 2014); Partnering with Save the Children, Defence for Children International – Palestine Section, and Ma´an Network NOK 4.4 million– 2015-2018; previously NOK 5 million in 2014.
- Al Mezan is highly active in political warfare, accusing Israel of “genocide,” “crimes against humanity,” “apartheid,” “ethnic cleansing,” “massacres,” and “slaughtering civilians,” and refers to “resistance” and “Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF).”
- Gaza Community Mental Health Program (NOK 4.5 million for 2015-2017, previously NOK 550,000 2014)
- Uses unsubstantiated medical claims as an avenue to criticize the Israeli government, including allegations that the Jewish state engages in “systematic state organized violence,” “collective punishment” “massacres,” “war crimes,” and a system of “apartheid” against the Palestinian people.
- Addameer (NOK 1.8 million for 2015-16; previously NOK 405,000 in 2014)
- Refers to the Israeli army as the “Israeli Occupying Forces,” and accuses Israel of “collective punishment,” “war crimes,” and a “policy of using Palestinian prisoners as pawns to achieve political and military gains.”
- Lobbies international frameworks against Israel and supports BDS.
- A number of Addameer staff members have alleged connections to terror groups.
- Addameer’s chairperson and co-founder, Abdul-latif Ghaith, was banned by Israel from travelling internationally due to his alleged membership in the PFLP. He was also banned from entering the West Bank in 2011-2015.
- Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counseling (WCLAC) (NOK 2.6 million for 2016)
- Its 2014 Semi-Annual Report accuses Israel of “collective punishment,” “human rights violations,” “women’s rights violations,” and seeking “to “suppress resistance” by “targeting civil society in order to obtain land and continue to undermine the economic stability, the growth and the development of Palestinian society.”
- Palestine Strategy Group (NOK 1.32 million for 2016)
- Supports a “one state reality.”
- Its Post-Oslo Strategy supports “resistance in all its forms,” including BDS: “Our power is the steadfastness of our people, the justice of our cause and resistance in all its forms including the growing global movement for boycott sanctions and divestment. Our strategic aim is to convert legitimacy power into real transformation on the ground.”
- Dr Husam Zomlot, co-founder and coordinator of the Palestine Strategy Group, claimed in an interview on BBC (BBC Interview, 20 Aug 2014 from 39:21) that “They [Israelis] are fabricating all these stories about beheading journalists in Iraq… it happened somewhere else in Iraq, as if they are fabricating also the story of the Holocaust, that it happened in Europe, not the story itself, but the reason why they are doing this, and using so many other examples to justify their murder of a nation.”
- Hebron Rehabilitation Committee (NOK 3.6 million for 2015-2017, previously NOK 900,000 in 2014)
- Refers to Israel as “the 1948 occupied territories.”
- Was founded “In order to preserve Hebron’s cultural heritage and save the Old City from the greed of Jewish settlers.”
- Norway funds the legal unit, which “has contracted with a lawyer from the 1948 occupied territories to keep track of [civilian complaints against police] on an ongoing basis.”
- Has a clear lawfare agenda: “Preparing a file for the accountability of Israeli war criminals before the courts in foreign currencies.”
- Physicians for Human Rights – Israel (PHR-I) (over NIS 530,000 in 2015 and over NIS 165,000 in 2014)
- A highly biased political NGO that uses a façade of medicine to advance a narrow agenda and falsely accuse Israel of “war crimes.”
- On January 21, 2015, PHR-I published “Gaza, 2014: Findings of an independent medical fact-finding mission,” alleging Israeli violations of human rights and international legal norms during the 2014 Gaza War. The incomplete account in the actual publication provides absolutely no proof or evidence for these serious charges. To accurately draw such conclusions requires factual knowledge, considerable military expertise, as well as access to comprehensive data from both the Israeli army and from within Gaza, in particular during the fighting. PHR-I does not possess any of this information, and the NGO is unqualified to issue its conclusions.
- The Independent Commission for Human Rights (NOK 6.5 million for 2014-2015)
- ICHR is a quasi-governmental Palestinian organization. ICHR refers to explosions in Hamas military training camps and deaths in tunnels between Gaza and Egypt as human rights violations against Palestinians.
- AMAN coalition (nearly NOK 6 million for 2013-16) includes Miftah and Al Mezan.
- Accuses Israel of “stealing,” having “racist goals,” “Judaisation,” and “repeated attempts to ignite a sectarian religious conflict with the aim of controlling the Al-Aqsa Mosque and its precincts.”
- Ir Amim (NOK 1.45 million for 2015-2016; cut from NOK 3 million for 2015-18; previously NOK 1.34 million in 2014)
- Activities include “[m]onitoring” and “exposing” Israeli government actions in Jerusalem, “policy and legal advocacy,” and running highly politicized tours of Jerusalem and the security barrier. Ir Amim frequently accuses Israel of attempting to “Judaize” Jerusalem and promotes the Palestinian narrative on the city, including claims that “government powers are being handed over to the settler organizations” and archeological digs have become an important “tool in the fight for control” over Jerusalem.
- B’Tselem (NOK 4.5 million for 2015-17; previously nearly NOK 2 million in 2014)
- Aims to change Israeli government policy in the West Bank and Gaza by utilizing false accusations of Israeli human rights violations. The NGO became very active during the 2014 Gaza war, issuing numerous statements and conducting highly politicized campaigns. These activities were characterized by repeated false or distorted factual and legal allegations and blatant political bias, which is often repeated at face value by journalists and in media appearances.
- Terrestrial Jerusalem (NOK 1.8 million for 2014-2016)
- Promotes a one-sided approach to the conflict, placing sole blame for the failure of the peace process on Israel. The complexities of the situation in Jerusalem are erased, including illegal building and crime in Palestinian neighborhoods, damage to the Temple Mount as a result of illegal digging by the Waqf, and incitement to violence against Jews by extremist clerics.
- As noted above, contrary to Norway’s classification schemes, Terrestrial Jerusalem, an Israeli NGO, is funded and categorized as a Palestinian NGO.
- HaMoked (NOK 2.7 million for 2015-17; previously NOK 1.5 million in 2014)
- Regularly petitions the High Court of Justice and makes inaccurate and inflammatory allegations of Israeli “apartheid,” “deportations,” “torture,” and “forcible transfers.”
- Emek Shaveh (over NIS 130,000 in 2014)
- Utilizes highly biased and politicized rhetoric, accusing Israel of seeking “to demolish Palestinian village on ‘archaeological’ grounds,” and claims that the Elad Foundation is attempting to “Judaize” Jerusalem.
Norwegian and international organizations funded by Norway
- Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) (NOK 30.6 million for 2016; NOK 25.4 million for 2015)
- NRC also receives funding from Sweden, the UK, and the EU.
- NRC received a NOK 15.4 million grant in 2015 to be implemented by the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH).
- Between 2011 and 2014, NRC received NOK 89.8 million from Norway for activities in the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem.
- NRC supports politicized “Litigation of public interest cases …through Israeli courts and international mechanisms” in 2016. Previously, NRC funded over 4,000 cases and legal interventions in Israeli forums.
- A lawyer affiliated with the NRC program stated that the objective of these cases is an attempt to “try every possible legal measure to disrupt the Israeli judicial system… as many cases as possible are registered and that as many cases as possible are appealed to increase the workload of the courts and the Supreme Court to such an extent that there will be a blockage.” (emphasis added)
- Norwegian Aid Committee (NORWAC) (NOK 13.7 million for 2016)
- The Norwegian Aid Committee (NORWAC) received funding for medical assistance in Gaza and the West Bank. NORWAC received NOK 13.7 million for 2016, $5.76 million in 2014 (including $2.58 million in emergency funds for Gaza), and $2,418,000 for 2015-2016.
- A NORWAC representative, Dr. Mads Gilbert, has engaged in radical propaganda, including justifying the 9/11 attacks and making false claims regarding the Gaza conflict.
- Norwegian People’s Aid (NOK 49.9 million in 2016)
- NPA received NOK 49.86 million in 2016. It previously received two grants (totally over $6.6 million 2012-2016 implemented by Union of Palestinian NGO Network).
- Leader and mobilizer of anti-Israel BDS campaigns.
- Promotes allegations of Israeli “apartheid,” “collective punishment,” “war crimes,” and “violations of international law and human rights.”
- Played a central role in lobbying the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) to divest from Israeli companies, promoting distorted factual and legal claims.
- Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) (over NOK 29 million 2016 in 2016)
- Norwegian Church Aid received over NOK 29 million starting in 2016, to be implemented with a number of problematic partners involved in BDS and other campaigns against Israel, including the World Council of Churches (see below), DanChurchAid, the Middle East Council of Churches, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jordan (ELCJHL).
- Published a “Country plan 2011-2015: The occupied Palestinian Territory with Israel and faith-based organisations in the Middle East,” together with the ACT Alliance, presenting a highly biased and politicized view of the conflict and accusing Israel of “excessive use of force,” “demolitions,” “displacement,” “harassment,” using “human shields,” and promoting the Palestinian narrative of “Nakba” [meaning the establishment of Israel is a “catastrophe”].
- NCA provides Norwegian members to the World Council of Churches‘ Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) program: ”Since 2011, NCA has deployed 70 Norwegian Ecumenical Accompaniers (EAs).” These EAs are meant to return to their home countries and promote BDS and other forms of anti-peace activities.
- Save the Children (nearly NOK 4.5 million for 2015-2018 –Save the Children Norway; NOK 6.66 million for 2016-2018 – Save the Children International; previously NOK 5 million in 2014)
- Funding to Save the Children Norway is for “improving state capacity to monitor and report to the UN Committe [sic] on the Rights of the Child.; strengthening of national systems and building awareness and capacity of civil society to promote and defend child rights.”
- Partners for the program include:
- Defense for Children –Palestine – supports BDS campaigns against Israel and is an active participant in lobbying the UN, EU, and other international bodies to promote this agenda.
- Pyalara – According to Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), PYALARA-produced TV programs “glorify terrorists,” including suicide bombers
- Ma’an News – acts as a platform for tendentious anti-Israel statements, regularly presenting an entirely biased and distorted view of the conflict based solely on the Palestinian narrative of victimization and sole Israeli aggression, while also publicizing material from radical NGOs. Features analyses and commentary, accusing Israel of “war crimes,” “genocide,” “massacres,” “human rights violations,” acting with “impunity” and maintaining a “system of segregation and apartheid”; refers to terrorism as “resistance.
- Al Mezan (see above)
- Quaker Service (NOK 3.6 million for 2014-2016)
- Quaker services funds the Palestinian Early Childhood Education Programme, the mental health care project that is run in collaboration with Gaza Community Mental Health Programme (GCMHP).
- Integrity Action (over NOK 1 million for 2014-2016)
- Integrity Action partners with AMAN coalition, The Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ), Jerusalem Legal Aid & Human Rights Center, and Teacher Creativity Center (TCC).
Previous funding from Norway:
In a November 2015 (released July 2016) evaluation of Norwegian aid to Palestine, the following information was provided detailing funding from Norway to Palestinian entities between 2011-2014:
|Agreement partner NOK (000)||2011||2012||2013||2014||Total 2011-2014|
|Maan Development Centre||1,150||1,063||1,137||1,143||4,493|
|Al Mezan Centre For Human Rights||700||700||700||1,000||3,100|
|Palestinian Centre for Human Rights||700||700||700||1,000||3,100|
|Gaza Community Mental Health Program||700||700||700||550||2,650|
|Norwegian Aid Committee (NORWAC)||18,000||14,842||12,267||42,340||87,449|
|Norwegian Refugee Council||10,110||25,855||26,336||27,500||89,801|
|Norwegian Peoples Aid (NPA)||24,436||25,426||25,128||24,238||99,228|
|Norwegian Church Aid (NCA)||14,279||13,761||13,760||22,137||63,937|
|Stiftelsen Oljeberget (Mount of Olives Foundation – NCA)||5,500||12,696||8,000||--||26,196|
|Save the Children (Norway)||5,356||4,276||5,537||17,554||32,723|
|Save the Children International Alliance||--||5,000||5,000||5,000||15,000|
|Arab Thought Forum||552||448||250||--||1,250|
|Palestinakomiteen i Norge||3700||--||--||--||3,700|
|KFUK-KFUM Global (YMCA-YWCA)||2,326||2,150||4,010||3,200||11,686|
|Digni - tidl. Bistandsnemnda||3,078||2,303||2,942||2,909||11,232|
|Kvekerhjelpen (Quaker Service)||1,182||1,182||1,140||1,200||4,704|
|WLAC - Women Legal Aid Center||2,600||2,600||2,600||2,600||10,400|
|Hassan Jabareen (Adalah)||54||64||--||--||118|
- The OECD list includes Least Developed Countries (defined by the UN), as well as countries and territories with a per capita gross national income of under $12,745 in 2013 (some exceptions applied). The Palestinian Administered Areas (now West Bank and Gaza) was added in 1994.