Summary: This powerful British charity continues to engage in the demonization of Israel, campaigning politically against Israeli policies while offering visiting parliamentarians a one-sided view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Organizational Data

  • Founded in the 1950s and based in London.

  • Goals: "To further charitable purposes, which relieve or combat malnutrition, hunger, disease, sickness or distress throughout the world. To further charitable purposes which advance or assist such other charitable work as may be carried on by or with the support or approval of the British Council of Churches."

  • Income in 2002/2003 exceeded £58.5 million (approximately $90 million) and of this, £40 million ($60 million) came from private donations, gifts and legacies. Most of the remainder came from government sources, including £5 million pound ($7 million) from the UK government Department for International Development (DfID). Church of England, UK Baptists, Methodist Churches, and the Russian Orthodox Churches are major partners and sponsors of Christian Aid.


  • Christian Aid’s extensive involvement in anti-Israel propaganda campaigns undermine its claims to be a charitable and humanitarian organization;

  • These campaigns systematically ignore the complexity and sensitivity of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and distort the causes of poverty in the Middle East, thus contradicting the claims of being a neutral humanitarian organization.

  • Christian Aid not only contributes funds, but also legitimacy and logistical support to several partner organizations with a strong ideological agenda. Christian Aid’s name is used to raise funds for political groups such as LAW and PCHR that promote extremist anti-Israel political agendas, exacerbating the conflict and, as many analysts have noted, is the modern version of anti-Semitism.

  • Christian Aid’s rhetoric displays a deep hostility towards Israel, blaming it for Palestinian suffering, while failing to mention the leading role of the Palestinian leadership in promoting terror, violence, and rejection of Israel’s legitimacy.

Christian Aid’s Propaganda Film "Peace Under Siege"

  • In October 2003, Christian Aid released a fundraising film entitled ‘Peace Under Siege’ claiming to depict the "roots of Palestinian poverty." In practice, the 20-minute documentary consisted of a vehement and highly inaccurate attack on Israel. Although Christian Aid has undertaken important projects in the West Bank, it is clear from the footage in the film that Christian Aid also, and perhaps primarily, maintains the political objective of delegitimizing the State of Israel. (Christian Aid’s Political Campaign Continues: "Peace Under Siege" – NGO Monitor Oct. 2003)

"Fact-Finding Missions"

  • Christian Aid takes British politicians on "fact-finding missions" to the Palestinian territories presenting a one-sided view of the situation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip without any adequate chance for an official Israeli response. The results were highlighted by the virulently anti-Israel comments in the media of MPs Oona King and Jenny Tonge upon their return from a Christian Aid mission. Tonge said of suicide bombers: "If I had to live in that situation – and I say that advisedly – I might just consider becoming one myself."

  • A Christian Aid visit of three Irish politicians, described in a press release of 30 January 2004 ("International action needed to break Middle East cycle of violence"), which included accompanying volunteers for Physicians for Human Rights-Israel to Tulkarm as well as the Israeli security fence around Qalqilya, failed to include any reports on meetings with official or unofficial representatives of Israel.

  • Similarly, a press release of 28 May 2004 , quoting British MPs on a visit to the region, stated that it was part of a programme "to enable politicians to see for themselves the everyday experiences of both Palestinians and Israelis." There was no reference to any activities regarding Israeli viewpoints.

  • Christian Aid sponsored two visits to the region by artist John Keane which culminated in the opening in London of an exhibition of strongly anti-Israeli paintings.

Amoral equivalence between victims and perpetrators

  • The press release of 30 January stated: "Ten Israelis were killed and more than 50 injured yesterday when a suicide bomber struck close to Ariel Sharon’s residence in Jerusalem. Hours before, eight Palestinians were killed during an Israeli incursion into a suburb of Gaza City." While the Israeli civilians were killed in a deliberate act of terrorism, Christian Aid fails to provide any context to the Israeli military operation that led to the deaths of the Palestinians. Similarly, Christian Aid continues to draw an amoral equivalence between Palestinian terrorism and Israel countermeasures, terming them a "constant cycle of violence."

Christian Aid’s Partner Organizations

  • Examples of Christian Aid’s partner organizations include the Palestinian NGOs LAW, and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) and the East Jerusalem YMCA. LAW and PCHR played prominent roles in the infamous demonization of Israel that took place at Durban in September 2001. In December 2003, the Ford Foundation pledged to immediately halt funding for LAW. In addition, LAW has been under investigation for financial irregularities leading to a freeze in foreign donations after $3.63 million was found to have been misused. According to reports, the EU investigated on suspicions that LAW, amongst others, passed money received from the EU, to terrorist organizations such as Fatah and Hamas. (LAW is listed as a Christian Aid partner organization in a letter to EU foreign ministers)

  • As shown in NGO Monitor analyses, a number of Christian Aid’s partner organizations demonstrate a clear anti-Israel political agenda. These include: Adalah, Physicians for Human Rights – Israel and the Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees. Palestine Monitor was found to be so overtly politicized that Christian Aid has stated that it is no longer a partner organization.

Political Opposition to Israeli policy (Gaza disengagement)

  • Christian Aid’s emphasis on political activity, rather than humanitarian assistance, is also illustrated in its opposition to the Israeli government’s policies ("’Disengagement plan’ is another blow to Middle East peace"). As previously analyzed by NGO Monitor, a press release of 16 April 2004 expressed opposition to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s Gaza disengagement initiative, describing US President Bush’s endorsement of the plan as "another blow…dealt to the people of the Middle East". (Israel’s Disengagement Plan – NGOs Rush to Reject Gaza Withdrawal – NGO Monitor May 2004)

  • Having expressed its opposition to the Gaza withdrawal plan, Christian Aid then issued an 18 May press release in the wake of Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip, stating: "Israel said it would intensify its military operations in Gaza hours after a peace rally on 15 May in Tel Aviv demanding that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon fulfil his plans to withdraw fully from the occupied territory."

  • On 28 May 2004, Christian Aid released a parliamentary briefing paper "A Road to Nowhere?", calling on Israel to abandon its unilateral disengagement policy, stating that the plan "undermines international law" and that the UK and US were also "in danger of breaching international law" by endorsing the plan. Once again, Christian Aid demonstrated its core political agenda, pursued under the facade of humanitarian assistance.

Christian Aid campaigns against the Security Fence

  • In a feature on its website (Why the Israeli ‘barrier’ is wrong), Christian Aid briefly acknowledged that "It is important to recognize Israel’s legitimate fears about terrorism, and its need to take steps to protect its citizens." However, this piece continues "our experience on the ground tells us that the barrier is not the way to achieve security and peace for either people." The security fence is condemned on humanitarian grounds while failing to address the Palestinian terrorism that led to the need for the barrier, which is described as "the latest in a series of policies introduced by the Israeli government since it began its occupation of Palestinian land in 1967," and claiming "these measures have impoverished the Palestinian population". Such demonization of Israel reflects blatant bias that is grossly inconsistent with claims to be a charitable organization.

Related Articles: Israel’s Disengagement Plan

NGOs Rush to Reject Gaza Withdrawal – NGO Monitor May 2004

Christian Aid’s Political Campaign Continues: "Peace Under Siege" – NGO Monitor Oct. 2003

Christian Aid’s (UK) Principles Compromised by Anti-Israel Ideology – NGO Monitor May 2003