• The Swiss government funds numerous Israeli and Palestinian NGOs through the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC/EDA), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), and representative offices in Tel Aviv and Ramallah. Switzerland indirectly funds NGOs by outsourcing to church groups and aid organizations such as HEKS, Diakonia, and Oxfam GB.
  • In 2016, the Swiss government provided over CHF 11 million in direct and indirect funding to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) active in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Many of these NGOs do not further Swiss interests and foreign policy in the region, such as promoting peace and a two-state framework.

Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat

  • Switzerland, together with the governments of Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands, jointly fund the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (Secretariat). This funding mechanism had a $17.6 million four-year budget (2013-2016).
    • On December 12, 2013, Switzerland designated CHF 3 million to the Secretariat. In 2014, Switzerland contributed an additional CHF 100,000 to the Secretariat in “emergency funding.”
    • Since November 17, 2016, NGO Monitor has noted a number of alterations in the amount and grant period of this funding:
      • November 17, 2016: Increase to CHF 3.6 million for the period of July 15, 2014 – June 30, 2017.
      • December 29, 2016: Increase to CHF 3.8 million for July 15, 2013 – June 30, 2017.
      • January 24, 2017: Increase to CHF 5.1 million for July 15, 2013 – June 30, 2018.
    • It appears that the last increase and extension may have been rescinded. NGO Monitor published a report on the developments at 18:30 (GMT +2) on January 25, 2017. By 10:00 on January 26, the Swiss government’s funding page had been reverted to reflect the previous amount and date. The original increase from CHF 3.1 million to CHF 3.6 million and subsequently CHF 3.8 million remains unexplained.
    • As of February 9, 2017, the Switzerland had distributed CHF 3.7 million to the Secretariat.
  • NGO Monitor has extensively documented numerous concerns related to the Secretariat.
  • Funds highly politicized NGOs that engage in legal warfare 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.
  • The Secretariat funds Addameer, Al-Haq, Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), and Stop the Wall, which have alleged ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a recognized as a terrorist organization by the U.S., EU, Canada, and Israel.
  • The Swiss government recently denied requests from a concerned Swiss citizen and NGO Monitor to provide public information about Swiss funding to the Secretariat. The government’s response claimed, “access to official documents is likely to affect the interests of Switzerland in matters of foreign policy and international relations.”

Direct Funding

According to information on file with NGO Monitor, the Swiss government distributed the following direct funding in 2016 to NGOs working in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. The following chart shows the amount distributed to each NGO in 2016, the funding source, and the relevant project (as reported by the Swiss government).

Direct Funding from Swiss Government to NGOs active in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza (as of January 15, 2017)

Organization2016 Funding (CHF)Funding SourceProject funding (CHF)
Islamic Relief Worldwide180,000EDA1,040,000
Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)279,000EDA710,000
NIRAS – Secretariat975,000EDA3,800,000
Association of International Development Agencies (AIDA)240,000EDA450,000
Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ)292,050EDAUnable to independently verify
Gaza Community Mental Health Programme (GCMHP)741,356EDA1,404,000
Independent Commission of Human Rights (ICHR)400,000EDA1,405,000
Oxfam GB980,000EDA3,398,588
Oxfam Italy480,000EDA3,400,000
Breaking the Silence40,000MFASee below
Terrestrial Jerusalem55,260MFASee below
Emek Shaveh51,600MFASee below
Adalah70,000MFASee below
Gisha60,000MFASee below
Molad60,300MFAUnable to independently verify
Culture and Free Thought Association (CFTA)143,451EDA1,180,000
Geneva Initiative641,664MFASee below
Human Rights Defenders Fund62,604MFASee below
Bimkom45,000MFASee below
Negev Coexistence Forum64,576MFASee below
Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)769,305EDA1,500,000
Terre des Hommes Lausanne240,000EDAUnable to independently verify
Human Rights Defenders Fund7,000Representative Office in Tel AvivSee below
B’Tselem10,000Representative Office in Tel AvivSee below

Islamic Relief Worldwide

  • Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) received CHF 180,000 from EDA in 2016 as part of a CHF 1.04 million project (2016-2019).
  • On June 19, 2014, Israel’s Defense Minister declared Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) to be illegal, based on its alleged role in funneling money to Hamas, and banned it from operating in Israel and the West Bank. According to news reports, the decision was made after “the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), the coordinator for government activities in the territories, and legal authorities provided incriminating information against IRW.”
  • In November 2014, the United Arab Emirates banned IRW as a terrorist organization.
  • In January 2016, HSBC Banking group in the UK severed ties with IRW over terror financing fears.

Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)

  • NRC received CHF 279,000 in 2016 from EDA as part of a CHF 710,000 project (2015-2017).
  • NRC supports politicized “Litigation of public interest cases …through Israeli courts and international mechanisms,” as stated in their 2016 project plan. 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)


  • Diakonia received CHF 531,900 in 2016 from EDA, as part of the CHF 2,988,000 Swiss budget to Diakonia’s International Humanitarian Law Resource Center (IHLRC) (in existence since 2012). The IHLRC focuses exclusively on Israel, and Diakonia does not conduct similar types of programs in terms of content or resources involving any other conflict region in the world.
  • Diakonia does not reveal how much it distributes to NGOs in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. (See below.)
  • Diakonia supports settlement boycotts and accuses Israel of “collective punishment,” “war crimes,” and “violations of international humanitarian law (IHL),” ignoring Hamas terror attacks against Israeli civilians and Israel’s legitimate right to self-defense.

Association of International Development Agencies (AIDA)

Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ)

  • ARIJ received CHF 282,050 in 2016. It is unclear what this funding is for.
  • The Swiss government funded ARIJ’s 2016 document, “The Segregation Wall impacts on Palestinian Environment.” The document claims that “The Palestinian environment has been a victim of Israel’s occupation policies and practices. These practices of occupation and control has [sic] systematically impeded the development and conservation of Palestinian natural resources.”
  • ARIJ is among the leaders of the political warfare against Israel, seeking to further BDS campaigns against Israel, false accusations of Israeli “apartheid” and “racism,” and support for a Palestinian “right of return” that is inconsistent with a two-state framework.

Gaza Community Mental Health Programme (GCMHP)

  • GCMHP received CHF 741,356 from EDA in 2016 as part of a CHF 1.4 million project (2015-2017).
  • GCMHP uses unsubstantiated medical claims as an avenue to criticize the Israeli government, including allegations that Israel engages in “systematic state organized violence,” “collective punishment” “massacres,” “war crimes,” and a system of “apartheid” against Palestinians.

Independent Commission of Human Rights (ICHR)

  • ICHR received CHF 400,000 from EDA as part of a CHF 1.4 million project (2015-2016).
  • ICHR is a quasi-governmental Palestinian organization, established in 1993 with a declared mandate “to follow-up and ensure that different Palestinian laws, by-laws and regulations, and the work of various departments, agencies and institutions of the State of Palestine and the Palestine Liberation Organization meet the requirements for safeguarding human rights.”

Oxfam GB/Italy

  • Oxfam GB received CHF 980,000 in 2016 as part of a CHF 3.4 million project (2015-2017). Oxfam Italy received CHF 480,000 in 2016 as part of a CHF 3.4 million project (2011-2017).
  • Oxfam International, which Oxfam GB and Oxfam Italy are part of, consistently paints a misleading picture of the Arab-Israeli conflict, departing from its humanitarian mission that is focused on combatting poverty.
  • Oxfam GB provides grants to highly politicized NGOs that further distort this mission, including Gisha, B’Tselem, Zochrot, Yesh Din, and Breaking the Silence.

Breaking the Silence

  • Breaking the Silence received CHF 40,000 from the MFA in 2016. In 2015, BtS received NIS 159,500 from the MFA (see below).
  • Active in promoting “war crimes” charges against Israel based on anonymous and unverifiable hearsay “testimonies.”
  • Although claiming to address Israeli society, the NGO’s lobbying and media advocacy focus on international audiences, including presentations in Europe and the United States.
  • The cultural center in Zurich hosted an event, June 4-14, 2015, featuring a Breaking the Silence photo exhibition, as well as “testimonies.” The event was sponsored by the Swiss Foreign Ministry, the Municipality of Zurich, and several church groups that are active in delegitimization campaigns against Israel.

Terrestrial Jerusalem

  • Terrestrial Jerusalem received CHF 55,260 from the MFA in 2016. Terrestrial Jerusalem previously received NIS 42,330 in 2015 and NIS 210,090 in 2014.
  • 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.

Emek Shaveh

  • Emek Shaveh received CHF 51,600 from the MFA in 2016. It previously reported receiving NIS 330,876 (2013-2015).
  • Utilizes highly biased and politicized rhetoric, accusing Israel of seeking “to demolish Palestinian village on ‘archaeological’ grounds,” and claims that the Elad Foundation, an Israeli NGO that runs the “City of David” historical site, is attempting to “Judaize” Jerusalem.


  • Adalah received CHF 70,000 from the MFA in 2016. Adalah reported receiving NIS 279,749 in 2013-2014 from the MFA, and NIS 694,473 in 2015-2016 from the FDFA.
  • Adalah publishes an online “Discriminatory Laws Database.” This deceptive list does not distinguish between laws and legislative proposals and refers to Zionism pejoratively. Furthermore, laws regarding the historic Jewish connection to Israel are labeled as discriminatory, including the use of symbols and the Hebrew calendar.
  • Adalah was involved in a “platform” released by the Movement for Black Lives (MBL) that supports ‪BDS and calls Israel “an apartheid state committing genocide.” The document originally listed Nadia Ben-Youssef of Adalah as a co-author, but, MBL subsequently removed Youssef’s name, instead listing Adalah as an “organization currently working on policy.” ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬


Sadaka Reut

  • According to documents submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits, Sadaka Reut received NIS 60,000 from the Embassy in 2016.
  • Sadaka Reut presents a highly polarizing and one-sided narrative of Palestinian victimization and Israeli guilt. Through its partnerships with groups that reject the legitimacy of Jewish sovereignty in Israel and repeatedly emphasize Israel’s alleged systematic discrimination and the “Nakba,” young participants are presented with a simplistic, biased and divisive perspective.

Direct Funding to Israeli NGOs

Information for 2012-2014 taken from annual reports submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits; 2015-2016 taken from quarterly reports submitted to the Registrar of Non-Profits.

NGOYearDonorSum (NIS)
Breaking the Silence2015MFA159,500
Combatants for Peace2013MFA28,993
Emek Shaveh2015MFA141,727
Geneva Initiative2015MFA1,314,262
Human Rights Defenders Fund2015Embassy28,000
Machsom Watch2014Embassy40,000
Negev Coexistence Forum2015MFA265,118
Peace Now2013MFA263,325
Sadaka Reut2016Embassy60,000
Terrestrial Jerusalem2014MFA210,090

Indirect Funding

Indirect Funding to NGOs in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza

Indirect funding from the Swiss is transferred through Diakonia, HEKS, Caritas Switzerland, and Medico International.


  • Diakonia received CHF 531,900 in 2016 from SDC, part of the CHF 2,988,000 Swiss budget to Diakonia’s International Humanitarian Law Resource Center (IHLRC). See above.
  • Diakonia partners with a number of NGOs that promote BDS and lawfare campaigns against Israel, and some even blatant antisemitism, such as: BADIL, Sabeel, Al-Haq, Alternative Information Center (AIC), and Al-Mezan.
    • Al-Haq: Al-Haq’s General Director, Shawan Jabarin, has alleged ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization and, as such, has been denied exit visas by Israel and Jordan. (Click here to read a translation of the decision by the Israeli High Court of Justice, June 20, 2007.)
    • Alternative Information Center (AIC): Prior to the organization’s founding, AIC co-founder Michael Warschawski was a leader of “Matzpen,” the anti-Zionist Trotskyite organization. Warschawski was jailed in the 1990s for publishing an informational pamphlet for the PFLP terror group (verdict on file).
      • AIC is a registered Israeli NGO, and in 2016 the Israeli Registrar of Non Profits requested that the organization be served a liquidation order by the court due to it “operating illegally, in violation of its declared objectives and statutes.”
    • BADIL: BADIL is one of the primary NGOs advocating for a Palestinian “right of return” and is a leader of BDS and political warfare campaigns against Israel. The organization publishes antisemitic cartoons on its website, as well as imagery calling for the destruction of Israel (also a form of antisemitism) and denying Israel’s right to exist. A cartoon published by BADIL included classic antisemitic tropes and featured a Jewish man, garbed in traditional Hasidic attire, with a hooked nose and side locks. He stands above a dead child and skulls, holding a pitchfork dripping with blood. Additional graphics deny the legitimacy of Israel in any form, and oppose peace agreements.
    • Al-Mezan: Regularly describes Israel’s policies as “apartheid,” accuses Israel of “ethnic cleansing” and “war crimes,” promotes the “nakba” narrative and refers to Israeli security measures as “collective punishment.”

Information for 2012-2014 taken from annual reports submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits; 2015-2016 from quarterly reports submitted to the Registrar of Non-Profits.

Diakonia funding to Israeli NGOs

NGOYearSum (NIS)
Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I)201697,522


Caritas Switzerland

Medico International Switzerland

Indirect funding to Israeli NGOs: Information for 2012-2014 taken from annual reports submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits; 2015 from quarterly reports submitted to the Registrar of Non-Profits

Emek Shaveh2014HEKS-EPER172,977
Physicians for Human Rights – Israel2015HEKS-EPER139,069
2014HEKS-EPER/ fedevaco299,000
2014Medico International155,000
2013HEKS-EPER/ fedevaco292,000
2013Medico International77,000
2012Medico International82,000
Social TV2015HEKS-EPER91,294
Yesh Din2015HEKS-EPER78,610
New Profile2015HEKS-EPER82,407