Ten for December 10th: European Funding and the Abuse of Human Rights
International Human Rights Day is marked annually on December 10, on the anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. It is a day to celebrate human rights, but also to take stock of the reasons why their universal application remains elusive.
European governments provide Israeli, Palestinian, and international NGOs with massive amounts of funding, claiming to promote human rights agendas. In reality, this funding often contributes to distortions of human rights, ranging from demonization to antisemitism.
Examples from 10 European government funding frameworks:
- In the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, and the Netherlands jointly fund Israeli and Palestinian NGOs. The Secretariat is providing $710,000 to Gaza-based NGO Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) for 2014-2016. During the ongoing wave of terror against Israeli civilians, PCHR has accused Israel of “crimes” against Palestinian attackers. PCHR erases the context of attacks against children and the elderly, and video evidence that police acted in order to protect Israeli lives.
- Ireland provided €18.2 million in 2014-15 to Trocaire, the official overseas development agency of the Catholic Church of Ireland. Trocaire, in turn, funds NGOs such as Badil, which awarded a monetary prize to an antisemitic cartoon for its 2010 Al-Awda Nakba caricature competition. Badil’s website continues to feature images that deny Israel’s right to exist.
- Germany has provided €113.8 to Misereor, the aid framework of the Catholic Church in Germany. Between 2012-2015, Israeli NGO Zochrot received NIS236,005 from Miseroer. Zochrot supports a “one state” framework or a “de-Zionized Palestine,” and refers to Israel as having an “ethnicized and racialized Zionist” system. Zochrot completely ignores the Israeli narrative, promoting the Durban demonization rhetoric, accusing Israel of “ethnic cleansing,” “ongoing destruction of Palestinian localities,” “expulsion,” “massacres,” and “disregard for the rights of refugees and displaced people.”
- Between 2012-2016, Norway provided two grants to Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) totaling $6.6 million. NPA is a leader and mobilizer of anti-Israel BDS (boycotts, divestments, and sanctions) campaigns and promotes allegations of Israeli “apartheid,” “collective punishment,” “war crimes,” and “violations of international law and human rights.” In 2015, NPA funded a photo exhibit in Lebanon, which included maps that erase the state of Israel and replace it, in entirety, with “Palestine.”
- The Netherlands, through offices in Ramallah and the Secretariat, is providing Gaza-based NGO Al Mezan $415,000 between 2014-2016. Al Mezan teamed up with Amnesty International on the “Gaza Platform” (July 2015), repeating unverifiable allegations that Israel committed “war crimes” in the 2014 Gaza conflict, and erasing Palestinian war crimes including rocket attacks and using the civilian infrastructure of Gaza as a shield.
- Sweden provided 711,000 SEK to Sabeel in 2012-2013, transferred via the aid organization Diakonia. Sabeel continues to list Diakonia as a funder, but does not disclose how much funding is received. Sabeel describes itself as an “ecumenical grassroots liberation theology movement among Palestinian Christians.” The group supports the “one state solution,” meaning the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state. Its “Vision for the Future” states: “The ideal and best solution has always been to envisage ultimately a bi-national state in Palestine-Israel… One state for two nations and three religions.” (emphasis added).
- Through the European Union’s Partnership for Peace program, the Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ) is receiving €497,040 in 2014-2016. ARIJ is among the leaders of the political warfare against Israel, seeking to further boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS), false accusations of Israeli “apartheid” and “racism,” and support for a Palestinian “right of return”, which is inconsistent with two-state solution. It employs attack rhetoric of “ethnic cleansing,” “transfer,” “land grab,” “colonialization activities” in publications and claims Israel guilty of “excessive and disproportionate violations of every existing humanitarian code.”
- United Kingdom provided £724,518 to Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP-UK) in 2014. MAP abuses the language of medicine to advocate for a divisive political agenda. It has partnered with the fringe Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence to bring British parliamentarians on tours of the West Bank that focus on non-medical issues such as settlements, the security barrier and “eroding Arab identity” in Jerusalem. MAP similarly lobbies the British public, using false data in an ad campaign designed to demonize Israel.
- Switzerland gave NIS 159,500 to Breaking the Silence (BtS) in 2015. In June 2015, BtS held an exhibit and series of events at the Kulturhaus Helferei in Zurich – one of many such international venues for its advocacy. These events featured anonymous and unverifiable “testimonies” of low-level soldiers that are often stripped of context, contributing to the narrative of Israeli “war crimes.”
- Denmark, both as part of the Secretariat as well as independently, is listed as a funder of Israeli NGO Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I) – NIS 312,480 between 2014-2015. Following the 2014 Gaza War, PHR-I accused Israel of violating humanitarian law, without any proof or evidence of these charges, and without the necessary qualifications to arrive at such conclusions.