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This report, covering 2013 and 2014 (partial information, based on availability), updates NGO Monitor’s analyses of U.S. government funding for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that operate in Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Funding agencies include USAID, the U.S. State Department (through the MEPI program), National Endowment for Democracy (NED), and United States Institute of Peace (USIP), among others.

Our detailed analysis shows that, despite positive changes implemented since our May 2013 report, U.S. funding continues to go to NGOs active in anti-Israel and BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns that directly contradict U.S. government support for peace efforts and democracy promotion. There are also pronounced inconsistencies between the stated objectives and the activities of the NGO grantees. In a number of instances, it appears that grants have been awarded without sufficient due diligence, including independent evaluation of all aspects of grantees.

Key Findings

NGO Monitor has evaluated U.S. government funding for NGOs claiming to promote peace and human rights, in the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict. This report provides an updated review of processes that result in funding for organizations whose activities are inconsistent with U.S. policy and objectives of promoting peace and opposing discrimination campaigns such as BDS (boycotts, divestment, and sanctions).1

1. Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) continues to provide incomplete, non-transparent information on its website. The USA spending website, to which MEPI directed NGO Monitor in order to obtain funding details, is convoluted and very difficult to use. MEPI’s terse correspondence with NGO Monitor similarly reflects a lack of commitment to transparency.

2. Numerous MEPI-funded NGOs display extreme anti-Israel and antisemitic demonization, including justification of terrorism; use of terms such as “ethnic cleansing,” “genocide,” and “apartheid”; and comparison of Israel to the Nazis. These NGOs also promote the Kairos Palestine document, as well as BDS campaigns.

3. Reflecting a total lack of transparency, the International Republican Institute (IRI) did not respond to multiple requests for information on its funding of Israeli and Palestinian NGOs. (See Appendix 2.) Independent research shows that IRI gave $154,457 to MIFTAH in 2012.

4. In its allocations for 2013 and 2014, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) continues to fund political advocacy NGOs that promote BDS (boycotts, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns targeting Israel and contribute to other forms of demonization. NED-funded groups include Al-Dameer, Palestinian Center for Democracy and Conflict Resolution, and Al Maqdese for Society Development.

5. USAID remains the most transparent U.S. government funding mechanism, as reflected in its regularly updated webpage on NGO funding. NED also lists comprehensive information on its website, and USIP responded transparently and extensively to NGO Monitor inquiries.

6. According to NGO Monitor research, most of the USAID projects funded in 2013-2014 appear to be “programs that develop mutual understanding and build ties” between Israeli and Palestinians, without blatant bias or participating in the demonization of Israel.

7. However, a number of USAID grantees, including Sadaka Reut (sub-awardee), Sikkuy, and the Near East Foundation, require close monitoring.

Conclusions and Recommendations

1. The discontinuation of funding for NGOs that participate in demonization and delegitimization campaigns is an important first step. However, without a rigorous evaluation system, funders are unable to prevent future rounds of problematic funding.

For example, in 2013, NED discontinued funding for the political NGOs MIFTAH, Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, Holy Land Trust, Palestinian NGO Network, and Women’s Affairs Technical Committee. However, funding continued for Palestinian Center for Democracy and Conflict Resolution (PCDCR), Al Maqdese for Society Development, and Al-Dameer Association for Human Rights.

2. NGO funding transparency remains inconsistent. As detailed below, MEPI’s lack of transparency creates a significant obstacle to independent evaluation. As noted, IRI has no transparency and did not respond to multiple requests for information on its NGO funding.

3. Attempts to justify funds as designated for specific projects, not NGOs, are artificial and seek to avoid accountability.

4. Programs promoting mutual understanding and narrative sharing are important, but they are also readily exploited and require very close monitoring.

5. Supported by the detailed analysis in this report, NGO Monitor urges U.S. officials to conduct independent evaluations of the NGO activity before grant allocation, and during and after implementation. As seen in the examples below, the activities and rhetoric of NGO grantees do not always match their stated objectives, which can impact project implementation in many ways. As such, all U.S. government funding agencies should be required to assess NGO applicants on the basis of the totality of activities and agendas, and not only through narrowly defined projects or claims made by the NGOs themselves (self-reporting).

The following recommendations, originally proposed in our 2013 report, remain critical:

Before grant allocation

  • Potential recipients should be evaluated for consistency with U.S. policy.
  • The evaluation process should be broad and include input from multiple sources.
  • Funding should be denied to NGOs that engage in demonization, BDS, and other anti-Israel activities, which are contrary to and incompatible with U.S. peace efforts, the promotion of human rights, and democracy building.


  • Guidelines should be created to regulate situations and reconsider funding where evidence of problematic activities and rhetoric emerges while the grant is ongoing.
  • Information about all grants, including detailed descriptions and evaluations of programs, should be posted in a centralized database, as well as on the websites of the managing agency.


  • Detailed, independent, and public assessments are necessary, both in terms of (a) measuring the efficacy in accomplishing the stated goals of the project and (b) monitoring the full extent of the grantee’s activities.

Analysis of Funding Frameworks

Middle East Partnership Initiative

The Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) is a division of the Department of State’s Near Eastern Affairs Bureau, with offices in the MENA region. The main regional office is in Tunisia.  Local projects in Israel and the West Bank/Gaza are administered by the Consulate in Jerusalem and Embassy in Tel Aviv.

MEPI offers “assistance, training, and support to groups and individuals striving to create positive change in the society.  MEPI works in 18 countries and territories, partnering with civil society organizations (CSOs), community leaders, youth and women activists, and private sector groups to advance their reform efforts.  MEPI’s approach is bottom-up and grassroots, responding directly to local interests and needs.”

MEPI reports being active in the MENA region since 2002, contributing over $600 million to more than 1,000 grant projects.

In response to NGO Monitor questions concerning grants and NGO partners, MEPI representatives in Israel responded laconically and without providing substantive answers. (See Appendix 1.)

According to NGO Monitor research, of the (approximately) 47 NGOs funded by MEPI from 2012-2014, 43 are not inherently biased against Israel.

However, MEPI has also awarded grants to NGOs that support BDS against Israel. Statements from some MEPI grantees have also propagated antisemitism, demonization of Israel, and the merits of terrorism as resistance.

In contrast to counterproductive agendas, the stated objectives of the MEPI-funded projects are positive: combating gender discrimination, promotion of the private sector, and developing opportunities for the youth in the Palestinian Authority. This gap between the stated objectives of MEPI funding for these NGOs and their activities, highlight the need for stronger oversight and in-depth evaluation.

Lack of Transparency

MEPI funding notably lacks transparency. There has been minimal change since our 2013 analysis. Though updated programs are listed on its “Recent MEPI Projects in Israel” page, neither the year nor amount is published, in addition to the list being incomplete. Furthermore, most of the links provided in each synopsis on MEPI’s “featured highlights” page are not functioning and redirect to a “404 page” (“The Page You are Looking for has Moved). Previous highlighted projects, which were removed from featured page in May or June 2014, provided inconsistent information from one grant to the next, including omitting dates, partner names and funding amounts, preventing meaningful project comparisons.

MEPI provides a link in its FAQs section to the generic website as a way to search for MEPI’s grants, but no guidance is provided to identify specific MEPI grants for Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.

After reviewing the unorganized USA Spending database, it appears MEPI has at least 15 projects since 2012 that are not listed anywhere on the MEPI website. There are also projects on the website not located in the USA Spending database.

Additionally, there are discrepancies between funding amounts or project names on the MEPI website and in the USA Spending database.

  • For example, the MEPI website features a project, “Developing Jerusalem’s Youth Parliament,” without any mention of an organizational partner. On the USA Spending site, there are no results for this project title but there is a project listed under the Al-Razi Association for Cultural and Societal Affairs with a project entitled “Jerusalem Schools Students Union.” There is no mention of Al-Razi on the MEPI website. It is unclear whether these projects are related.
  • A second example is the project listed on the MEPI website “For Our Rights” conducted by Min Ajlina for a 2009 “retreat for Sidre staff members.” There are no search results for Min Ajlina on the USA Spending site and Sidre (spelled Sidreh on the USA Spending site) has only one grant (2012) listed. It is unclear how these projects or organizations are related, who received funds or when funds were received.


1) Arab Thought Forum (ATF)

  • ATF, based in Jerusalem and Gaza, was awarded $82,069 from 2013-2014 for the project “Youth Advocacy Groups as Active Agents of Positive Change in Their Communities.”
  • ATF’s mission is to act as “…forum for Palestinian decision makers, public opinion leaders and citizens to express their views…The strength of ATF lies in its political impartiality, which allows it to freely engage with a broad range of subjects related to the Palestinian cause of democracy building, and ultimately independence.”
  • ATF’s narrative includes demonizing and antisemitic language: “The Palestinian Holocaust is unsurpassed in history…the ugliest crime of modern times.” It also employs terms such as “apartheid,” “ethnic cleansing,” “genocide,” and “collective punishment,” and “Zionist massacre”; claims “Hamas is the expression of Gazan despair”; and promotes BDS (boycotts, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns.
  • Republished an article from PNGO claiming the goal of the Israeli military is destruction and occupation. The posting suggests “immediate action” including, “We, Palestinian  NGOs declare our complete rejection of any aid coming from USAID due to the United States’ constant military and financial support to Israel, or from any other parties whose support to Israel facilitated  Israel’s military aggression in the Gaza Strip.”

2) Ma’an Network

  • The Ma’an Network was awarded $71,970 from 2012-2013 for the project “Combating Gender Based Violence in the Palestinian Territories.”
  • Ma’an claims to be an “independent non-profit media organization working to strengthen nonaffiliated media and consolidate freedom of expression and media pluralism as a means of promoting democracy and human rights.”
  • Ma’an News is a platform for the publication of statements by radical Palestinian NGOs, including the Badil, MIFTAH, and Palestinian Center for Human Rights, which promote Palestinian rejectionism, and a highly distorted history that contributes to conflict. Ma’an News’ archive includes many uses of the term “apartheid,” accusations of “ethnic cleansing,” Holocaust denial, and references to terrorism as resistance.
    • Featured an interview on January 9, 2014 with convicted terrorist Issa Abd Rabbo who stated, “I tied [Israeli soldiers] up of course and then sentenced them to death by shooting, in the name of the revolution. I shot them, one bullet each, and went [hiding] in the mountains… I went to my aunt and told her: ‘We have avenged Muhammad’s blood… She cried out in joy.’”
    • Published the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” on February 11, 2014 which contends that “[the Jews] plans to subjugate the people and control the world.”

3) Wi’am, the Palestinian Conflict Resolution Center

  • Wi’am received $71,661 during 2013 for the project “Combating Gender Inequality in Property Rights.”
  • Wi’am aims to improve the quality of relationships and promote peace and reconciliation in the community. It strives alongside other forces present in the community to build a society based on democratic norms and values.”
  • Wi’am promotes Palestinians victimization narrative through antisemitic and theological rhetoric, claiming “We are the victims of the victims of the holocaust, and thus its direct victims.” Utilizes the term “apartheid wall,” promotes the Kairos Palestine document, and encourages “the dream” of a one-state framework. Refers to Israel as “the Oppressor” and Palestinians as “the Oppressed.”
  • Wi’am supports BDS.

4) The Al-Mustakbal Foundation for Strategic and Policy

  • Al-Mustabal was awarded $68,019 from 2012-2013 for the project “Doing Business in the East Jerusalem Market.”
  • Provides rationalization for terrorism against Israeli citizens and mocks Israel’s need for security.
    • Miserable standards of living and lack of economic opportunity will continue to fuel radicalism, making Israel tense. Security concerns may overcome notions of peace and lead to violence spiraling out of control.”
    • “…viewing  the  problem  of  ‘terrorism’ separate from occupation, and requiring security to precede progress on substantive issues [is an impediment]…peace will remain  elusive  if  the  United  States  does  not recognize  that  Israel’s  occupation  is  violent,  and Palestinian reactionary violence ends when occupation ends.”

5) East Jerusalem YMCA

  • EJ-YMCA was awarded $53,265 from 2012-2013 for the project “Develop Leadership, Teamwork, and Communication Skills for Palestinian Youth.”
  • EJ-YMCA features it’s “Joint Advocacy Initiative” with Palestine YWCA to “to enhance international advocacy work with partners and activists,” including projects such as the Kairos Palestine Campaign and a BDS campaign.
  • Examples of “youth programs” conducted by EJ-YWCA include  “…a theatrical play performed by Al-Hara Theatre entitled ‘The Trap’ which demonstrates a model of Israeli intelligence operations to turn Palestinian children into collaborators who betray their people, contradicting all human values, international laws and conventions. The play was produced in cooperation with DCI-Palestine section.”

National Endowment for Democracy

According to its website, National Endowment for Democracy (NED) provides more than 1,000 grants to support NGOs that are “dedicated to the cultural values, institutions, and organizations of democratic pluralism.” NED is funded “largely by the U.S. Congress” and is “subject to multiple layers of oversight by Congress, the Department of State, and independent financial audit.” These audits are posted through 2011.

NGO Monitor’s 2013 report discussed NED funding for NGOs such as MIFTAH, Gaza Community Mental Health Programme (GCMHP), Al-Dameer, Holy Land Trust (HLT), Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO) and Women’s Affairs Technical Committee (WATC). These political advocacy NGOs promote BDS (boycotts, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns targeting Israel, contributed to the discredited Goldstone Report (2009) on the Gaza war, and are active in other forms of demonization.

Since the publication of our report, NED officials have been responsive to questions concerning grants and NGO partners. In correspondence with NGO Monitor, NED provided updated, transparent information about 2013 and 2014 funding for NGOs in the West Bank. (See Appendix 3 for full correspondence.)

In this correspondence, NED reported discontinuing funding for most of the NGOs analyzed in previous report, including MIFTAH, Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, Holy Land Trust, Palestinian NGO Network, and Women’s Affairs Technical Committee.

At the same time, NED continues to support some highly problematic NGOs. Of the 13 NGOs funded in 2013-2014, 3 are active in demonization campaigns and other forms of political warfare against Israel, and another requires close monitoring and review due to a lack of transparency.


1) Palestinian Center for Democracy and Conflict Resolution (PCDCR)

  • Awarded $57,800 in 2012, $58,300 in 2013, and $48,200 in 2014. The 2014 project aims to “lead 12 roundtables addressing the regional variables on national reconciliation, as well as a conference. The center will lead two five-day training courses for 40 youth on conceptual and practical issues of debate.”
  • PCDCR’s stated mission is to “invest in the democratic experience of Palestinians by supporting the development of an accountable governance system…and investing in an effective and accountable administrative, management and governance structure.”
  • PCDCR supported the discredited 2009 Goldstone Report, refers to Palestinians as “victims of Gaza holocaust,” accuses Israel of “state terrorism,” and participates in discriminatory campaigns such as “Love in the Time of Apartheid Campaign: The Palestinian Campaign for Repealing Israel’s Racist Law Denying Family Reunification.”
  • General Director Saeed el-Maqadmah published “Impact of Israeli Practices on Development of Children’s Aggressive Behaviour,” citing claims such as “Israeli policies aim to create such imbalance especially for the children who are the heirs to the Palestinian issue.”
    • The publication was followed by a campaign for “Universal Children Day,” showing the international community the “suffering of the Palestinian children caused by the Israeli occupation and years of blockade.

2) Al Maqdese for Society Development

  • Al Maqdese was awarded $34,800 in 2012 and $33,400 in 2013. The 2013 project aimed to “lead 14 rights awareness sessions for 350 Palestinian workers in East Jerusalem.”
  • Al Maqdese’s highly politicized mission is “To maintain the existence of the Palestinian population in Jerusalem by: raising awareness and ensuring protection of their rights; monitoring, documenting, and publicizing the Israeli violations against their rights; and providing advocacy and lobbying tools to protect their rights.”
  • Accuses Israel of “racist,” “ruthless, unforgiving and above all illegal policies” in Jerusalem and “crimes so heinous they make a mockery of international law and Israeli legitimacy.” Refers to an “apartheid wall” and claims Israel is running “a system of abuse and racism masquerading as security.”
  • Focuses on Israel’s “intent” to control the Palestinians:
    • Issam Jwehan, director of Al-Maqdese, stated on PA TV News that Israel uses drugs as “a weapon” to “Judaize Jerusalem.”
    • Al Maqdese published a report claiming the Israeli authority has imposed laws meant to take control over Arab educational curriculums to further their policy of “Judaizing.”

3) Al-Dameer Association for Human Rights

  • Awarded $31,000 in 2012 and $32,000 in 2013. The 2013 project aims to “lead five 30-hour courses on human rights standards and application for 150 social and political activists from Gazan universities.”
  • Al-Dameer’s mission is stated as, “aims to ensure the development of the principles of internationally recognized human right standards and values in the Gaza Strip.”
  • Al-Dameer refers to terrorists as “martyrs” and speaks of the Palestinian “right to resist” through measures of terrorism. The organization claims there are “an assault of ethnic disinfections against Palestinian civilians,” “war crimes,” and “massacres.” They have accused Israel of “systematic policies against the civilian population” and “human rights violations perpetrated by Israeli occupation forces… as a form of collective punishment.”
  • Perpetuates biases and demonization in publications such as “Palestinian Jurisdiction Reality & the Prospects for the Prosecution of International Criminals- A Path Towards a New National Strategy” and “Health and Environmental Problems in the Gaza Strip that Lead to an Increase in the Number of Babies Born with Birth Defects, Abortion, and Cancer Diseases Due to the IOF Use to Radioactive and Toxic Materials during its Latest Offensive on the Strip.”
  • Lobbied for the discredited 2009 Goldstone report and signatory to multiple international initiatives in favor of its skewed recommendations. Participant in several BDS campaigns, including those against the G4S and Veolia Environment corporations.

4) Civitas Institute

  • The Civitas Institute was awarded $37,000 in 2012, $36,700 in 2013, and $35,000 in 2014. The 2014 project aims to “engage youth in civic action, oversight to, and interaction with local representatives. Civitas will lead two 6-day training courses on research skills, reporting and documentation, and hearings.”
  • Civitas is non-transparent. It does not have a functional website, and its Facebook page is outdated and provides no further information about Civitas or its partners.
  • As stated on its Facebook page, “Civitas is a non-governmental, non-profit, non-partisan and independent organization based in Gaza and was established in Dec., 2001 as an initiative of democrats, young community leaders, journalists, activists, human rights and civil society advocators.”

United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

USAID, the United States’ largest provider of foreign assistance, contributes grants to political advocacy NGOs in Israel through its Office of Conflict Management and Mitigation (CMM), which “supports several initiatives to foster peace at the grassroots level through programs that develop mutual understanding and build ties between Israeli and Palestinian youth leaders, religious scholars, environmental scientists, educators and community activists.” According to USAID, “Since the program’s inception in 2004, USAID West Bank and Gaza Mission and U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv have supported 69 Conflict Management and Mitigation (CMM) grants for Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.”

USAID remains the most transparent, comprehensible U.S. government funding mechanism, as displayed on its website fact sheet, which is regularly updated.

According to NGO Monitor research, of the 21 projects funded from 2013-2014, 18 appear to engage in “programs that develop mutual understanding and build ties” between Israeli and Palestinians, without providing a biased perspective of the conflict or participating in the demonization of Israel. Three exceptions, which require close monitoring and high levels of due diligence, are:

1) Catholic Relief Services (sub-award to Sadaka-Reut)

  • CRS was awarded $1,000,000 in 2011-2014 for the Gemini Project. A sub-award ($600,876) was distributed to Sadaka-Reut to implement the project. According to USAID, this program “bring[s] together Palestinian and Jewish youth ages 18-25 for an extended period of dialogue, skill-building, mentoring, and activism. The Gemini Project aims to promote an alternative dialogue to militant rhetoric in Jewish and Palestinian communities.”
  • Sadaka-Reut’s description of the Gemini Project reflects a one-sided and biased narrative, singling-out “the process of delegitimizing the Palestinian citizens of Israel” for “deepening the rift between both communities.”
  • The Gemini Project is administered by coordinators Yael Tsabari and Rajaa Natour.
  • Sadaka Reut partners with groups on the extreme fringe that reject the legitimacy of Jewish sovereignty, and repeatedly emphasize the “Nakba” and alleged systematic discrimination in Israel. This includes Zochrot (with whom they joined for a project called “Introducing the Palestinian Nakba to the Israeli Public”), Coalition of Women for Peace, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, and Machsom Watch.

2) Sikkuy: The Association for the Advancement of Civic Equality (sub-award to MEJDI)

  • Sikkuy’s partner on the USAID-funded project, MEDJI, is founded by CEO Aziz Abu Sarah, who claims to advocate for cooperation and reconciliation efforts. However, his contributions to +972 Magazine and National Geographic Magazine have, instead, encouraged an unbalanced focus on the Palestinian perspective, omitting key mainstream Israeli viewpoints. It is unknown what level of due diligence was conducted by USAID on key personnel or officials project partners.
  • Sikkuy has portrayed Israeli-Arabs as an indigenous minority subject to discrimination, as part of a wider political process seeking to delegitimize the recognition of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. Much of this activity occurred under the leadership of Co-executive Director Ali Haider, who has since left the NGO. It is unknown whether this agenda will continue in his absence.
  • Articles published on the Sikkuy site, which promote this narrative, include: “In Israel, Arabs get less”; “Treasury official: Gov’t funding biased against Arabs”; “Does equality stand a chance?”; “For Arab citizens, Israeli government suffers from split personality.”
  • Sikkuy is a signatory to the Haifa Declaration, which calls for the abolishing of the State of Israel, praises violent resistance, and accuses Israel of manipulating the memory of the Holocaust for political purposes.
  • Sikkuy (sub-award to MEJDI) for a program “developing tourism programs that will bring large numbers of Jewish Israelis, particularly youth and women, to visit Arab community” ($898,898 in 2013-2016). The program demonstrates an inherent bias, seeking to encourage Jewish Israelis to understand Arab communities but not vice versa.

3) Near East Foundation (NEF)

  • Near East Foundation (NEF) was awarded $1,200,000 from 2013-2015 for the project “Cross Border Youth Agribusiness Partnership” and “Olive Oil without Borders.”
  • NEF’s mission is to “help build more sustainable, prosperous, and inclusive communities in the Middle East and Africa through education, community organizing, and economic development.”
  • Although NEF publications do not reflect a blatant bias or ideological agenda, a number of Facebook posts (below) from NEF Palestine Country Director Salah Abu Eisheh, exhibit extreme, and extremely concerning, anti-Israel (and U.S.) rhetoric. It is unknown whether USAID conducted due diligence on key NEF officials before providing this grant.




“Nakba” Commemorations: Hand in Hand, Center for Jewish-Arab Education in Israel

  • Hand in Hand was awarded $1.08 million for 2012-2015. The project “Shared Community/School Integration” seeks to “establish eight Israeli-Jewish and Israeli-Arab shared communities; five of these will be built around existing integrated schools, and an additional three in regions without existing schools.”
  • Hand in Hand, a “bilingual, bicultural schools where Jewish and Arab children learn together,” holds annual events encouraging the teaching and celebration of different occasions, including “Nakba Day” (which promotes a highly distorted Palestinian narrative regarding the 1947/8 war.) A flyer for a May 14, 2014 event at the Hand in Hand school in Jerusalem, “Families Talk about the Nakba,” features the USAID logo.
  • In a May 13, 2014 email response to NGO Monitor, a USAID official stated, “every year at this time period the schools and communities work intensively to come together in ways allowing for truly listening, learning and understanding what [Hand in Hand] refers to as ‘the National Days’… Holocaust Day, Memorial Day and Independence Day among others.” Requests for further information on USAID funding for the specific event were not forthcoming (as of May 26, 2014).
  • While such programs have the potential for engendering mutual understanding, there is also potential for political exploitation to promote biased narratives, thereby adding to the conflict. The example of “Nakba Day” highlights the need for clear guidelines and very close oversight.

Alliance for Middle East Peace (ALLMEP)

  • Alliance for Middle East Peace (ALLMEP) continues to play a major role in determining USAID funding for NGOs. ALLMEP is a group created “to raise the profile of Middle East coexistence in the minds of key stakeholders and policymakers so that these activities would be viewed as a critical part of solving the conflict.”
  • ALLMEP claims that its members are “competing for and implementing USAID grants through more than 100 person-hours of training annually, updates on grant opportunities, meetings with USAID officials, and one-on-one consulting to NGOs seeking funds.” Sikkuy, Hand in Hand, and Parents Circle Family Forum are all ALLMEP members.
  • In 2014, 11 out of 22 USAID-funded NGOs are ALLMEP members.
  • ALLMEP lobbies Congress (for FY 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014) to provide funding as part of CMM.2 On March 1, 2013, Chair of the Policy Committee for ALLMEP, Rabbi Michael Cohen, appeared before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs. He urged the committee “to commit in FY 2014, as it has in FYs 2013, 2012 and 2011: $28 million to the worldwide reconciliation programs funded through the Economic Support Fund in the FY2014 budget; of which $10 million is dedicated to people-to-people peacebuilding programs in the Middle East, specifically those fostering reconciliation between Arab and Israeli populations.” Cohen did not provide independent evidence or citations to bolster his contention that the programs he supports actually produce the claimed results.  The only “evidence” presented are testimonies from senior staff of the organizations themselves – in other words, self-reporting.

United States Institute of Peace USIP

According to its website, USIP “was established by Congress as an independent, federally-funded national security institution devoted to the nonviolent prevention and mitigation of deadly conflict abroad.” With regards to Israel, USIP “seeks to comprehensively address the complexities of its conflict with the Palestinians and the broader Arab world through policy relevant analysis, public outreach and innovative programming with partners in the region, all aimed at building support for a peaceful resolution to the conflict.”

In correspondence with NGO Monitor, USIP wrote that it “has no current grants to Palestinian NGOs.” The correspondence detailed funding to an Israeli organization, Arava Institute, which was awarded $92,435 for the project “Youth Environmental Education Peace Initiative.”

USIP’s grant database lists three other projects that currently receive funding.

1) Economic Cooperation Foundation (ECF) was awarded $120,000 for the project “Revisiting the Paris Protocol” for September 2013 – August 2014.

2) The Abraham Fund Initiatives was awarded $120,000 for the project “Arab Society – Police Relations Initiative” for June 2011 – May 2014.

3) The Parents Circle – Families Forum (PCFF) was awarded $120,000 for the project “Two Sided Story – Public Education Program” for January 2014 – December 2015.

  • The Parents Circle – Families Forum officials often utilize reconciliation projects to promote their personal political views. Presentations and political activities indicate that the NGO is highly ideological, and promotes a one-sided narrative of the conflict. This organization is the subject of intense controversy and criticism in Israel, particularly from other bereaved parents.
  • When NGO Monitor inquired about the PCFF project, USIP responded: “The Parents Circle—Families Forum project falls under [the peaceful resolution] line of work… In this context, it is the Institute’s view that Parents Circle—Families Forum offers an opportunity to those for whom the conflict has exacted its greatest costs to address both their shared, profound grief and the ongoing conflict through nonviolent means.” (See Appendix 5 for full correspondence.)
  • In correspondence with NGO Monitor, USIP’s Acting President Kristin Lord wrote, “In pursuing those goals and, indeed, in all of its grantmaking, the Institute maintains high standards in its proposal vetting process and in closely monitoring the performance and progress of USIP-funded initiatives.  In the case of Parents Circle Families Forum, were the organization to apply for future funding, not only would USIP subject the proposal to this rigorous vetting process, but would also commission, as a matter of course, an independent review of the previous USIP-supported initiative and any products resulting from it.” (See Appendix 5 for full correspondence.)