NGO Monitor has obtained an official document from the British embassy in Tel Aviv, detailing a meeting with Peace Now activists in 1982. The document sheds light on how the UK government (which will eventually fund Peace Now) perceives the role of the NGO in Israeli society, and on the potential detrimental impact of foreign government funding for an Israeli movement.

This document comes in addition to a leaked EU document from 1999, revealing grants to the “Four Mothers” movement (250,000 Euros) and to Peace Now (400,000). The objectives of EU funding for Peace Now in the context of the 1999 general elections included “outreach” to immigrants from the former Soviet Union, “groups that traditionally have anti-peace views and vote Likud.”

Selected Quotes


“I think we need a little more time to consider whether there is anything we can do to nourish “Peace Now”….British funds would probably act like a weed-killer; but sponsored visits (perhaps by members of the Knesset who support the movement) could be a possibility”

Inability to gain support- Oriental Jews

Summary of conversation with Gary Brenner (Member of Mapam and Kibutz Movement):

  • “The second problem was that it was impossible psychologically for Israelis with their large reserve army to fight and make peace at the same time. Every outbreak of hostilities or terrorist action was a temporary reverse to Peace Now. A lesser problem was the name of the movement: “Peace Now” had unfortunately the connotation of peace at any price. They had tried to alter it, but this was impossible”
  • “I asked where Peace Now drew its support. How were they doing among the Sepharadic/Oriental community? Brenner admitted that Peace Now was almost wholly Ashkenanzi and that its supporters were for the most part middle class intellectuals, tough they also included surprising number of reserve officers.”
  • “Peace Now was trying but had made very little ground among Sephardic Jews. The problem was that the Oriental community was very largely preoccupied with day to day consideration such as where the next meal was coming from. They gave little taught to issues such as peace with the Arabs. Peace now was trying to educate them on the basis of self-interest. Apart from pointing out the economic cost of the war, they were drawing attention to the extent which government funds were being diverted away from development towns to make possible to spread of settlements in the West Bank.”
  • “The other Peace now Representative, Tami Yarkoni, added that until recently Oriental Jews had been at the bottom of the pile in Israel. Now they had the Arabs underneath them, and they enjoyed the feeling

Additional Quotes

  • “Finally, Brenner was rather scornful about the ‘trauma’ of Yamit. He said that the drama had been carefully created by the government…
  • “There is much in the Peace Now platform which to British eyes, makes good sense. But we should not delude ourselves that it appeals to more than a small fraction of Israeli opinion as things now stand…”