T. Belman. You would think that since NGO’s backing BDS in Israel receive $45 million dollars, most of it from the EU, per year, that the government of Israel would fund Zionist NGO’s or a hasbara campaign to defend Israel in like amount. Unfortunately it gives nothing.
Foreign governments are heavily involved in funding organizations directly or indirectly involved in BDS campaigns, NGO Monitor report finds • EU the largest donor, followed by Norway • Report urges legal measures to bolster transparency.
The EU is the biggest donor to NGOs involved in Israeli-Palestinian conflict [Illustrative]
Foreign governments donated some 105 million shekels ($27 million) to 24 nongovernmental organizations involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict between 2012 and 2014, according to a new report by Jerusalem-based research institute NGO Monitor.
According to the report, which was released Monday, the donations were made by foreign governments both directly and indirectly, and “comprise roughly 60 percent of the NIS 176 million [$45 million] reported by 75 Israeli non-profit associations and corporations for the public benefit during that time.”
The report found that the European Union was the largest donor to the NGOs during the reported period, with 17.65 million shekels ($4.5 million), followed by Norway, which donated 13.3 million shekels ($3.4 million).
The report noted that NGOs are obligated to disclose their finances by the Law on Disclosure Requirements for [Groups] Supported by a Foreign Governmental Body, enacted in 2011 as part of the Transparency Law. The law demands that groups disclose the grants’ objectives, and according to the report, many NGOs noted “security forces investigation,” “popular action,” “international activity,” “legal action,” and “general support” as their goals.
Among the groups to comply with the financial disclosure directives were B’Tselem, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, HaMoked: Center for the Defense of the Individual, the Geneva Initiative, Yesh Din — Volunteers for Human Rights, the Coalition of Women for Peace, MachsomWatch — Women against the Occupation and for Human Rights, the Adalah Legal Center, the Mossawa Center, Rabbis for Human Rights, Physicians for Human Rights — Israel, and the Alternative Information Center, to name a few.
NGO Monitor noted that some of these groups “are directly or indirectly involved in BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) campaigns, lawfare, delegitimization, and lobbying against the State of Israel.”
Professor Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor, was quoted on the website as saying the Transparency Law “strengthens the central democratic principle of transparency, and sheds light on the processes through which foreign governments channel funds to selected Israeli civil society organizations.”
“The real-time information provided by this legal framework enables the Israeli public to have a fact-based and informed public debate regarding the involvement of foreign governments in the Israeli public discourse. Over the past few years, more and more NGOs have begun submitting reports disclosing their foreign government funders,” said Steinberg.
The report also found that not all NGOs had complied with the law in previous years, and urged the Justice Ministry and the Registrar of Associations to increase their enforcement against organizations that regularly receive foreign funding and fail to properly report it.