Research by the NGO Monitor has revealed the German government provides millions of euros to political advocacy NGOs in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.
The money is channeled through a variety of frameworks, including German federal funding programs of the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the German Federal Foreign Office, government-funded church aid, and independent development NGOs.
According to the research, German federal funding is allocated to, among others, organizations that promote anti-Israel BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns, and “lawfare” campaigns, anti-Zionism, a “one-state” vision, anti-Semitism, and violence.
One NGO, PASSIA, receives direct government funding from Germany through the German public-benefit federal enterprise GIZ and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, a political foundation affiliated with the Social Democratic Party (SPD).
In a publication funded by Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, PASSIA calls the wave of stabbings that began in October 2015 a “youth uprising” and refers to “Palestinian martyr, Baha Eleyan” as an example. Eleyan was one of two murderers to board a bus in Jerusalem in October 2015 armed with a gun and a knife, murdering three and injuring seven.
According to Prof. Gerald Steinberg, President of NGO Monitor, “German funding to organizations like B’Tselem and Breaking the Silence is a small part of the problem; the government also provides money to radical organizations that delegitimize the right of the Jewish people to sovereign equality.
“This controversy is an opportunity to hold a serious dialogue between elected officials to solve the problems arising from the paralleled European links with Israeli political groups and NGOs.”
In addition, the German government funds, directly and indirectly, a number of organizations with alleged ties the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a designated terrorist organization by the EU, US, Canada, and Israel.
For example, the Palestinian NGO Al-Haq has been receiving direct German government funding since 2013, as well as indirect funding through the German-funded NGO Medico International (MI). Al-Haq’s General Director, Shawan Jabarin, has alleged ties to the PFLP and as such has been denied exit visas by Israel and Jordan, the NGO Monitor revealed.
MI also funds the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), a Palestinian NGO that was founded in 1968 by members of the PFLP and is an official PFLP “affiliate.” UAWC was identified by USAID as the agricultural arm of the PFLP.
A German-funded project on “strengthening non-violent initiatives” (2013-2016) also involved the Palestinian NGO Popular Struggle Coordination Committees (PSCC). PSCC board member Manal Tamimi has promoted terrorism, violence, and virulent antisemitic rhetoric and imagery, as well as using Nazi and Holocaust rhetoric on her Twitter account.
NGO Monitor has informed the German federal program of these issues surrounding its project with PSCC. Although there was no government response, PSCC no longer appears as a partner.
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