According to an NGO Monitor report issued on Monday, between 2017 and 2019, 35 anti-Israel NGOs received a total of NIS 319,466,917 ($95.7 million) in donations, 58% of which ($55.5 million) came from foreign governments through direct and indirect funding, and 42% ($40.1 million) from private donors.
Given the central role played by politicized NGOs in the public human rights discourse, transparency in NGO funding is required in order to support an informed debate (Analysis of NIS 320 million in grants to Israeli NGOs, annual reports 2017-2019). The group’s analysis presents all grants reported by the 35 Israeli NGOs receiving foreign government funding and involved in political advocacy, according to their annual financial reports for 2017-2019, which are the latest available. The data are listed according to the amount of the grant, the identity of the donor, and the source of the grant (private, governmental, or non-transparent / unclear).
- Of the 35 NGOs, 22 reported receiving more than 50% of their funding from foreign governments. Akevot (100%), Human Rights Defenders Fund (96.7%), and Emek Shaveh (92%) reporting receiving the highest shares of donations from foreign governments.
- Twenty-two different governmental and intergovernmental entities (including the EU and the UN) fund these 35 Israeli NGOs.
- Germany is the largest donor, providing NIS 43,636,794, followed by the European Union and the Netherlands.
- Of the NIS 134,079,909 in private funding provided to NGOs, the New Israel Fund (NIF) provides 16%, Sigrid Rausing Trust 10%, Open Society Institute 7%, Rockefeller Brothers Foundation 3%, the Galilee Foundation 3%, and the Moriah Fund 2%.
- 16.2% of the total funding (NIS 51,811,990) is donated by Christian groups (churches and Christian humanitarian aid organizations). Most of these institutions receive large sums of government funding, and in most instances, funding for Israeli NGOs is considered indirect government funding.
- A large percentage of the government-funded church bodies that disburse grants to the Israeli NGOs are themselves involved in anti-Israeli campaigns – including BDS, lawfare, and other delegitimization campaigns against Israel – and some engage in antisemitic rhetoric.
- In January 2021, B’Tselem launched a campaign labeling Israel an “apartheid” state and using antisemitic tropes, augmenting their advocacy for international sanctions against Israel. Its funders include: European Union, Spain, Denmark, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden (via NGO Development Center), Bread for the World (Germany), Christian Aid Ireland, DanChurchAid, Diakonia, Trocaire, and the United Nations.
- Israeli NGOs such as B’Tselem, Yesh Din, and Adalah have repeatedly made allegations and statements that support the International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation into alleged Israeli war crimes. (See NGO Monitor’s “The Role of Israeli NGOs in Supporting the International Criminal Court (ICC) ‘Investigation’.”) In addition, New Israel Fund (NIF), which provided NIS 4,063,396 to these three NGOs in 2017-2019, stated in February 2021 that it no longer believed “with 100%” certainty, that Israel maintained “an independent judicial system.”
According to the NGO Monitor report, there are two primary donor types:
- Foreign governments: Many Western countries promote human rights and humanitarian aid as part of their foreign policy. Funding officially designated for these purposes is channeled through embassies, foreign ministries, departments and ministries of international aid and development, consulates, and aid agencies and programs.
- Regional/international bodies: The EU and UN are fully funded by governments and also provide major funding for human rights and humanitarian aid, including generous grants to Israeli NGOs.
- Indirect government funding: Many governments budget hundreds of millions of euros annually for external bodies, including aid organizations, Christian groups, and various funds and foundations in order to promote human rights and humanitarian aid. In some European countries, these frameworks are fully funded by out of the state budget.
- Private foundations: Some non-profits that provide funds to NGOs have endowments, from which they disburse funds according to the stated objectives; in many cases, the foundations also serve as a conduit (or pass-through) for donations from private individuals.
- Private donors: Private individuals in Israel and abroad (including bequests) also directly donate to Israeli NGOs.
Funding to Israeli NGOs, 2017-2019 (amounts in NIS)
|Breaking the Silence||12,125,833||55.61%||9,680,067||44.39%||21,805,900|
|Coalition of Women for Peace||1,189,270||72.41%||453,132||27.59%||1,642,402|
|Combatants for Peace||1,190,024||33.44$||2,369,085||66.56%||3,559,109|
|Human Rights Defenders Fund||1,362,462||95.73%||60,831||4.27%||1,423,293|
|Negev Coexistence Forum||1,721,808||54.93%||1,412,729||45.07%||3,134,537|
|Parents Circle Families Forum||6,098,374||45.18%||7,398,312||54.82%||13,496,686|
|Physicians for Human Rights – Israel||10,942,000||41.70%||15,300,000||58.30%||26,242,000|
|Public Committee against Torture in Israel||4,303,224||83.57%||846,170||16.43%||5,149,394|
|Rabbis for Human Rights||1,885,149||17.92%||8,635,175||82.08%||10,520,324|
|The Social TV||1,700,334||47.92%||1,848,185||52.08%||3,548,519|