Spanish Gov't Funding Anti-Israel NGOs, Finds New Report
The Spanish government provided funding between 2009 and 2011 to political NGOs leading the campaigns to delegitimize Israel through demonization, boycotts, lawfare and other forms of political attacks, according to an NGO Monitor report issued on Tuesday.
The report provides comprehensive and detailed evidence of the use and/or misuse of official Spanish funds, including regional governments.
The analysis, entitled "Assessing Transparency, Accountability, and Impact on Israel", issued in Spanish and English, was written by Soeren Kern and Prof. Gerald M. Steinberg. Kern is an analyst at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group; Steinberg is President of the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor and is a faculty member at the Bar Ilan University.
The report finds that between 2009 and 2011, approximately €15 million in Spanish government and regional funds were transferred to political advocacy NGOs promoting the boycott-divestment-sanctions (BDS) campaigns. Of these, €5 million were transferred to Israeli and Palestinian Authority-based NGOs, and €10 million were transferred to Spanish NGOs.
Among the groups that received the funding were, according to NGO Monitor:
The radical Popular Struggle Coordination Committee whose "resistance" activities often become violent confrontations;
The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), which promotes the demonization of Israel, supports boycotts and divestment campaigns and led the "Jewish Boat to Gaza" action;
Asociación Europea de Cooperación con Palestina (ADECOP) in Málaga, which is active in Spain's BDS movement against Israel. Its actions included a boycott of Israeli cosmetics;
Asociación para la Cooperación con el Sur Las Segovias (ACSUR) in Madrid, which promotes institutional, commercial, cultural, sports and academic boycotts of Israel.
"The process through which the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) chooses projects is severely deficient," Prof. Steinberg explained. "Similarly, the levels of transparency and accountability for the NGOs funded by Spain's federal, regional and municipal bodies are often highly inadequate. Information on funding programs is opaque, and the supervisory mechanism to audit and evaluate the programs is woefully insufficient."
Last week, NGO Monitor presented a report to members of the European Parliament which details the damaging impact of highly secretive European Union funding for radical political advocacy Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).
The organization found that EU funds are going to organizations involved in anti-Israel boycotts and violent demonstrations, which undermine the EU's efforts to secure peace in the Middle East.
Prof. Steinberg recently told Arutz Sheva in an interview that the EU has refused to respond to questions about the funding that it provides to anti-Israel NGOs, choosing only to comment that it “funds projects and not organizations.”
He noted that the United States, which has also funded anti-Israeli groups, has agreed to cut off funding to such groups.
“The Americans are much more serious about their obligation to ensure that their funding is not being used for precisely the opposite of the purposes which they claim to support,” he added.