‘BDS’ BRIEFLY DEFINED
GOVERNMENT FUNDING ENTANGLED IN CHURCH BDS EFFORTS
NGOs that promote BDS and their governmental patrons:
Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center
Governments providing funds to Sabeel:
NETHERLANDS: The Dutch government grants hundreds of millions of euros annually to Dutch church-based aid organizations such as Kerk in Aktie (KIA) and theInterchurch Organization for Development Cooperation(ICCO). In turn, these groups disburse these funds to NGOs around the world, including Sabeel.
SWEDEN: The Swedish government’s International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) has been providing substantial aid to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza since 2000. In 2008, these areas received SEK 455 million (~$59 million, over 70% of the Middle East and North Africa [MENA] budget). Much of this aid is funneled through Diakonia, Sweden’s largest humanitarian NGO.
CANADA: The Canadian government’s Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) provided $44.6 million to the Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (Development et paix) for the five year period 2006 to 2011, some of which has been donated to Sabeel. For the period 2011-2016, CIDA granted Development and Peace $14.5 million.
The Holy Land Trust
The Holy Land Trust (HLT) is a signatory to the 2005 “Palestinian Civil Society Call for BDS” and supports theKairos Palestine document. Similar to Sabeel, HLT conducts highly politicized tours to the region targetingchurch leaders and the international community, claiming to provide “cross cultural and experimental learning opportunities in both Palestine and Israel.” HLT’s influence is felt in churches across the globe.
Governments providing funds to Holy Land Trust:
NETHERLANDS: Cordaid (Catholic Organisation for Relief and Development) received more than €4 million from the Dutch government in 2009. Almost half, €1.7 million, was spent in Israel and the PA. Despite a lack of transparency, NGO Monitor’s research shows that theHoly Land Trust received Cordaid funding.
UNITED KINGDOM: The British government granted to HLT £15,000 in 2010-2011. The government’s Middle East and North Africa Conflict Pool (MENA CP) provided £10,000, and £5000 was provided by the Bilateral Program Budget, managed through the British Embassy in Tel Aviv or Consulate in Jerusalem.
EUROPEAN UNION: In 2009, the European Commission (EC) via the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) granted € 198,380 to HLT for the production of a TV Series on Human Rights (HR). In 2005, the EC via its Partnership for Peace Program granted €156,543 to HLT for the “Empowering citizen peace building” program whose purpose is to provide “training” in “nonviolence.” According to news reports, participants attended a “nonviolent Palestinian demonstration against the Wall and settlements.
World Council of Churches (WCC)
Governmental funding of the World Council of Churches
THE KAIROS PALESTINE DOCUMENT: