Jerusalem - 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, concluded an NGO Monitor report issued today. The report provides comprehensive and detailed evidence of the use and/or misuse of official Spanish funds, including regional governments.
The analysis, 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 on the faculty of Bar Ilan University.
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 (€5 million to Israeli and Palestinian NGOs, and €10 million to Spanish NGOs). Among the groups were
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 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 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."
NGO Monitor (www.ngo-monitor.org), based in Jerusalem, provides information and analysis, promotes accountability, and supports discussion on the activities of NGOs (non-governmental organizations) involved in Middle East politics and human rights affairs.
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