By Ari Yashar
First Published: 6/2/2015, 7:48 PM
The Jerusalem-based research institute NGO Monitor on Tuesday released a detailed analysis of how Catholic charity NGOs operating in Israel are propping up political campaigns to delegitimize and economically attack Israel.
Focusing on the period from 2008 and 2014, the analysis found that 7.4 million euros (approximately $8.2 million) were allocated by ten Catholic charities to 37 NGOs that feature an extreme anti-Israel bent and take part in the BDS movement to boycott the Jewish state.
The Catholic charities included Caritas Internationalis as well as Caritas members in the UK, US, the Netherlands, Canada, France and Ireland, as well as three other groups in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.
“In the Arab-Israeli context, Catholic aid charities distribute funds to NGOs that enflame conflict, dehumanize Israelis, and delegitimize Israel,” said NGO Monitor’s chief programs officer Yitzhak Santis.
According to Santis, “this funding is contrary to the powerful message sent by Pope Francis during his visit in May 2014, of the Vatican’s recognition of the right of the Jewish people to sovereign equality in a state of their own.”
So where do the Catholic aid charities get their funding from to be distributed to these politicized NGOs?
NGO Monitor revealed that a majority of the budgets come from various governments, with most of them being European. In this way taxpayer dollars and euros are funneled by the Catholic aid societies not to humanitarian NGOs to provide assistance as they were earmarked for, but rather to politicized organizations using their funds to delegitimize and attack Israel.
The radical NGOs include Zochrot, Coalition for Women for Peace (CWP), as well as Breaking the Silence, which uses unverifiable anonymous “testimonies” to delegitimize Israel and claim war crimes charges against it.
Zochrot has gone on record supporting a “one state” solution consisting of a “de-Zionized Palestine,” and got a full 35% of its budget from the Catholic organizations between 2012 and 2015.
CWP is a leader of the global BDS movement calling to boycott Israel, and its officials took part in an event in which they flew flags of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization.
“Last week Pope Francis was quoted as saying that ‘anyone who does not recognize the Jewish people and the State of Israel – and their right to exist – is guilty of anti-Semitism,'” recalled Santiz.
He concluded, “the Pope’s statement is fundamentally correct. NGO Monitor urges the Vatican to act on the Pope’s words by calling upon Catholic aid agencies to cease funding those NGOs that are working to delegitimize Israel and deny the Jewish people the right to sovereign equality.”