NGO Monitor's "was sent to officials in Diakonia and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). Diakonia responded that they would provide no comment; SIDA did not reply."
Diakonia is Sweden’s largest humanitarian NGO, receiving most of its budget from the Swedish government. Some of the organization’s programs appear to be genuine and important humanitarian projects. Diakonia’s Civil Society and International Humanitarian Law (IHL) programs overtly promote the Palestinian narrative, and fuel the conflict. Attributes "structural problems" in the conflict solely to the "continuing of the occupation," the "building of the Wall," and "the fragmentation of the Palestinian territory." The IHL website promotes a so-called "right to resist" and delegitimizes Israel’s right to self defense.
* Diakonia is Sweden’s largest humanitarian NGO, founded in 1966 by five Swedish churches. It receives most of its budget from the Swedish government (SIDA, SEK 332 million, ~$47.2 million).
* By promoting a "right to resist" (meaning terrorism) and delegitimizing Israel’s right to self-defense, the Civil Society and International Humanitarian Law (IHL) programs exploit and misrepresent international law.
* The IHL Program’s International Advisory Council is populated almost entirely with PLO advisors, Palestinians, and anti-Zionist Jewish activists.
* While some of the organization’s programs appear to be genuine and important humanitarian projects, the vast majority of resources are devoted to political campaigns, including a submission to the Goldstone Commission vilifying Israel and delegitimizing its right to defend itself against rocket attacks.
* Diakonia’s repetition of the Palestinian position refers to the "continuing of the occupation," the "building of the Wall," and "the fragmentation of the Palestinian territory" as "structural problems” behind the conflict. The pre-1967 history of terror, war and rejection of Israel’s right to exist are erased.
* The tendentious international law activities, including the Humanitarian Policy & Law Forum at Harvard University, receive more funding than any other program related to the region, and represent the only such political example in Diakonia’s worldwide activities.
* Many of Diakonia’s partners (Alternative Information Center, Sabeel, Al Haq, Al Mezan) are among the most extreme anti-Israel NGOs operating the region, employing inflammatory and, at times, antisemitic rhetoric.
* Enactment of NGO Monitor’s recommendations will provide more balanced coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Diakonia will also better serve the interests of the Palestinians, who deserve real help, not radical posturing.
* This report was sent to officials in Diakonia and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). Diakonia responded that they would provide no comment; SIDA did not reply.
"Diakonia is more a lobby group with a clear political agenda for the Middle East than a Christian aid organization.... In one single month, October 2008, Diakonia sponsored 10 articles in the Swedish media, nine of which dealt with the world's only Jewish country." (Ilya Meyer, Equal value of all human life?, Jerusalem Post, December 6, 2008)
Read the full NGO Monitor report on Diakonia here
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