EAPPI, the World Council of Churches’ flagship project on Israel and the Arab-Israel conflict, has brought 1,800 volunteers to the West Bank to “witness life under occupation.” The World Council of Churches does not run similar activities in other conflict zones. By singling out Israel, EAPPI embodies antisemitism, as defined in the International Holocaust Remembrance Association’s working definition.
Despite marketing itself as a human rights and protection program, EAPPI places significant emphasis on political advocacy before, during, and after the trip. When volunteers return to their home countries and churches, they engage in anti-Israel advocacy, such as BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns and comparing Israel to apartheid South Africa and Nazi Germany.
Participants are selected by country-specific non-governmental organizations (NGOs) known as “National Coordinators.” The National Coordinators are also active in BDS and other delegitimization campaigns against Israel.
EAPPI receives funding from a variety of sources, including the WCC and National Coordinators. Funding from different governments is directed to EAPPI through the National Coordinators and via UNICEF.
EAPPI contributes to a UN “Working Group” consisting of a number of UN agencies and NGOs that collaborate on and coordinate politicized anti-Israel campaigns in the West Bank. In this capacity, EAPPI does “a lot of administrative work which is fed into UN systems.”
EAPPI partners with a number of political NGOs in the region, including groups that support BDS campaigns against Israel and/or that accuse Israel of “war crimes.”
The significant problems with EAPPI, as laid out in this report, should be seen in light of the antisemitism1 and demonization that emerges from EAPPI’s parent body (World Council of Churches), partners, and affiliated staff.
To the donor governments – Act immediately to broadly reevaluate funding to EAPPI, in order to ensure that these funds are not misused to promote antisemitism, BDS, and lawfare, and/or to fuel the conflict. Donor governments must develop and implement transparent funding guidelines that are accountable to the public.
To the Israeli government – The Israeli government should develop a consistent, fact-based policy to deal with “delegimization” campaigns, which it defines as a strategic threat. It should engage in critical dialogue with the government donors, as well as with the churches involved with EAPPI.
To the WCC– If it desires to improve its image in Israel and with the global Jewish community, the WCC should not promote an ideology that denies Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish State and/or that discriminates against Christian supporters of Israel....