NGO-Monitor report: EU continues transferring millions for anti-Israel activity

Grants allotted by the European Union between 2019-2020 in the fields of human rights were transferred to Israeli and Palestinian non-governmental organizations involved in the demonization of Israel and the dissemination of antisemitism, a new NGO Monitor report has found

These organizations, among others, are affiliated with the terrorist group the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and are actively engaged in efforts to influence Israeli democracy. The grants they received were transferred before the EU decided in December of last year to withhold funds from groups if they are affiliated with terrorist groups and activities. The Palestinians protested the decision, and it wasn't clear whether the EU elected to absolve the Palestinians of this stipulation.

According to the NGO Monitor report, in 2019 the EU earmarked 32 grants worth 30.1 million euros (around $35.7 million) for projects listed under "Palestine," and nine additional grants worth 3.3 million euros (around $3.9 million) for projects listed under "Israel." Three grants worth 5.8 million euros (around $6.9 million) were transferred to organizations with documented ties to the PFLP, which is designated as a terrorist organization by the EU. According to previous NGO Monitor reports, this funding is additional to the 31.2 million euros (around $37 million) the EU approved in the years 2008-2011 for organizations with ties to the PFLP.

Seven grants were earmarked for projects supposedly "advancing peace" or "protecting human rights." On the ground, however, the Palestinian organizations that received the funding spread antisemitic conspiracy theories and glorify violence. 

In February 2020, for example, the head of the Land Research Center, Jamal Talab, who received a 3.3 million euro (around $3.9 million) grant, publicly asked: "How many times will Palestinian Christ be crucified by rogue Jews on religions and humanity!?"

Seven grants worth 11.8 million euros (nearly $14 million) were earmarked projects in Jerusalem, some of which sought to promote the EU's strategic plan aimed at "sustain[ing] the presence of the Palestinian population and protect[ing the Palestinian identity of the city." One of these projects was meant to "protect Islamic and Christian Waqf religious and cultural heritage properties against Israeli violations and threats."

At least three grants worth 1 million euros (some $1.2 million) in total were allotted to Israeli organizations for the purpose of influencing democratic processes regarding controversial issues. For example, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Human Rights Defenders Fund, and the Movement for Freedom of Information received 300,000 euros ($356,000) to "enhance the democratic foundations of Israel through accountable, transparent, inclusive and participatory governance and respect for human rights." 

Molad, another Israeli NGO, received 600,000 euros ($711,000) to "promote conditions for a negotiated settlement of the conflict based on the two-state solution, by shifting prevailing attitudes and stances of a key constituency in Israeli society."

The vast majority of funding for Israeli organizations claiming to champion human rights was designated for initiatives related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (six out of nine grants, totaling 2.47 million euros (around $2.9 million). This indicates that the EU views the issue of human rights strictly through the prism of the conflict, and not as an objective evaluation of a challenge that requires attention. In 2019, save for a handful of exceptions, the EU didn't earmark any funding to defend the rights of Israeli citizens or to combat violations of Palestinian human rights perpetrated by the Palestinian Authority. 

Olga Deutsch, the vice president at NGO Monitor, said: "Our analysis highlights the political manner in which the EU chooses its partners and the projects that promote policy in the region. We would like to hope that the EU and other donor governments show more caution and promise that they aren't promoting radical agendas, such as support for organizations with terrorist affiliations, sustaining the Palestinian narrative in regards to Jerusalem, or attempts to intervene in internal Israeli matters. These instances are destructive and are already affecting the sensitive relationship between the EU and Israel."

Source: mida