In May 2018, Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs released a damning report, titled “The Money Trail,” which linked European Union funding schemes with groups and entities virulently hostile to Israel. According to the report, the EU funded fourteen European and Palestinian nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that advocated boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel and otherwise engaged in efforts to delegitimize the Jewish State. Even worse, some of these NGOs had direct ties to terrorist organizations like Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Both groups are recognized by the United States, Canada and the EU as terrorist organizations.
Three of the NGOs, Norwegians People’s Aid (NPA), Al-Haq, and The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights were cited by the ministry’s report for having direct ties to either Hamas or the PFLP or both. Both Hamas and the PFLP have been responsible for carrying out numerous terrorist attacks against civilians. In 2018, the NPA had been fined $2 million by the U.S Department of Justice for its links to terrorist groups.
The exhaustive report, which was based on publicly available data, alleged that in 2016 (data for 2017 was either unavailable or incomplete) European taxpayers forked up at least 5 million euro ($5.85M) to fund these anti-Semitic NGOs but that figure could be substantially higher given that some European nations also provide direct funding thus resulting in a double funding scenario. Israel’s strategic affairs minister, Gilad Erdan, delivered the report to the EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini with the aim of alerting her to the problem and remedying it.
Mogherini response to Erdan’s report was both disingenuous and contradictory. She asserted that the EU opposes boycotts and delegitimization efforts against Israel but in the same breath stated that the fact that these groups subscribe to the anti-Semitic BDS ideology does not disqualify them from funding. Thus, Mogherini is expressly acknowledging that the EU is funding organizations that work at cross-purposes with EU goals and objectives. Mogherini also claimed that assertions that these NGOs had links to terrorist groups were “vague and unsubstantiated.” Mogherini either failed to read the report or deliberately ignored incontrovertible evidence linking at least three of the NGOs to terrorist organizations.
In response to Mogherini’s denials and objections, Erdan said that he would gladly present his findings to EU officials in Brussels but it would likely have little effect on the EU’s pedantic bureaucrats. Mogherini and her EU cohorts appear unwilling or unable to come to terms with the fact that for years the EU has been complicit in promoting a pernicious ideology, one incongruent with the EU’s proclaimed democratic and pluralistic ideals. Even worse, it has been complicit in promoting terrorism against Jews by funding groups with direct links to internationally recognized terrorist organizations.
At best, Mogherini’s curt dismissal of the report’s findings can be attributed to a psychological phenomenon known as cognitive dissonance, a disorder that prevents the brain from processing an inherent wrong. Years of doing things the wrong way hardens views and contributes to an abject inability to change trajectories. But there may be something more malevolent lurking beyond the benign psychological explanation given for Mogherini’s dissonance. Her refusal to accept Erdan’s findings should be viewed in the wider context of what is currently occurring in supposedly enlightened Europe.
It is no secret that Western Europe has seen a surge in antisemitism in recent years. This is in no small part due to the influx of Muslim migrants from all parts of the globe who have flooded the continent. A Pew poll suggests that among the migrant population, there is a near 100 percent prevalence in anti-Semitic attitudes. Attitudes toward Jews among Muslims who are already citizens of their European host countries are only marginally better.
These toxic attitudes have been transformed into criminal action in the form of assaults, arson and murder. All across Western Europe, Jews have been relentlessly subjected to Islamist inspired attacks. In response, European nations have increased security but have done little else to stem the hate-crime wave. Western European courts have routinely and inexplicably downplayed the Islamist and anti-Semitic component of these attacks. For example, an attack against a Jewish owned restaurant in Amsterdam, in which the restaurant’s windows were smashed, was treated as a case of simple vandalism despite the fact that the Syrian attacker invoked Islamist slogans, held aloft a Palestinian flag, and trampled on an Israeli flag while engaging in his orgy of hate. In other instances, courts have attributed Islamist-inspired, anti-Semitic hate crimes to mental illness. This was the court’s ruling in the case of a Jewish Parisian doctor who was beaten and thrown from her balcony to her death while her attacker chanted AllahuAkbar.
In this context, Mogherini’s dismissive response to the Israeli report becomes more understandable. She is merely reiterating a position so prevalent and ingrained among Western European governments; that in the interests of multiculturalism, diversity and plurality, antisemitism and Judeophobia is an acceptable form of expression.
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