(/sites/default/files/uploads/2015/05/European_flag_in_Karlskrona_20111.jpg)The Guardian newspaper reported (May 13, 2015) that, “A high profile group of former European leaders and diplomats has called for the urgent reassessment of EU policy on the question of the Palestinian state and has insisted that Israel must be held accountable for its actions in the “occupied” territories.”
Hypocrisy is defined by the Webster dictionary as quackery, bad faith, bigotry, sham, charlatanry, lip service, among other examples. Each of these words aptly describes the conduct of the European Union (EU) in its dealing with Israel. One other word could be added to the list: deception.
The EU’s unquestionable support of radical Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and of the Palestinian Authority (PA) encourages Palestinian refusal to arrive at a reasonable and peaceful settlement with Israel. While the EU has been pressuring successive Israeli governments regarding peace negotiations with the Palestinians, the EU has consistently funded NGOs that work to delegitimize Israel through campaigns of Boycotts, Divestments, and Sanctions (BDS). An “industry of lies” manufactured by the Palestinians have been accepted by the EU’s media and academia, who have turned them into accepted “truths” and disseminated them widely among those in the European “street.” BDS is quite simply a form of political warfare that exploits the language of human rights and international law to promote the destruction of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.
It would be laughable, if it were not true, that the Europeans, who view themselves as the leading force of progressivism in the world, are supporting Palestinian Arab Muslim organizations that are intolerant. The Palestinian regimes (Hamas or the PA) violate the very spirit of progressivism by their oppression of minorities, discrimination against non-Muslims and non-Arabs, persecution of homosexuals and lesbians, repression of females, denial of freedom of expression, and consistent abuses of human rights and religious freedom in both Gaza and the West Bank. Moreover, the PA and Hamas, with funding from European and American NGOs and governments, support an educational system that teaches its young to hate their Jewish neighbors, and teaches that, in time, the Jews will be eradicated from “Palestine” (Israel). The EU has ignored this incitement and intolerance towards Israel, Jews, Christians, Americans, and Europeans that is so widely prevalent in the PA educational system, media, and mosques.
While the Europeans openly reject any expression of discrimination, including anti-Semitism and the EU’s official policy is to oppose BDS, EU member states have complied with this notoriously anti-Semitic movement. According to the BDS website (October 20, 2014): “The Israeli Air Force has been removed from the list of armed forces now taking part in multinational military training exercises on the Italian island of Sardinia following a campaign by anti-war activists.”
According to the Investigative Project on Terrorism (July 18, 2014), “For seven years now, the EU has paid regular salaries to Palestinian terrorists serving time in Israeli prisons for murder. The way it works is simple: the more Jews each terrorist murdered, the harsher the sentence; the harsher the sentence, the higher the pay. It is a repulsive system, rewarding Jew-killers for the lives they take, and paying financial reward to terrorism.”
Professor Gerald Steinberg, head of the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor, said, “The EU’s highly disproportionate funding for NGOs through the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), allocated over 11 million Euros in Israel and the PA, which represents 57% of EIDHR’s funding directed at the Middle East, while projects in Syria, Iraq, Iran, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE are largely ignored by such EU frameworks.”
The Dutch government is funding the Electronic Intifada whose vocal leader Ali Abunimah is a strong opponent of the two-state solution, and is advancing the idea of a “one-state solution,” an idea that most of the EU rejects, not to mention all Israelis. The one-state solution is simply a formula for the destruction of the Jewish state.
The governments of Sweden and the Netherlands also support the Ramallah (PA capital) based NGO, Al-Haq. Al-Haq, which purports to be an international human rights organization, is an active supporter of the BDS campaign against Israel, and advocates for the Palestinian “right of return,” another code-word for the destruction of the Jewish state. The NDC (NGO Development Center), also a Ramallah-based foundation, is engaged in political action that includes funding BDS campaigns and the “right of the return” movement, and donates millions of dollars to Palestinian and Israeli anti-Israel NGOs. The NDC receives its funding from the World Bank, France, and a number of EU states.
Sweden is a major funder of anti-Israel NGOs, including Sabeel, a Jerusalem based Arab-Christian group, which works closely with mainline Protestant groups in Europe and the USA, and likes to equate “Jesus’ suffering with that of the Palestinians.” In 2008, Sweden contributed substantially to the “Sabeel’s Nakba Memory program.” Sweden is also the main supporter of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), which similarly received funding from the EU instrument (EIDHR) to the tune of 293,225 Euros in 2005. PCHR is a leader in the “lawfare” strategy – which exploits the universal jurisdiction of International Court of Justice by bringing cases against Israeli officials for alleged “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity,” – all of which fuels the conflict.
An additional EU instrument for the distribution of funds to NGOs is the Partnership for Peace (PfP), which operates under the framework of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. It contracts with NGOs in Israel, Jordan and the PA, with a budget of 5-10 million Euros, according to NGO-Monitor. The ostensible mission of the PfP is to “Provide a solid foundation at civil society level for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East by strengthening and increasing direct civil society relationship and cooperation based on equality and reciprocity between Palestinian/Arabs and Israelis, including Arab-Palestinian minority in Israel.” EU funding of NGOs from the “Palestinian minority in Israel” includes groups such as Adalah and Mossawa, which support the Palestinian political agenda including a “one state solution” which is inimical to peace and inconsistent with the EU claim of supporting peace.
Whether by omission or commission, the lack of transparency and accountability of the funding provided by the EU to NGOs involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict is worrisome. To remedy the problem, the EU should address concerns regarding the role of individual, political, and ideological biases in the EU funding decisions of NGOs involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Better yet, if the EU was sincere about achieving peace and accommodation between Israel and the Palestinians, it should demand from the PA government, as a condition for receiving its funds, the immediate ending of the vicious incitement to violence against Israel and Jews that permeates the Palestinian society. Instead of allocating funds to radical NGOs seeking to undermine the two-state solution, and the Jewish state, the EU should provide funding for non-partisan and non-ideological NGOs that would monitor and assist in promoting human rights, religious freedom, and democratic development in the PA controlled areas, where it is so sorely needed.
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