Israel’s Minister of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy (MSA), Gilad Erdan, has urged HR/VP Federica Mogherini to immediately cease EU funding to NGOs with ties to terrorist organizations and Israel boycotts. The request comes after last week’s release of an MSA report outlining how European Union institutions are providing some five million euros in aid annually to these organizations.
Minister Erdan emphasized in the letter: “European Union funding for organizations that promote BDS, as well as other forms of anti-Israel delegitimization such as attempts to have Israeli officials arrested abroad, not only harms the EU-Israel relationship, but also undermines the chances for peace. Boycotts drive people apart and encourage hostility, thereby making it more difficult to create the conditions for a viable peace based on mutual acceptance.”
The letter went on to call for three measures. The first is to end EU funding to organizations which actively promote all forms of BDS against Israel or Israeli entities, until they cease such activity. The second is for the requirement of third-party NGOs which receive EU funding to undertake not funding BDS activity against Israel or Israeli entities. The third is to practice full transparency regarding all EU funds which go to organizations which support anti-Israel boycotts.
Examples from last week’s report include the NGO Norwegian People’s Aid, Palestinian Center for Human Rights, and Al-Haq, all of which have ties to internationally recognized terrorist organizations such as Hamas, the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine, or both. These findings raise the concern that European taxpayer money is being used to maintain ties with EU-designated terrorist organizations.
Minister Erdan stated: “I expect the European Union and its member states to uphold their declared policy of opposing anti-Israel boycotts. In the coming months, my ministry will reveal information showing that, in addition to the funds given by the EU itself, EU member states are funding organizations promoting boycotts against Israel as well. Our goal is to bring this funding to an end.”