Jerusalem, Israel — January 23, 2019 — A comprehensive report released today by the Ministry of Strategic Affairs (MSA) revealed that contrary to declared European Union policy and previous statements by EU Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini, the EU has continued to transfer millions of euros in 2017-2018 to NGOs which promote boycotts of Israel.
The report follows an earlier in-depth study published by the Ministry of Strategic Affairs in May 2018 regarding EU funding for Israel-boycott organizations during 2016. At that time, Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan urged Mogherini to immediately cease the transfer of funds to these organizations. In response, the EU foreign minister replied that there were strict monitoring and verification procedures in place, assuring Minister Erdan that no European Union funds were being used to promote boycotts of Israel.
Minister Erdan instructed his ministry to expand its examination of EU data published during 2017-2018, and found that despite Mogherini’s statements, and contrary to official European Union policy of opposing boycotts, more than €5 million in funding was transferred to ten organizations promoting boycotts against the State of Israel.
The MSA report also found that two of the most prominent Israel-boycott organizations, Al-Haq and Al-Mezan, were awarded a multiyear grant of over €750,000 from the EU which apparently began in 2018.
These findings align with the findings of a recent report by the European Court of Auditors (ECA), the European Union’s financial-audit body, which identified significant shortcomings in the EU’s ability to monitor funds transferred to the numerous organizations receiving EU aid. The ECA warned that the European Union lacks sufficient information and transparency as to how these funds were distributed or spent.
In light of the findings of the updated MSA report, Minister Erdan addressed Foreign Minister Mogherini in a letter, emphasizing the need to end the duality of EU policy which, on the one hand, officially opposes boycotts against the State of Israel, and on the other, supporting boycott organizations. “In December 2018, the European Court of Auditors… warned that the European Council does not have adequate and sufficiently detailed information as these NGOs use these funds”, and called on the European Union to “Immediately end funding for NGOs which actively promote a boycott of Israel.”
Minster Erdan said that in light of the report’s findings, “The time has come for the EU to begin a deep reexamination of its policies. Instead of hiding behind empty statements, the European Union needs to implement its own declared policy and immediately cease funding organizations that promote boycotts against the State of Israel.”