Israel calls on the EU to end funding of pro-boycott groups
25. May 2018
Updated: May 25, 2018 7:12 am
Photo: Jacques Brinon, AP
JERUSALEM (AP) – Israel has called on the European Union on Friday to stop funding more than a dozen European and Palestinian non-governmental organizations boycotted Israel and Says that the financial support violates the declared policy of the EU, that it rejects boycotts against the Jewish state.
Israel's Ministry of Strategic Affairs released a report listing a list of EU-funded groups Receive funds and demand boycotts against Israel. It was said some of the groups had ties to militant groups while receiving EU funds.
The report was Israel's last salvo in the fight against a global movement calling for boycotts, expulsions and sanctions for their treatment of Palestinians. The movement, known as BDS, has urged companies, artists and universities to break ties with Israel and include thousands of volunteers around the world.
Supporters of the movement say tactics are a non-violent way to promote the Palestinian cause. Israel says the campaign goes beyond the occupation of its territory, which the Palestinians claim for their state, and often obfuscates a broader goal of delegitimizing or destroying the Jewish state.
"The State of Israel expects full transparency from the EU, and will reveal the scope of its financial assistance to organizations that have ties to terrorism and promote boycotts against Israel," the report said. "Israel urges the EU to put into practice its stated policy of rejecting boycotts against Israel and to stop immediately the funding of organizations promoting anti-Israel boycotts and delegitimization."
EU officials said Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini received the Israeli report along with a letter asking for an answer, which is now under consideration. The officials spoke under the condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to speak to the media.
Earlier, an EU statement said the bloc was "glad to review relevant information on EU-funded activities."
The EU budget may be spent only for the purpose for which it was issued under strict transparency rules and is subject to extensive monitoring requirements. "
Israel said NGOs received a total of 5 million euros in 2016, the last year for which data were available, according to the ministry report.
It accused some NGOs of having links with Palestinian militant groups , among others, Norwegian People's Aid, which received more than 1.7 million euros ($ 2 million) in 2016, claiming the group had ties to militant Palestinian groups.
The US Department of Justice announced in April that the group had reached an agreement with the United States on allegations that it had provided "training and expert advice or support" for the Islamic militant Hamas group that governs the Gaza Strip, as well as for other militant groups of the Gaza Strip Palestinians and Iran As part of the settlement, the NPA accepted responsibility for its behavior and agreed to pay more than $ 2 million
NPA leader Henriette Killi Westhrin said the US government interprets the participation of individuals on their list of banned national groups "in training sessions or meetings on human rights and democracy as material support".
"We disagree with this interpretation, but accept the agreement to avoid a more costly legal process," it said.
The US, together with the EU, considers Hamas, a group targeting civilians in suicide bombing and other attacks as a terrorist organization
Other groups highlighted in the report on Friday were the British organization War on Want, the Dutch anti-war movement PAX group, and a number of Palestinian groups, including PNGO Net, an umbrella organization working to coordinate Palestinian civil society.
Munjid Abu Jaish of PNGO Net called the Friday report "another Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people and their institutions."
"We will continue our legal nonviolent struggle under international law, regardless of the outcome, because we follow this path believe, "he said.
The call for The EU is taking further steps Israel has taken to step up its fight against the boycott movement. Earlier this year, Israel identified 20 activist groups from around the world whose members are not allowed to enter because of their demands to boycott the Jewish state.
For its part, the EU has recommended that its member states apply special labels to exports from Israeli settlements in the West Bank. It no longer has a ban on settlement products, but they do not receive the same tax exemptions that Israeli-made products receive.
The EU has reaffirmed its citizens' freedom to demand a boycott of Israel, but emphasized that The body rejected any boycott of Israel.
In the years since its founding, the BDS movement has moved several church organizations to separate themselves from Israeli investments and obtain support from US universities. Recently, pop singer Lorde joined a number of other artists who have canceled their performances in Israel under pressure from BDS activists.
Nevertheless, a whole series of other musicians have opposed boycott calls and occurred. Israel has made new economic partnerships and diplomatic relations despite boycott calls and has become a top destination for international sporting and cultural events. Earlier this month, Israel was the first non-European country to hold the stages of the Giro d & # 39; Italia.