Israel has called out the European Union for continuing to finance the boycott movement against the country. The EU funneled millions of euros to organizations and activists running the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign between 2017 and 2018, a detailed report issued by the country’s Minister of Strategic Affairs revealed.

“Contrary to statements by EU Foreign Minister Federico Mogherini opposing Israel boycotts, [the report] reveals that funds continued to be transferred to organizations which promote boycotts against the State of Israel in 2017-2018,” Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs said in its press release Wednesday.

The findings fly in the face of repeated assurances given by the EU foreign policy chief Mogherini that Brussels was not involved in financing the BDS Movement. “We are confident that EU funding has not been used to support boycott of Israel or BDS activities and certainly not to finance terrorism,” she declared in July.

The report urged the EU to “stop funding of organizations promoting boycotts against the State of Israel, and stipulate that any future funding will be contingent on a commitment not to promote such boycotts.” It also asked Brussels to ensure that public “funds do not reach or benefit EU-designated terrorist groups in any way, including by halting funding to NGOs with connections to terror groups,” referring to the ideological and operational links between the BDS Movement in the West and the leading Palestinian terrorist organizations.

“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,” Israel’s Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan said responding to the findings of the report. “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.”

The EU handed out at least €5 million in funding to ten organizations promoting the boycott campaign against Israel, the data gathered between 2017 and 2018 show. In 2018, the two leading BDS organizations, Al-Haq and Al-Mezan, received taxpayer-funded grants to the tune of €750,000 from Brussels.

Legal Insurrection reviewed the 34-page report titled “The Money Trail”:

[The report] focuses on the financial support to ten NGOs active in promoting boycotts of Israel. The research presented covers direct financial aid to these organizations, regardless of the express purpose of the funding.

EU funds are being used by organizations to promote boycotts against Israel, even if the EU funding has been granted for projects not directly related to promoting boycotts, due to insufficient oversight and information gathering regarding the actual use of all funds. (…)

In addition to the FTS data [Financial Transparency System set up by the EU], this report identifies data from International Cooperation and Development records of the European Commission, which detail multiyear direct-funding transfers (apparently beginning in 2018) to Palestinian organizations Al-Haq and Al-Mezan, both of which are prominent promoters of anti-Israel boycotts. As is well known, Al-Haq is led by a former senior official of the EU-designated terror organization “The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine”. (…)

Due to the lack of transparency, both in EU data and among the organizations receiving EU funds, it is difficult to determine the complete amount of funding to organizations promoting boycotts. The Ministry of Strategic Affairs estimates that the figure is well above €5 million per year. [Read the full report here]

The official Israeli findings are in line with a 2018 report by the European Court of Auditors (ECA), the bloc’s financial-audit arm, which found “significant shortcomings” in the EU’s NGO funding procedures. According to ECA report, Brussels was giving out huge financial grants to the NGOs without knowing “how these funds were distributed or spent”, the ministry communique said.

“New allegations have been made by Israeli entities against the EU and its support to NGOs. Allegations of the EU supporting incitement or terror, or condoning antisemitism, are unfounded and unacceptable,” the EU Delegation to Israel, Brussels’ diplomatic mission in the Jewish State, denying the allegations on Twitter.

The EU made a partial admission of guilt while defending the practice of funding people and organizations linked to the BDS Movement. “Simply because an organisation or individual is related to the BDS movement does not mean that this entity is involved in incitement to commit illegal acts, nor that it renders itself ineligible for EU funding.” the EU Delegation added.

Professor Gerald Steinberg, president of the NGO Monitor, a watchdog on nonprofits, backed up today’s finding by the independent review conducted by his organisation. “Although NGO Monitor did not write the Israeli government report on [the EU] funding to NGOs, their research reflects our previous findings. We urge EU to respond substantively and not simply repeat the usual misleading claims,” he tweeted.

“NGO Monitor reviewed a number of EU regional funding programs designated for Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, and found that 29 out of 100 EU grants administered through the frameworks reviewed fund BDS organizations (€16.7 million out of €67.1 million – roughly 25%). 42 out of 180 EU grantees in total support BDS,” the watchdog’s 2017-18 report said.

The latest findings once again show the extent of EU-funding for BDS campaigners and groups with proven links to terrorist organisations. The BDS Movement is largely a coalition of left-wing extremists and radical Muslims cemented together by Antisemitism and anti-Israel sentiment. Despite irrefutable evidence, the EU continues to cover up the money trail connecting its funding agencies to this terror-supporting, antisemitic alliance.

[Cover image via YouTube]


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