EU gives millions to ‘protect Palestinian identity’ of Jerusalem

EU-funded NGOs promote Arab cultural sites in Jerusalem while ignoring Jewish history, says watchdog group NGO Monitor.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

A report from watchdog group NGO Monitor found that the European Union donated 5.5 million euros in 2019 to various groups dedicated to promoting “Palestinian identity in Jerusalem.”

PalVision, the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs (PASSIA) and ACT For Alternative Dispute Resolution and Studies received a joint grant of €1,184,538 from the EU.

The groups listed “protect[ing] Islamic and Christian Waqf religious and cultural heritage properties against Israeli violations and threats” under their project objectives.

The NGO Monitor report argues that the EU’s choice to fund such NGOs is inherently political, as the EU does not subsidize cultural preservation efforts in disputed areas like Jerusalem anywhere else in the world.

“The only examples [of EU funding] dealing with ‘religious and cultural heritage properties’ in a highly conflictual framework are embedded in the Palestinian context,” the report says.

Professor Gerald Steinberg, the founder and president of NGO Monitor, raised questions via Twitter regarding European countries’ historical policy of non-intervention towards preserving Jewish sites in Jerusalem.

“In 1948 war and Jordanian occupation until 1967, Europe did nothing to halt destruction & desecration of Jerusalem’s ancient Jewish quarter, including synagogues, cemeteries. Now, Flag of European Union #EU supports NGOs to ‘preserve Palestinian identity of East Jerusalem,’” Steinberg wrote.

“Tombstones from the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives were systematically desecrated, as Europe turned a blind eye. After 1967, Europe has funded the NGOs seeking to prevent reconstruction.”

In May, a report by Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs revealed that European donations to Palestinian aid organizations are funding terrorism.

Rina Shnerb, a 17-year-old Israeli girl, was killed last year by a roadside bomb near Dolev in Samaria while hiking with her father and brother.

Samar Arbid, the head of the cell that orchestrated the attack, was employed as a senior staffer in Palestinian human rights organization Adamir, which was funded for years by the European Union.