Israel blasts EU for continued BDS funding despite promises

A new Israeli report shows that the European Union has continued to transfer millions of euros in 2017-2018 to NGOs that promote boycotts of Israel.

By David Jablinowitz, World Israel News

The European Union (EU) is continuing to fund organizations that boycott Israel, according to a report published Wednesday by Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs.

The report, titled “The Money Trail: 2nd Edition,” follows an earlier study published by the ministry regarding EU funding in 2016 for organizations boycotting the Jewish state.

At that time, Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan urged EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini to immediately cease the transfer of funds to these organizations. Mogherini replied that there were strict monitoring and verification procedures in place, assuring Erdan that no European Union funds were being used to promote boycotts of Israel.

However, the new Israeli report shows that the EU has continued to transfer millions of euros in 2017-2018 to NGOs that promote boycotts of Israel.

The EU is denying the Israeli allegations.

“We previously analyzed the [Israeli] Ministry’s so-called ‘Money Trail’ report and came to the conclusion that allegations presented in the report are unfounded and factually incorrect,” said an EU spokesperson.

“We invited the Israeli authorities to engage in a productive dialogue on civil society as foreseen by the EU-Israel Action Plan. This offer was not responded to, but still stands. We consider it unfortunate that again unsubstantiated material is being publicized without prior dialogue and engagement,” the spokesperson added.

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“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,” Erdan said in a statement on Wednesday.

“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,” Erdan said.PM

The report focuses on 10 non-governmental organizations that are said to be active in promoting boycotts of Israel. The Strategic Affairs Ministry says the information is based mainly on data published by the EU’s Financial Transparency System as well as various European and Palestinian organizations.

It identifies direct-funding transfers of €750,000 to a Palestinian organization called Al-Haq, which is accused of acting against Israel in the International Criminal Court and the United Nations Human Rights Council. In 2018, Al-Haq, along with several French organizations, urged companies involved in a transportation infrastructure project with Israel to declare their refusal to participate if the project directly or indirectly contributed to communities in Judea and Samaria.