The Burj Al-Luqluq Social Center Society defines itself as a Palestinian body that is dedicated to strengthening the Palestinian identity in Jerusalem.
By Aryeh Savir, TPS
The Burj Al-Luqluq Social Center Society, which operates in the Old City of Jerusalem, has turned down a massive grant from France following its refusal to disconnect any ties it may have to terrorist organizations.
Burj Al-Luqluq runs educational and nationalist programs, including on “heritage and national struggle,” and serves as a community center for Jerusalem’s Arabs. The association relies on support from, European, Palestinian, and Turkish bodies, and the scope of its financial activities is extensive.
Burj Al-Luqluq defines itself as a Palestinian body that is dedicated to strengthening the Palestinian identity in Jerusalem.
About a year ago, the European Union (EU) introduced for the first time a substantial change in the terms of funding for Arab entities, according to which any cooperation with terrorist organizations would lead to the EU’s unilateral cessation of its funding to the recipient organizations.
This week, Burj Al-Luqluq issued a statement announcing the rejection of a grant in the amount of NIS 4 million from France due to its opposition to the clause demanding it to disavow any connection to terrorism. The association canceled the agreement with the development agency of the French government.
Burj Al-Luqluq stated that it completely rejects “conditional funding that affects the sanctity of the Palestinian national struggle.”
“The new agreement of the European Union defines the Palestinian parties as terrorist parties, and this is what we completely reject since our Palestinian parties are the original political component of our people,” the statement said.
The association accused the Arab organizations that consented to the EU’s terms of creating a situation that “will lead to the increased Zionist attacks on national institutions and will even force them to violate the agreement. Israel will then harm them by complaining about a breach of the conditional financing agreement.”
Zionist group: ‘An unbearable reality’
Maor Tzemach, chairman of the Lach Yerushalayim organization dedicated to Israeli sovereignty in its capital, stated Tuesday that “once the Burj Al-Luqluq association has acknowledged its difficulty in not cooperating with terrorist elements, this reality requires Israel to issue an administrative closure order to the association and not allow any of its activities in Jerusalem.”
He called on the authorities to “immediately investigate the sources of funding of the association, which are tens of millions of shekels that are not reported legally, and some of them come from seemingly problematic sources.”
The Zionist Im Tirzu organization stated that “a reality in which Palestinian organizations operate unhindered in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, while maintaining close ties with terrorist organizations, is unbearable.”
The Burj Al-Luqluq organization “reveals to all how these dangerous organizations routinely hold the rope at both ends: both to receive millions from Europe and to continue working closely with the terrorist organizations,” Im Tirzu noted.
The Zionist organization called on the Israeli government “to be vigilant about any donation received from a European state for Palestinian organizations, with the understanding that sovereignty is not a privilege and not an anecdote, but the essence of every state.”