Monday

19th Nov 2018

Israel threatens EU-funded NGOs

  • Israeli settler graffiti in Hebron, in the occupied West Bank (Photo: Rosie Gabrielle)

Israel’s deputy foreign minister has told EU countries to stop funding left-wing NGOs which, she says, “blacken” Israel’s name.

Tzipi Hotovely issued the warning in a series of meetings with senior EU diplomats in Israel in recent days, according to Israeli media.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

She told the Arutz Sheva website on Tuesday (21 July): “We are demanding from European states that donate millions of euros to immediately stop the direct funding of delegitimisation organisations, that [act] under the guise of human rights organisations”.

Israel's Ynetnews quoted her as saying the EU-funded groups: “Work to blacken its [Israel’s] face around the world, accuse it of ethnic cleansing, apartheid, and war crimes; deprive the Jewish people of their right to self-determination, call to prosecute Israel in the International Criminal Court at The Hague, and support the right of return [for Palestinian refugees]".

She also threatened to introduce legislation to prohibit foreign assistance for her blacklist of civil society groups, but without giving details.

She said EU states have, in recent years, channelled up to €200 million to Israeli-critical groups.

Targets

The NGOs named by Israeli media as Hotovely’s targets include: B’Tselem; Breaking the Silence; the Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel; Terrestrial Jerusalem; Rabbis for Human Rights, and the Coalition of Women for Peace.

The leading EU sponsors are named as: Denmark; Germany; the Netherlands, Sweden; and the UK,

Her initiative is being backed by a right-wing group called NGO Monitor.

The group, also on Tuesday, published a fact-sheet on EU-funded NGOs which, it says, are “active in promoting the Palestinian narrative” on the demolition of the village of Susya in the West Bank.

It also listed Belgium, France, Ireland, and Spain as leading sponsors of the campaign to save the village.

Cogat, the Israeli body which governs the occupied West Bank, has been given the right, by Israeli courts, to demolish 37 structures in Susya, 22 of which were built with EU assistance.

It plans to do it on grounds the structures don’t have construction permits, which Palestinians find almost impossible to get in the so-called Area C of the West Bank.

They also plan to do it, according to Breaking the Silence, due to political “pressure from [Israeli] settlers” in the area “to destroy a symbolic number of structures in order to heed their will”.

New housing

For their part, EU foreign ministers on Monday said the “forced transfer of population” from Susya is part of a settlement expansion process which “seriously threaten[s] the two-state solution”.

But according to Israeli daily Haaretz, the EU appeal fell on deaf ears.

Haaretz reported on Wednesday that the Israeli Civil Administration in the West Bank will, on Thursday, approve the construction of 906 new housing units for Jews on Palestinian land.

Most of the new units are to be built in: Beit El, north of the de facto Palestinian capital, Ramallah; Ma’ale Adumim, in East Jerusalem; Givat Zeev, north of Jerusalem; and in Beit Arieh, north-east of Jerusalem.

Half the new homes in Givat Zeev are to be earmarked for Orthodox Jews.

By contrast with Susya’s permit problems, the Israeli authorities also plan to give retroactive permission for illegally-built homes in: Giv’on, near Givat Zeev; Psagot, north of Jerusalem; and Ofarim, near Beit Arieh.

Israeli MPs to resume work on NGO gag laws

Flow of information to outside world on Israeli settler and military abuses could diminish, as Knesset resumes work with NGO gag laws on its agenda.

News in Brief

  1. Ireland extradites Polish man despite rule of law concerns
  2. Germany and France agree eurozone budget framework
  3. Austrian foreign minister: EU's Israel policy 'too strict'
  4. Soros and Kurz discuss Central European University move
  5. EU set to tighten rules on foreign strategic investment
  6. Macron repeats call for unified Europe in Bundestag speech
  7. US warns EU banks and firms against trading with Iran
  8. Merkel urged Romania not to move embassy to Jerusalem

Opinion

Macron's 'European army': why is everyone talking about it?

Few people commented on one key point in Macron's statement: he did not justify the idea of a European army by the need to intervene in Africa, which would have been France's traditional approach. Instead, he invoked the Russian threat,

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  5. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  6. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  7. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  8. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  9. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  10. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  12. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs

Latest News

  1. Spain raises Gibraltar, as EU and UK talk post-2020 relationship
  2. Panic is not answer to EU's security challenges
  3. Dutch flesh out proposal for EU human rights sanctions
  4. EU cheerleaders go to Russia-occupied Ukraine
  5. EU must recognise new force for Balkans destabilisation
  6. Brexit dominates EU affairs This WEEK
  7. How the EU commission got tunnel vision on self-driving cars
  8. No-confidence calls against May put Brexit deal in doubt

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  3. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  5. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  7. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  9. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma
  10. PKEE - Polish Energy AssociationCommon-Sense Approach Needed for EU Energy Reform
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to Lead in Developing and Rolling Out 5G Network
  12. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Economic and Trade Relations Enjoy a Bright Future

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us