TEL AVIV – The European Union last week for the first time pulled funds from a Palestinian nonprofit over its refusal to sign a clause ensuring no terrorist organizations benefit from the aid.
The E.U. informed Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights it was withdrawing the €1.7 million (about $1.9 million) granted for a three-year project called “Mobilizing for Justice in Jerusalem.”
The project aimed at “enhancing the resilience of Palestinians and highlighting Israeli human rights violations and international crimes in Jerusalem,” Badil said.
“Based on your reply we conclude that Badil cannot abide by the General Conditions as they stand, and we are therefore obliged to consider your application no longer valid,” the letter read, according to a press release by the NGO.
According to Badil, the cancellation of funding came after a series of correspondence between the NGO and E.U. officials over its refusal to sign Article 1.5 of Annex II of its general conditions, otherwise known as the anti-terror clause.
The clause, which was introduced to E.U. contracts with nonprofits in 2019, stipulates no E.U. funds go to terror organizations including Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
“Grant beneficiaries and contractors must ensure that there is no detection of subcontractors, natural persons, including participants to workshops and/or trainings and recipients of financial support to third parties, in the lists of E.U. restrictive measures,” it says.
According to Badil, it refused to sign the clause because it “criminalizes the Palestinian struggle against oppression and requires the recipient organization to perform ‘screening’ procedures which amounts to policing its own people.”
“The inclusion of this article to contracts with Palestinian organizations contradicts the national role of Palestinian civil society institutions in the struggle for freedom from Israeli colonialism and apartheid,” Badil’s statement read. “Further, the article violates both Palestinian and international law, as well as the declared obligations of the EU itself.”
According to the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, Badil is one of 130 Palestinian organizations refusing to sign Article 1.5. The organizations in question refuse to do so, claiming Palestinian terrorist groups are merely “political parties.”
“I congratulate the E.U. on taking a firm stance against the disingenuous campaign it faces on this issue,” Strategic Affairs Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen said Wednesday.
She added Israel would continue to ensure the E.U. “does not yield to the illegitimate demands of the involved Palestinian organizations [and will] insist that EU taxpayer funds should not be used to fund NGOs with ties to terror.”
“The E.U.’s recent refusal is another step in this right direction,” she said.
Israeli watchdog NGO monitor also welcomed the E.U.’s decision to pull funding for Badil’s project.
“We applaud the E.U. for standing strong in the face of pressure and enforcing its anti-terror clause,” said Olga Deutsch, the group’s vice president.
“There is no question that radical groups like Badil, who not only have a history of promoting anti-Semitism and rejection of Israel, but who will not commit to not working with terror, have no business receiving funding from the EU or any other government,” she continued.
“We hope that the E.U. will further examine the 25 million euros that we found it gave such groups since 2011.”