Why Palestinian rights groups reject EU funding conditions

The Palestinian flag next to the EU flag at the European Commission HQ in Brussels

Lubnah Shomali writes in The Electronic Intifada:

The European Union is seeking to criminalize the Palestinian struggle for national liberation.

Badil, the human rights organization which I represent, refuses to accommodate the EU’s efforts. We have already been penalized for sticking to our principles.  A few weeks ago, the EU informed us that an application for funding we had made was “no longer valid.”

The grant for which we had applied would be worth almost $2 million over a three-year period. But the conditions attached to it were completely unacceptable.

To receive this funding, the EU had insisted that Badil sign a document deeming seven Palestinian political groupings as terrorist organizations.

Since July 2019, the EU has stipulated that such a clause be inserted in all funding contracts it concludes with organizations receiving its funds.

The “anti-terrorism” clause does not respect international law.  Palestine is a country under a military occupation. Palestinians face constant colonization and are subject to an apartheid system.  Under international law, Palestinians have the right to resist, including by means of an armed struggle.

Although the European Union has not held Israel accountable for its crimes against humanity, the EU has been willing to finance Palestinian organizations that investigate and campaign against those crimes.  In the past, the EU did not seek to micromanage the activities of Palestinian groups.  By attaching the new conditions to its grants, the EU is now mimicking Israel and the US, which have long portrayed resistance as terrorism.

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