EuroMed Rights fact check: “The Money Trail” report by Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs is inaccurate, false and misleading

Israel / OPT, Press Release, Shrinking Space for Civil Society

Read in:  French 

Following the publication of the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs’ report, “The Money Trail, which accuses several EU-funded NGOs of promoting “boycotts against Israel” and keeping “ties to terror”, EuroMed Rights President, Michel Tubiana, stated:

The report falsely charges EuroMed Rights and our Palestinian member organisations – Al Haq, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) and Al Mezan. Apart from the inaccuracies, misinformation and defamatory accusations against NGOs, the report brazenly reflects the Israeli government’s increasing efforts to silence peaceful criticism of its human rights record.

It is not true that EuroMed Rights is funding Palestinian organisations, as EuroMed Rights is not a donor agency and it is further mistaken that the EU provides financial support to our activities on Israel/Palestine. Although we follow closely EU-Israel bilateral relations as part of our human rights work, allegations that we work ‘systematically in trying to suspend the association agreement between Israel and the EU’ are also false, as is largely reflected in our publicly available positions. Accusations against the internationally respected Palestinian organisations, Al Haq, PCHR and Al Mezan, are baseless; the report provides no supporting evidence and should be dismissed as factually wrong.”

The report should be seen in the context of mounting harassment and smear campaigns against these organisations, their staff and cooperating partners. Furthermore, as the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini has consistently repeated, the EU does not fund Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activities, although it sees the BDS movement as protected by freedom of expression and freedom of association in line with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

This report is yet another attempt by the Government of Israel to silence peaceful dissent against the occupation and to exclude human rights organisations from European funding and political fora. To avoid such misinformation further spreading across European countries, we call on the EU to clearly and publicly debunk this incendiary propaganda against European partners in Israel/Palestine.”

Background information
On Friday 25 May 2018, the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs published a report entitled “The Money Trail: The Millions Given by EU Institutions to NGOs with Ties to Terror and Boycotts against Israel”. It lists European and Palestinian organisations, including among others Al-Haq, Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), Al-Mezan Centre for Human Rights, Applied Research Institute Jerusalem, the Palestinian Non-Governmental Organisation Network (PNGO), Al-Kamandjati, Agricultural Development Association (PARC), Trocaire, Norwegian People’s Aid, PAX and EuroMed Rights.