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EU Partnership for Peace Programme:

Throwing Money Away on Palestinian NGOs

Copyright 2013 ASHREI-ME. All rights reserved.

EU Partnership for Peace Programme:

Throwing Money Away on Palestinian NGOs


October 2013

ASHREI-ME is an independent organization that supports human rights for people in the Middle East who are all but ignored by the media, by traditional NGOs and by the international community.

ashrei-me.org

Throwing money away on Palestinian NGOs

EU Partnership for Peace Programme and Palestinian NGOs

he EU Partnership for Peace Programme describes its goals this way:

The achievement of lasting peace in the Middle East is a central aim of the EU, whose main objective is: a two-State solution leading to a final and comprehensive settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on implementation of the Road Map, with Israel and a democratic, viable, peaceful and sovereign Palestinian State living side-by-side within secure and recognised borders enjoying normal relations with their neighbours in accordance with UN Security Council Resolutions 242, 338, 1397, 1402, and 1515 and on the principles of the Madrid Conference.

The programme aims to promote initiatives in areas which are likely to have an impact on peoples everyday lives and welfare, including practical activities which will promote communication and understanding by demonstrating the advantages of working together for mutual benefit and tangible results. ASHREI-ME decided to test these stated goals against the websites of the organizations headquartered in the Palestinian territories to see if the NGOs being given grants were living up to the stated goals of the European Commission.

In practically every case, the Palestinian organizations did not come close to reaching ...The EU Partnership for Peace Prothe standards given by the EC. Indeed, it apgramme supports local and international pears that over the years of giving millions of civil society initiatives that promote euros to these NGOs, the EC has watered peace, tolerance and non violence in the down its expectations for what these NGOs Middle East. The objective of this support are expected to accomplish. is to contribute to the rebuilding of confi- There are four major failings in how the EC dence within each society and between funds are distributed to Palestinian NGOs. societies. 1) The major goal of rebuilding confidence

Throwing money away on Palestinian NGOs

between Palestinian and Israeli society has been all but abandoned. It is axiomatic that confidence-building measures must precede any plans for a real, sustainable peace. Yet ever since the Palestinians rejected the peace plans offered in 2000, there has been a steady divergence between the Palestinian and Israeli peace camps. While Israeli peaceniks have continued to cling to hopes of peace and reconciliation throughout the second intifada and thousands of rockets being launched from Gaza to Israel after Israeli withdrawal from the sector, Palestinian society has turned the idea of even talking with Israelis into a virtual crime. Arabic media and many organizations decry any hint of what they call normalization with Israel.

The net result is that the culture of peace is non-existent in the Palestinian territories. Yet many of the EC-sponsored programs listed pretend that the Palestinian NGO grantees are working towards a normal relationship with their Israeli counterparts or with Israeli society as a whole. Their websites show that this is not even close to being true. 2) Peace is incompatible with accepting Hamas as a partner with the PA. There is a second, fundamental problem with one of the ECs stated goals: [The EC] recognises that continued and comprehensive Palestinian reforms are necessary and national reconciliation is a basic step to move forward the solution of the conflict.

On the other hand, it states: With very few exceptions, the EU-funded NGOs have not risen to this challenge to push Terrorist attacks against Israel have no back and declare that normalization is not a justification whatsoever and the EU has dirty word. If anything, they have withdrawn included Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other into their own cocoons, either severing ties armed Palestinian groups in its list of with Israeli peers or not being willing to pubbanned terrorist organisations. licly acknowledge them.

Throwing money away on Palestinian NGOs

It is obvious that the Palestinian Arabs are now divided between Hamas-run Gaza and Fatah-run West Bank. If Hamas is a terror organization according to the EU, how is it possible to have national reconciliation with a terrorist group and still be adhering to ECs goals?

decides to ignore based on its funding patterns.)

3) While issues that the Palestinian side considers obstacles to peace are generously funded, those that Israel considers important are ignored.

The Palestinian side is not the only party to In fact, a number of programs funded by the negotiations. Yet while every issue that PalesEC prioritize peace between Hamas and Fatah tinians consider important is covered and tacmore than they care about peace between a itly accepted by the EC funding (settlements, Arab and Jew. Hamas goals are antithetical to Jerusalem, refugees, natural resources) those everything the Western world stands for. Ac- that Israel considers important are missing cepting, and even encouraging, Palestinian from the conversation. national reconciliation is nothing less than There is not one funded NGO that works to accepting Hamas legitimacy. reduce incitement against Jews and Israel in EU-funded programs must make clear that the media and in textbooks. There is not one Hamas rule is not acceptable and that Hamas funded NGO that works actively to create an must not be rewarded, even indirectly, by the environment of normalization and trust with EU. Reconciliation means that the EC is ad- Israel. There is not one NGO that supports vocating compromise with Hamas, and the the idea of two states for two peoples. PAs acceptance of some of Hamas goals These are critical issues that must be adsuch as the eventual full destruction of Israel dressed for real peace, and yet they are aband the enshrinement of terrorism as a desirsent in the European Commissions priorities able strategy. (Fatahs platform also includes based on the organizations they fund. terrorism, another fact that the EC apparently

Throwing money away on Palestinian NGOs

This indicates a clear bias of the EC towards the Palestinian Arab perspective, that Israeli actions are the only ones that are impediments to peace. If the EC truly wanted to work towards peace, it would take seriously the issues at the top of both sides agendas, not just one. 4) Some of the funded groups seek the destruction of Israel, explicitly or implicitly.

As the following report shows, some of the groups funded by the EC in fact support the so-called right of return, which is simply a misreading of international law meant to demographically destroy the Jewish state. It is As it stands, there is a large disconnect benot compatible with the goal of two states for tween the funded groups and the prospects of real peace in the Israeli-Arab conflict. two peoples. Other groups do not explicitly condemn terrorism as a strategy, rather they consider it to be an unattractive tactic at the moment. To fund groups that consider terrorists to be heroes, or that hold out hope that Israel is a temporary blight on the Arab world that will eventually be replaced with another Arab state, is against EC principles.

In conclusion, the patterns of funding by the EC indicate that the Partners for Peace program has little or no oversight and little or no strategy behind it that is remotely consistent with the principles it states. Rather than keeping these programs running indefinitely with an automatic rubber stamp to continue funding year after year, the EC needs to step back and re-evaluate whether each of the recipients of grants is doing even a modicum of work towards the stated goals of the project and whether they are consistent with EC and EU goals for peace.

ASHREI-ME October, 2013

Throwing money away on Palestinian NGOs

Save Youth Future Society

499,755

Palestinian Youth Promoting National Reconciliation between Conflicting Parties in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip by Advocating for Internal Dialogue and Mutual Understanding

he Save Youth Future Societys purpose, even according to the EC, is to help promote dialogue and mutual understanding between conflicting parties.

the EU. If there is ever going to be peace, reconciliation with Hamas and other terror groups such as Islamic Jihad is not what is needed. What is needed is for organizations While the website is careful not to say it spe- that advocate real peace with Israel to be empowered to speak out. cifically, it is obvious which two parties are being referred to: Fatah and Hamas. Hamas is not a partnerit is an obstacle.

Hamas is classified as a terror organization by

Throwing money away on Palestinian NGOs

217,617
Media for in peace building in Palestine:

Elamona
Media Research and Development

The action will build Palestinian (both in the West Bank and Gaza) journalists, independent media outlets, media professionals' capacity on effective media work for promoting peace building, social cohesion, non-violence.

hile the EC claims that its funds are meant to promote peace building, the Elamona website does not refer at all to peace with Israel. In fact, Israel isnt mentioned at all in the English site. What Elamona does claim to do is, as we have seen, promote reconciliation between Palestinian factions. As its own description of this EC-funded program states:

development of an alternative media through improving the capacity, performance and impact of the neutral and non-factional media outlets and in mobilizing those media outlets in promoting a culture of tolerance, mutual trust and cohesiveness within the fractional Palestinian society through a strengthened media.

Elamona aims for structural changes in The description of this program by the EC is the Palestinian society using the media deceptive. The only peace building being as a catalyst. It intends to support the promoted is within Palestinian society, not between Arabs and Jews.

Throwing money away on Palestinian NGOs

Popular Struggle Coordination Committee

355,130*
(*together with other organizations)

Addressing fear: strengthening the nonviolent alternative

he Popular Struggle Coordination Committee is, together with Al Quds University, Spanish NGO Nova and the Israeli Coalition of Women for Peace, working on this project.

However, the PSCC website has many virulently anti-Israel articles. It explicitly supports The PSCC advocates tactics and goals that are BDS, whose leaders are on the record as completely at odds with stated EU policy, yet wanting to see Israel eliminated and replaced it is being funded by the EU. with an Arab majority state. Its website also

speaks about resistance but nowhere does it condemn terrorism or violence, only saying that violence has fallen out of favor among many Palestinians. Additionally, the PSCC supports potentially fatal stone throwing and slinging.

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Throwing money away on Palestinian NGOs

499,244*
(*together with other organizations)

Palestine Red Crescent Society

Medicine in the Service of Peace A cross-border IsraeliPalestinian Professional Medical Cooperation Program ...in order to promote peace and confidence building between the two communities, and broaden the base of support to a negotiated solution of the conflict through building mutual trust and capacity for conflict resolution.

his initiative is a joint effort with the Peres Center for Peace. The description make it clear that the program is meant to facilitate cooperation and trust between Israelis and Palestinians in the healthcare field.

It also refers to Israels separation fence as the apartheid wall.

The site does not talk about specific IsraeliPalestinian peace at all. There is no stated support for a two-state solution. There is no However, the Palestine Red Crescent Society discussion of cooperation with Israeli health website doesnt mention the Peres Center or officials at all. this initiative at all. The only mentions of Isra- In short, PRCS does not publicly promote a el on its site are negative and often very inac- single value that this program is meant to encurate (such as accusations of the IDF using courage. But it happily takes EU funds. depleted uranium in its weapons, quoting a British conspiracy theorist.)

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Throwing money away on Palestinian NGOs

Panorama
Palestinian Center for Dissemination of Democracy & Community Development

406,998*
(*together with Peace Now)

Palestinian-Israeli Peace NGO Forum... aims to sustain strong relations between Palestinian and Israeli Peace NGOs, to increase the breadth and effectiveness of their work and to enhance their capacities.

anoramas website has not been active since mid-2012. It is unclear if it still exists. The EC funding was earmarked from January 2012 through December 2013. Cached copies of the site show that it supported the so-called right of return meant to demographically destroy the Jewish state.

Panoramas logo erases Israel altogether.

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Throwing money away on Palestinian NGOs

335,910*
(*together with other organizations)

Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ)

Sustainable Planning as a Tool to Promote Dialogue and Cooperation between Palestinians and Israelis ... bring Arab and Jewish Israelis together with Palestinians to share experiences, engage in dialogue on sustainable planning processes, and work together to develop a 'Sustainable Planning Guidelines Document'.

he Applied Research Institute-Jerusalem describes this program a bit differently than the EC does. According to its website, the only session that has occurred so far under this initiative was meant to engage in dialogue with Arab Israelis, specifically from Nazareth. The project is described there this way:

able planning processes, and work together to develop a "Sustainable Planning Guidelines Document". Nothing is stated about speaking with Jewish Israelis. Additionally, Israeli policies are described as apartheid in multiple places on the site. It spins a false history of the past century in its Land Research Center section.

The overall objective of the project is to share experiences between professionals While much of the organization concentrates and experts in planning and developon uncontroversial ecological issues, there is ment from Nazareth and Bethlehem, in nothing on its website that advocates peace addition, engage in dialogue on sustainbetween Israel and a Palestinian Arab state.

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Throwing money away on Palestinian NGOs

PalTrade

458,097*
(*together with Peres Center)

Partners in Business, Partners in Peace: Increasing Capacities for Israeli-Palestinian Business Cooperation: enhance Israeli-Palestinian business and economic relations with an emphasis on increasing the level of Palestinian exports to Israel, and maximizing the business potential for both sides.

The site does not have too much that is The site does discuss Palestinian-Israeli coop- overtly anti-Israel, but there is no recent ineration in business, but the most recent reformation about facilitating peace between port advocating that position is from 2007. the two sides in line with the ECs Partnership That earlier project was also done in coopera- for Peace program goals. tion with The Peres Center. Clearly, trade relations between Israel and

alTrade does not mention this initiative on its website.

Project.

One EC-funded project is discussed, however: a project to encourage Palestinian exports to bypass Israel and to go to Jordan or Egypt directly, called the Trade Corridors Facilitation

the Palestinians is a crucial component of any permanent and lasting peace, yet PalTrade seems to be a little ambivalent about increasing those business ties based on its site.

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Throwing money away on Palestinian NGOs

360,000

MADAR
Palestinian Forum for Israeli Studies

Knowing the Other through Publishing Valid, Comprehensive and Objective Information about Israel and the Israeli Society:

This project translates a variety of articles from Israeli media into Arabic. An 8-page supplement is published In Al Ayyams newspaper biweekly, prominently labeled as an EC initiative. There is also analysis of Israeli media.

While MADAR does mostly what the EC project description says (with the exception of objective,) it is unclear how the project encourages peace. Arab media translate Israeli newspapers all the time and there is no extra value added with the MADAR projects. Only if A sampling of the articles translated show a MADAR would seek out stories that humanize Israeli Jews, or that highlight Israeli peace bias towards news stories that makes Israel look bad or that indicate that Israeli society is group activities. in trouble. None of the stories we looked at Moreover, it would be unimaginable to see described any Israeli peace programs or any- the EC fund a similar project to translate Arathing positive about the Israeli economy, for bic news articles into Hebrew. example.

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Throwing money away on Palestinian NGOs

Palestinian Peace Coalition Association

387,248*
(*together with other organizations)

Through a variety of outreach activities, the project aims at promoting peace, specifically the Geneva Peace Initiative, among the wide public

The Palestinian Peace Coalition Association pretends to be a driving force behind Mahmoud Abbas decisions, giving no evidence of any influence whatsoever. For example, in its Strategic Plan 2013-2015, it takes credit for Palestine being recognized as an observer state in the UN as well as for local elections.

mographically and to turn it into another Palestinian Arab state. While it tells its European donors that it is committed to a two-state solution, in fact it is advocating two Arab states.

This sort of doubletalk is rampant in the Palestinian NGO world but Eu donors do not know enough to ask the hard questions, or Additionally, the PPCA supports the so-called they accept it as just one of those things. Right of Return, meant to destroy Israel de-

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Throwing money away on Palestinian NGOs

Other NGOs

The webpage of the Center for Democracy and Community Development , which receives part of a 455,414 grant, could not be examined in depth because it is filled with malware. According to NGO-Monitor, its position is to destroy Israel through implementation of the Right of Return.

found. The Palestinian Information and Technology Association of Companies includes third party reports on the importance of cooperating with Israel but there is very little on its webpage that directly encourages such cooperation.

The webpage of the Association of Society The Qeiadat Association webpage could not Voice for Social and Developing Work, which be found. It receives part of a 500,000 grant. receives a 239,800 grant, could not be

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