JERUSALEM (JTA) – The European Union gave nearly $5.7 million US to organizations that promote boycotts against Israel in 2017 and 2018, a new Israeli government report found.
The money has gone to at least 10 nongovernmental organizations, including one based in Gaza, according to the report titled “The Money Trail: 2nd Edition,” released Wednesday by the Strategic Affairs Ministry.
The funding was provided by the European Union (EU) to the organizations in 2017 and multi-year funding beginning in 2018, for which full data has not been released by the EU. The report comes after a first report by the Strategic Affairs Ministry, released in May, on EU funding for 2016.
The report notes that it does not cover all EU funding to “anti-Israel boycott organizations,” but focuses on the financial support to 10 NGOs active in promoting boycotts of Israel. It asserts that the funding to the 10 NGOs is being used to promote boycotts against Israel even if it was granted for other projects due to “insufficient oversight.”
The report called on the EU to stop funding organizations that promote a boycott of Israel and to ensure full transparency of granted funds.
The EU responded that it does not support nor fund boycotts against Israel. It added, however, “Simply because an organization or individual is related to the BDS movement does not mean that this entity is involved in incitement to commit illegal acts, nor that it renders itself ineligible for EU funding.” It also said that the EU “stands firm in protecting freedom of expression.”