European Middle East Project (EuMEP)
|In their own words||“promotes a just and effective EU policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. EuMEP believes that the EU can and should use its leverage to induce respect for international law and help resolve the conflict. EuMEP combines analytical work and advocacy, working closely with a number of leading NGOs and experts. EuMEP supports security, freedom and dignity for all Israelis and Palestinians.”|
- In 2021, total budget was €103,687.
- Donors include: Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Open Society Foundations, Medico International, and CCFD – Terre Solidaire.
- In 2018-2022, EuMEP received $210,000 from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF) “for general support.”
- In 2021, EuMEP received €30,000 from CCFD (France).
- EuMEP acts as a lobbying organization within the EU. It receives funds from Medico International, an NGO largely funded by the German government, for “EU advocacy & lobbying for a just Middle East politics [sic].”
- While the project states that it operates in the “Middle East,” in reality the project’s main focus is Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.
- While EuMEP claims “EuMEP is not part of the BDS movement,” it also states that it “respects its legitimacy as a non-violent and rights-based means of challenging the occupation” and is active in BDS campaigns.
- In May 2022, EuMEP Director Martin Konečný participated in a webinar titled “Teaching Palestine in the Present” aimed at discussing “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, transnational Palestinian solidarity, university politics, the firing of academics, publishing, education, academic freedom, pro-Israeli groups and individuals, state power, and Zionism.”
- In 2019, EuMEP lobbied in support of the discriminatory UN database of businesses operating across the 1949 Armistice line, aimed at bolstering BDS campaigns against Israel.
- In November 2019, EuMEP supported the decision of the European Court of Justice to apply a discriminatory labelling regime on products originating in the Israeli settlements as a first step: “With the court’s backing, the EU should look at ways to ensure that settlement products are correctly designated by their Israeli exporters, prior to entering the EU, otherwise we’ll have a continued pattern of systemic mis-designation.”
- In November 2017, EuMEP co-founder Daniel Levy and Chair of EuMEP’s board Hugh Lovatt participated in a Sadaka Ireland conference titled “50 Years of Occupation: the Roadblocks to Justice for Palestinians” discussing the “critical role of the international community in bringing about an end to the Israeli Occupation of Palestine.” The conference called for Ireland “to compel Israel to cease and reverse its illegal activities rather than merely calling for peace negotiations between both sides to resume.”
- On January 5, 2017, EuMEP, Human Rights Watch, and Avaaz sent a letter to Gianni Infantino, president of FIFA, and Fatma Samoura, Secretary General of FIFA, writing that “continuing to allow the IFA to hold games in settlements is itself a deeply political act: a decision to endorse football matches on stolen land and to flout FIFA’s human rights responsibilities and the overwhelming consensus of the international community against settlements and against the attempts of the Israeli government to treat parts of the West Bank as if they were part of Israel.”
Most of EuMep’s founders have documented histories of anti-Israel activities.
- Martin Konecny
- Martin Konecny, the head of EuMEP, employs rhetoric accusing Israel of “apartheid,” “war crimes,” and “collective punishment,” as well as supporting a Palestinian ‘right of return.’
- In June 2016, Konecny wrote an opinion article for Al-Jazeera calling on FIFA “to exclude settlement clubs from the Israeli Football Association,” as part of a broader campaign against Israel initiated by several pro-BDS groups.
- In November 2015, Konecny advocated labelling goods from Israeli settlements and stated that “labelling guidelines are a small and overdue step in the right direction. The EU and its member states should take further measures to differentiate between Israel and the illegal settlements. This is the most practical way for the EU to help preserve the possibility of a two-state solution.”
- In September 2015, Konecny participated in a United Nations meeting on the “Question of Whether Two-State Solution was ‘Dead or Alive,’” and discussed implementing “legal tools to deal with Israel’s occupation of Palestine.”
- Between 2014-2015, Konecny was a “Senior Policy Analyst” at the Open Society European Policy Institute, and between 2011-2014, he was the “Brussels Director” for Crisis Action, a UK-based international NGO with the stated aim of helping to “avert conflicts, prevent human rights abuses and ensure governments fulfil their obligations to protect civilians.”
- In 2012, as part of Crisis Action, Konecny was listed as the contact person for the publication “Trading Away Peace: How Europe Helps Sustain Illegal Israeli Settlements,” a report calling on the EU to impose economic sanctions on Israel as part of a broader anti-Israel BDS campaign.
- Konecny was also listed as the contact person on the 2009 report “EU’s Position on the Middle East Peace Process: Key Inconsistencies.” The report, written by 15 NGOs, repeats earlier accusations of “collective punishment” and calls for the dismantlement of the Israeli security barrier (the “Wall”) with no regards as to the security it provides.
- Daniel Levy
- Daniel Levy, co-founder of EuMEP, is also a trustee of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, co-founder of J street, former member of the board of directors of Molad-The Center for the Renewal of Democracy and the New Israel Fund (NIF), and was the director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR).
- Levy has referred to BDS as “a legitimate and non-violent form of protest against an illegal and inhumane policy of occupation,” adding that the proposition “that Israel will only respond to disincentives, that the occupation cease to be cost-free” is “worth testing.”
- At the 2011 J Street conference, Levy said, “Maybe, if a collective Jewish presence in the Middle East [the state of Israel] can only survive by the sword … then Israel really ain’t a good idea” (emphasis added). In 2010 he said, “there’s no way that the Palestinians should think that there was justice in the creation of Israel.”
- At a September 2015 press conference promoting ECFR’s publication “EU Differentiation and Israeli settlements,” which calls for sanctions against Israeli entities (and certain individuals) that have activities in or apparent financial contacts with Israeli settlements, Levy stated that while he did not author the report, “I have no problem endorsing this. I would be not frank with you if I didn’t say my fingerprints are on here.”
- Hugh Lovatt
- Hugh Lovatt, chair of EuMEP’s board, is also the European Council on Foreign Relations Programme Coordinator for Israel/Palestine,
- Lovatt has proposed a policy of “differentiation,” which masks a BDS agenda under the guise of pursuing a consistent EU policy. The “differentiation” policy also advocates sanctions against individuals.
- Following the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in June 2014, Hugh Lovatt wrote that the “killing of the young settlers is a symptom of deeper issues caused by Israel’s policy of occupation.”
- Martin Siepermann
- Former director of the Rights Forum, a Dutch NGO that lobbies the Dutch government and the EU to promote BDS and other punitive measures against Israel.
- Previously worked as Middle East project officer at Interchurch Organization for Development Cooperation (ICCO) and the lobby & campaign coordinator of United Civilians for Peace (UCP).
- UCP is a platform established by the Dutch NGOs ICCO, Oxfam Novib, Pax Christi, and Cordaid.
- In 2012, Siepermann participated in a parliamentary debate and discussed Dutch policy towards Israel stating, “Israel is never held accountable and never put under pressure to end its systematic and serious human rights violations or to substantially reduce it.”
- In 2006, Siepermann wrote an article accusing the Dutch company Lima Holding BV of involvement “in the construction of the illegal Wall that Israel is building.”
- Nathalie Tocci
- Tocci is the deputy director of the Rome-based Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI).
- Tocci is a member of ECFR’S “Israel-Palestine Two-State Stress Test” expert committee.