One of the major points of friction in the relationship between Israel and the European Union centers on the millions of euros provided by EU taxpayers to non-governmental organizations active in demonizing Israel and opposing peace. Therefore, the efforts made by EU Ambassador Lars Faaborg-Andersen to engage with Israelis on this issue (“Setting the record straight on EU funding of NGOs in Israel,” The Jerusalem Post, 12 March) are important in resolving this troubling conflict.
In responding directly to my detailed criticism of such EU policies (“Why does the EU continue to fund anti-peace NGOs?” The Jerusalem Post, February 11) the ambassador points to a number of positive elements, including “the closest and broadest set of relations between the EU and any third country in the world.”
Unfortunately, Ambassador Faaborg-Andersen, like his predecessors, failed to address the particulars of EU funding for radical NGOs that promote precisely this agenda of hatred and discrimination by exploiting human rights, peace and democracy.
Having heard Ambassador Faaborg-Andersen speak eloquently, and after meeting with him on a number of occasions, I doubt that he actually accepts the slogans regarding the abuse of taxpayer funds for the political warfare that contradicts the EU’s official policies. As he learns the details, including the extreme secrecy on EU funding processes for anti-Israel NGOs, he will have many opportunities to provide a full accounting, repair these practices, and make a lasting contribution to peace and to Israel-EU relations.