After four years, Sven Kuhn von Burgsdorff’s term as head of the European Union Delegation to the West Bank and Gaza is ending. His tenure was marked by the EU’s often apologetic approach to NGO incitement and extremism, and its embrace of Palestinian organizations that support violence or promote hate speech.
To be sure, the EU has an extensive arsenal of anti-hate speech policies, which has been augmented in recent years. In May 2023, the European Parliament adopted a budgetary resolution calling on the European Commission to create a “public blacklist of NGOs, excluded from access to EU funds and institutions” if they “engaged in activities such as hate speech, incitement to terrorism, religious extremism or misused EU funds.”
Earlier, in 2019, the European Commission introduced an additional anti-terror regulation in its contract with NGOs.
In the context of anti-Jewish hate, in January 2021, the EC published a Handbook for the practical use of the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism, urging institutions to “ensure that funding does not go to entities and projects that promote antisemitism or other forms of hate.”
However, a review of von Burgsdorff’s record reveals the extent to which he flaunted the EU’s numerous guidelines on marginalizing extremists.