Several European-funded non-governmental organizations (NGOs) involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict appropriate the language of human rights and international law in order to distort historical and political contexts and blur moral distinctions. Often, this occurs to the point of propagating thinly veiled libelous claims or endorsing violence and terrorism. Some of the NGOs even have ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) – a designated terrorist organization by the EU, US, Canada, and Israel.
Several French-funded groups incite violence, promote an agenda against normalization with Israel, and/or have alleged ties to terrorist organizations.
France provides millions of euros to French, Palestinian, and Israeli non-governmental organizations (NGOs) active in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Direct funding to these NGOs is transferred from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development (MAEDI) through L’Agence Française de Développement (AFD – French Agency for Development), the Consulate General of France in Jerusalem (The Consulate), and French regional governments.
The French organization, Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS), which received hundreds of thousands of euros in government funding in recent years, legitimizes the use of armed struggle as a means for Palestinian liberation and states that Israel “deploys a state terrorism in the name of preventive war.”
CCFD- Terre Solidaire, a French catholic government-funded organization, has been funding Israeli organization Alternative Information Center (AIC) since 2013. AIC has alleged ties to the PFLP, and has an anti-normalization agenda. In 2012, AIC received a €14,950 human rights award from the French government for its “contribution to the defense of human rights.”
In 2014-2016, the Consulate General of France in Jerusalem funded the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee (PSCC), a Palestinian NGO that has organized protests that have turned violent. PSCC’s Twitter activity repeatedly employs “martyr” rhetoric and posts photos of demonstrators hurling rocks. A PSCC board member, Manal Tamimi frequently utilizes virulently antisemitic rhetoric and imagery on social media.
From 2012-2014, the French government (The French Ministry of Environment, Energy, and Sea, via the Water Agency Rhône Mediterranean Corsica, the Consulate General of France in Jerusalem) and the Regional Council of Provence-Alpes- Côte d’Azur funded a €354,489 project initiated and implemented by the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) in the “Hebron governorate.” UAWC is identified by Fatah as an official PFLP “affiliate,” and by USAID as the “agricultural arm” of the PFLP. According to academic scholar Glenn E. Robinson, UAWC was founded in 1986 by “agronomists loosely affiliated with the PFLP.” The organization accuses Israel of “ethnic cleansing,” “collective punishment,” and “apartheid,” as well as supports a Palestinian “right of return.”
From 2013-2016, Le Mouvement pour une Alternative Non- violente (MAN) partnered with the Palestinian organization The Center for Freedom and Justice on a project titled “Nonviolence and agricultural cooperation in Palestine.” The project was funded by the French government including €89,167 from Région Auvergne- Rhône- Alpes and €35,000 from Région Provence- Alpes- Côte d’Azur. The project was started by the founder of the Center for Freedom and Justice, Mousa Abu Maria, who was convicted for his involvement in the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine (PIJ), a terrorist organization recognized as such by the US, EU, UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Israel. Abu Maria was released in a 2003 prisoner exchange, but was re-arrested five years later for his connections to the PIJ. According to the Israeli Military Court of Justice, Abu Maria is “a leading member of the Islamic Jihad organization… He deals with various aspects of the organization’s activity, and is involved in both the organizational-financial aspects of support for terrorist infrastructure, as well as communicating with terror operatives from outside of the area” (Translation of Israeli Supreme Court verdict 6404/08).