European Association for Cooperation with Palestine (ASECOP)
|In their own words||“ASECOP is working to serve Palestinian people through implementing and supervising sustainable development projects and programs which lead to sustainable development in the social, economic, cultural, and political level.”|
- In 2015, total income was €2.2 million; total expenses were €1.1 million.
- Donors include Spain (Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation, Andalusian International Cooperation Agency [AACID], Provincial Deputation of Malaga, and the Provincial Deputation of Cordoba) and others.
- ASECOP received €965,071 from AACID in 2015 and €1,159,283 in 2014, almost exclusively designated for activities in the West Bank and Gaza.
- According to its website, “The European Association for Cooperation with Palestine (ASECOP) is a non-governmental, non-profit organization with no political affiliation.”
- ASECOP grants an annual “Yasser Arafat Prize” – an initiative sponsored by the Provincial Deputation of Malaga to “reward the best works of literature, journalism and essays that deal with the Palestinian problem” (NGO Monitor translation).
- The third Yasser Arafat Prize was awarded in 2014 to Argentinian journalist Gustavo Rojana for his book Refugees – Palestine Today. The award was presented in Malaga in an event jointly held by ASECOP, AACID, and the City of Malaga. Speakers included ASECOP president Dr. Jehad Suleiman Rashid, AACID director Pablo Centella, and mayor of Malaga Francisco De la Torre Prados.
- Gustavo Rojana, the recipient of the award, has libelously accused Israeli company Mekorot of “stealing water from Palestinians,” echoing classic antisemitic libels in claiming that “with state-of-the-art technology, they prevent old wells within Arab territory from supplying enough water for the Palestinians.” In a joint presentation with Pedro Brieger in 2014, Rojana referred to the Israel Defense Forces as the “Israeli occupation army,” accusing Israel of pursuing a “politics of apartheid” (NGO Monitor translation).
- In April 2011, ASECOP awarded its second annual “Yasser Arafat Award” to Antonio Basallote Marín, a post-graduate student at the University of Seville, for his book titled Paradise Usurped: Zionism and the Palestinian People, which seeks to “deconstruct the alleged historical continuity between biblical Israel and the modern State of Israel.”
- In September 2016, ASECOP organized a photo exhibition titled “The Long Journey, Life and History of Palestine Refugees” that includes images that “tell the lives of refugees and refugees from 1948 to the present, creating a visual account of one of the longest-running cases of forced displacement in modern history,” and displays the “injustice inflicted on the Palestinian people by the occupation, encroachment and colonization of their lands, and Israel’s failure to comply with successive UN resolutions condemning their occupation.” The aim of the exhibition was to “raise awareness about the situation that Palestine has suffered for decades.”
- In April 2016, ASECOP president Dr. Suleiman Rashid gave a lecture titled “The Day of the Palestinian Land, a plundering that does not cease.”
- In December 2015, in the midst of a terror wave against Israeli civilians, Dr. Suleiman Rashid claimed that “of the 135 murders in the last two months, there are 35 children … 35 children! … There are ‘zero distance’ shots, there is no trial” (NGO Monitor translation, emphasis added) – providing no basis for his claims and entirely omitting the context of stabbings and other forms of attacks against civilians carried out by Palestinians, including those carried out by minors.
- In 2010, ASECOP published a book titled Voyage to the Land of Apartheid that chronicles the “injustices experienced by the Palestinian people due to the military occupation.”
- In October 2010, ASECOP organized an exhibit at the Joaquín Roncal Cultural Center in downtown Zaragoza called “Pazlestina: A Broken Peace” (“paz” is Spanish for peace). The exhibition, which was later moved to different locations around the city, consisted of drawings, photographs, and information panels that explained “the reality of the conflict in the occupied Palestinian territories…to ensure that the conflict does not become a normal situation when it should have been temporary and exceptional, or, in this case, it should never have happened.”
- In November 2010, ASECOP organized a two-day conference called “After Gaza: What?” which was billed as “the first to publicly debate the roots of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.” The event was highly biased against Israel, who according to ASECOP’s president, Jehad Sueiman Rashid, “up until now, has refused to accept a single alternative to the peace process, despite the demands of the international community and the offers made by the Palestinians.”
- ASECOP is active in BDS (boycott, divestments, sanctions) campaigns against Israel.
- In July 2011, ASECOP (together with BDS Group Catalonia) organized the boycott of a cosmetics store, named Minus -417, in a shopping center in the city of Sant Cugat near Barcelona. In a press release dated July 23, ASECOP wrote: “Minus -417 Dead Sea Cosmetic Researches Ltd is an Israeli company that illegally extracts products from the Dead Sea in the occupied West Bank. The exploitation of natural resources from the Occupied Territories violates the Geneva Conventions and various United Nations resolutions. Moreover, it is a company that receives direct support from the State of Israel, which is responsible for the oppression and suffering experienced by the Palestinian people.”
- ASECOP is highly active in political campaigns against Israel and is a signatory to a 2010 statement marking the fifth anniversary of the 2005 Palestinian Civil Society Call for BDS, calling for the “expansion, diffusion and implementation of this campaign throughout the Spanish State” (NGO Monitor translation). The statement continues to call for an institutional, commercial, cultural and academic boycott against Israel.
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