In 2015, an EU “Cultural Diplomacy” grant (€200,000, 2015-2017) was given to three Palestinian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for the stated purpose of “increase[ing] public awareness of EU core values and enhance visibility of the EU cooperation in Palestine through cultural diplomacy…[and to] ensure maximum EU public outreach, in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, by participating in major Palestinian cultural events, performances, and festivals.”
Among the recipients is the Ramallah-based group Popular Art Centre (PAC).
In February 2016, PAC organized a ceremony in honor of “Palestinian martyrs” whose homes were demolished, featuring the “father of the martyr Baha Eleyan” (NGO Monitor translation) as a speaker. Eleyan was one of two terrorists to board a bus in Jerusalem in October 2015 armed with a gun and a knife, murdering three and injuring seven. The same ceremony featured a musical performance captioned “no to laying down guns” (NGO Monitor translation).
The cover photo of PAC’s Facebook page is a public invitation to a children’s festival prominently featuring a drawing of a slingshot. On March 2, 2017, PAC’s Facebook page promoted a BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) event with a poster depicting angry protesters throwing rocks (see screenshots below).
Prior to this grant, PAC was also a co-beneficiary of the EU’s Cultural Programme, as part of the project “Performing Arts: A Pathway Towards Self Expression and Democracy” (€965,970, 2014-2016).
This irresponsible funding is in clear violation of the “core values” it was meant to promote.