(Jerusalem) – Jerusalem-based watchdog NGO Monitor has learned this week that the European Union (EU) has decided not to renew its funding of the Israel Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD).
In an ‘urgent message’ to members of ICAHD-USA, the organization’s director Jeff Halper announced ‘We have just heard that our request for re-funding has been rejected…So we now face a real crisis’. The message went on to plead with supporters for extra funds.
For several years, despite its extreme anti-Israel agenda, ICAHD has been a recipient of major EU funding under the Partnerships for Peace framework. The EU has consistently stated that these grants are directed towards specific projects and are not intended as general funds for the organization. However, as NGO Monitor demonstrated in, "Europe’s Hidden Hand" an EU grant of 473,000 Euros in 2005 constituted the majority of ICAHD’s annual budget.
ICAHD consistently manipulates the language of human rights to promote an anti-Israel political agenda. ICAHD routinely refers to Israel as an ‘apartheid’ state while Jeff Halper promotes a one state solution which would mean the end of Israel as a Jewish state. This is in direct contradiction to the EU’s official policy, which promotes a two state solution.
Halper played a leading role in the ‘Free Gaza’ voyage — a publicity stunt which provided another example of ICAHD’s exploitation of human rights and the rhetoric of peace to promote an anti-Israel agenda.
NGO Monitor’s Executive Director, Prof Gerald Steinberg commented, "ICAHD’s façade has finally been acknowledged, and the European Commission has acted appropriately in ending further funding. In reality, ICAHD does nothing to advance coexistence and instead promotes extreme views which fuel the conflict. Following this precedent, we urge the EC to review all such NGO funding in a transparent manner, and establish consistent criteria."
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