A number of NGOs lobbied EU states to oppose the new European Union-Israel agreement, discussed at a June 16, 2008 meeting in Luxembourg. The NGOs exploited this opportunity to promote their hostile political agendas under the guise of human rights advocacy.
Amnesty International called on the EU to link enhanced diplomatic ties on "an upgrading of the human rights dimension," specifically with respect to Gaza, settlements and administrative detention, and Oxfam International issued a similar political statement. In a joint letter, al-Dameer, Al Mezan, Al Haq and DCI/PS erased the context of Palestinian terror to attack Israel for violations of “child rights”. Charges included "willful killing of children," and the "[Israeli] military’s systematic disregard for principles of international law on the protection of civilians, particularly children." NGO Monitor has documented DCI/PS’ consistent double standards that erase attacks against Israeli children, false and exaggerated claims, and use of unverifiable “evidence.” The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) – including Adalah, B’Tselem and PCHR, and COHRE also sent letters of protest using human rights rhetoric.
However, the members of the European Union rejected this campaign against Israel and approved the upgrade in diplomatic, economic, agricultural, educational and environmental ties.
Italian Foreign Minister vs. EU funding of anti-Israel NGOs
Commenting on the EU’s relations with Israel at a forum in Berlin, the newly appointed Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini criticized EU aid to "NGOs close to Hamas using it to indoctrinate children against Israelis," noting a trend in the past of an "unbalanced stance vis à vis Israel." NGO Monitor’s study on EU funding for NGOs was quoted in media coverage of this issue.