The Role of EU Funding in UK “Lawfare” against MK Tzipi Livni
At the end of June, the British police created a diplomatic furor by sending Israeli MK and former Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni a summons ahead of a trip to the UK Purportedly, Livni was sought for questioning regarding her alleged involvement in “war crimes” during Operation Cast Lead (the December 2008-January 2009 Gaza conflict). According to news reports, the summons was canceled following “diplomatic contacts” between Israel and the UK, and Livni was granted diplomatic immunity for her trip.
The driving force behind the ongoing lawfare campaign against Livni and other senior Israeli officials is the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), which has been lobbying the UK, among other European countries, in an attempt to have Livni arrested.
New information reveals that this NGO is funded by the EU – specifically for lobbying European decision makers!
PCHR is funded by the EU, in conjunction with Oxfam-Novib, for a project aimed at helping “PCHR inform national and international discussions and policy actions with regards to the Israel-Palestine conflict” as well as to facilitate “the lobby visits of PCHR to the EU and EU member states.”
Total EU funding for this project was €123,354 for the period of March 2014-March 2016. PCHR also received $710,000 in core funding from Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland and the Netherlands (via a joint mechanism administered by the Ramallah-based Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat).
Through the funding channeled to PCHR, the EU enables lobbying efforts that directly contradict the EU’s stated objectives. The NGO terms Palestinian terrorism “legitimate resistance” and is a leader of “war crimes” accusations and “apartheid” rhetoric. It has attempted the prosecution of Israeli officials in the UK, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, and New Zealand. It also supports BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) campaigns, including a 2016 call to “criminalize” trade of products originating with Israeli settlements.
Perhaps more importantly, EU funding pays for PCHR lobbying in the EU and among Member States. In other words, the EU is paying to be lobbied. And when the information it receives is based on the skewed analysis and data provided by PCHR, this further impairs European policy making.