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Debate Over EU Funding for ICAHD

By NGO Monitor
August 1, 2007
 

The debate regarding EU funding for the NGO known as the Israel Coalition Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) is intensifying. As NGO Monitor has reported, ICAHD promotes the “Durban strategy” of demonizing Israel, and opposes EU peace policies. In July, ICAHD launched its annual summer camp, described as “rebuilding a house and demonstrating non-violent resistance to the Occupation,” as well as "tours to other parts of the Occupied Territories, Jerusalem and Israel.” These tours focus on what ICAHD calls "the emergence of a ‘Greater’ Jerusalem and the ‘Matrix of Control.’” 

The activities of ICAHD and its head, Jeff Halper, have drawn severe criticism in the international press. Seth Freedman’s column in the Guardian (UK) “comment is free” blog on July 25 states:

"Halper travels the world promoting his message of 'Israeli apartheid' and calling for heavy sanctions to be implemented against the Jewish State. Despite his highly critical take on Israeli government policies, he and his group are allowed to flourish and promote their biased views, unrestricted by intervention on the part of the authorities. Clearly, he's as entitled to his views as the next man but, as a recent report by NGO-Monitor shows, the fact that the EU bankrolls his organisation is a somewhat more unjustifiable situation. According to NGO-Monitor's Dan Kosky, "EU money is being spent in total opposition to actual EU policy, which is based on support for the Middle East peace process, clearly defined by the road map and a two-state solution." When European taxpayers' money is so casually doled out to anti-Israeli groups such as ICAHD, it is little wonder that that many Israeli citizens continue to question the impartiality of the EU and its officials.

In contrast, Consul General of Belgium Leo Peeters reportedly attended one of ICAHD's summer camp tours. As NGO Monitor reported on our Blog, he "expressed solidarity with the work of ICAHD and commended the building work on site".

In October, Jeff Halper will be a featured speaker at conference in Boston organized by Sabeel on "The Apartheid Paradigm in Palestine-Israel." This conference is a further example of the way in which EU funding is used to promote demonization.



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