The European Union allocates millions of Euros annually to a select group of Israeli, Palestinian and other political NGOs under a number of different frameworks. While the names and amounts of the grantees are, for the most part, made public, the decision making processes remain highly classified “state secrets,” in violation of basic democratic transparency. Similarly, any evaluations of the outcome of these grants, which number in the hundreds, are also closely held secrets.
The one exception is the protocol or summary of a 1999 meeting (included below) of the EU’s “of the ad-hoc selection committee for People to People/Permanent Status Issues projects in support of the Middle East peace process”, at which various NGO funding proposals were examined. The protocols reflect the discussion and justifications provided by 6 EU officials in awarding large sums to at least 17 NGOs (the document is incomplete and there may be more.) Among the recipients were Peace Now (€400,000) for “outreach” to immigrants from the former Soviet Union (“groups that traditionally have anti-peace views and vote Likud”, the Four Mothers Movement to Leave Lebanon in Peace (€250,000), the Institute for Democracy and Leadership Training (€400,000) for a “project” directed at changing the minds of Israelis from the FSU voters, and similar to Peace Now’s.
The objectives of this EU funding are clear, as are the results. And, as noted above, the EU has refused to release the protocols of such funding meetings from 2000 to the present.
For further analysis, see Gerald M. Steinberg, Prepared Statement for European Parliament session on the Situation of NGOs and Civil Society in Israel (2010)
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Author : Watching the Watchers