The Jerusalem based organization NGO-Monitor has done an excellent job in investigating and exposing bias in the EU funding for Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). In a presentation to the European Parliament in Brussels on Tues NGO-Monitor’s President Gerald Steinberg revealed that 57% of the total budget of 170 million euros (me) goes to the Palestine Authority and other pro-Palestinian NGOs in Israel. That means that the EU is funding the Palestinain cause more than all other causes in the world combined. Yet, the fund is supposed to be used to promote democracy around the world, while Israel is acknowledged to be the only democracy in the Middle East, and the PA is certainly nowhere near democratic. Why are so much EU funds being expended to undermine the only functioning democracy in the region?
Even the President of the fund, called the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights(EIDHR), Bastiaan Belder acknowledged that he was not aware of this huge bias. Why is it that the PA receives directly me11 while countries like Syria, Saudi Arabia, Oman and the UAE receive much less or almost nothing to promote democracy? For example, the EIDHR funds NGOs like the Israel Committee Against House Demolitions, and The Holy Land Trust, both of which are effectively arms of pro-Palestinian propaganda. Several MEPs told The Jerusalem Post that they were disturbed by these findings, which incidentally are readily available information, but could not blame the European foreign policy personnel for this huge discrepancy.
While several MEPs expressed their concern at the revelations, some were defensive, including several who have publicly taken pro-Palestinian positions previously. These include a German MEP named Alexandra Thein, who referred to the funding as going to programs that the EU supports rather than to specific NGOs. This is a clear case of those with anti-Israel or anti-Semitic bias supporting the funding of pro-Palestinian so-called human rights organizations at the expense of Israel. This situation has evolved because the European Parliament has never excercised oversight over the EIDHR and so pro-Palestinian elements have essentially taken it over.
(The report can be found at http://www.jpost.com/International/Anti-Israel-NGOs-spark-call-for-reform-from-MEPs-341981 )