Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a cabinet meeting, June 17, 2018..
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
The European Union will immediately stop funding an NGO “operating in Israel which undermines the State of Israel’s right to exist and seeks to defame it around the world,” the Prime Minister’s Office announced Tuesday evening.
According to the statement, the decision to stop funding the Freedom Protection Council came as a result of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s “diplomatic efforts.”
“This is only the beginning,” Netanyahu said of the decision. “We will continue to take determined action against organizations that seek to delegitimize the State of Israel and strive to defame the state and the IDF
around the world.”
Netanyahu has prioritized the cessation of funding for anti-Israel NGOs in his meetings with European officials. For instance, he reportedly chastised Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide for her country’s financial support of anti-Israel groups when they met Sunday in Jerusalem.
The European Union External Action Service’s website announced the creation of the Freedom Protection Council in late June, and said the NGO’s objective “is to ensure active engagement of Civil Society Organizations by countering systemic barriers that limit their participation in policymaking processes.”
The EU, according to the diplomatic service’s website, provided 365,803 euros of the organization’s 406,448-euro budget for a period from January 2017 to December 2019.
The “implementing organization” was listed as I’Lam – Arab Center for Media Freedom Development and Research.
According to the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor, I’Lam’s stated mission is to harness “the right to freedom of expression and the strength of the media to advance a more democratic, open and just society.” But the organization, according to NGO Monitor, “uses highly politicized language to demonize Israel, promotes boycott campaigns, and engages in political advocacy against Israel.”
The EU spokesperson in Israel could not immediately be reached for comment.
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