The Spanish government is funding anti-Israel organizations, some of whom support the BDS Movement.
NGO Monitor, an organization which reports on the activities of anti-Israel non-governmental organizations, has reported that the Spanish government between 2009 and 2011 funded various political anti-Israel NGOs that have promoted BDS, demonization, lawfare, and other forms of political attacks against the State of Israel. “The process through which the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) chooses projects is severely deficient,” Prof. Steinberg of NGO Monitor explained in Arutz Sheva. He also noted the lack of transparency in accounting for how these groups utilize Spanish money.
THE ANTI-ISRAEL ORGANIZATIONS SPAIN IS SUPPORTING
The Spanish government donated €176,637 (2011), €849,715 (2010) and €98,347 (2009-2010) to the Applied Research Institute Jerusalem for “planning for the geopolitical future of Jerusalem.” One Applied Research Institute Jerusalem publication called Jerusalem’s mayor a racist in 2008, while the organization’s activities include monitoring Jewish communities within Judea and Samaria and supporting BDS.
Breaking the Silence, an anti-Israel NGO devoted to monitoring Israeli soldiers, received €173,188 (2011), €180,763 (2010) and €24,790 (2009) from the Spanish government. According to Amos Harel of Haaretz, “Breaking the Silence…has a clear political agenda, and can no longer be classed as a ‘human rights organization.’ Any organization whose website includes the claim by members to expose the ‘corruption which permeates the military system’ is not a neutral observer.”
The Popular Struggle Coordination Committee received €107,700 (2011) from the Spanish government. According to its mission statement, PSCC promotes a “unique form of community based organizing and resistance in the tradition of the first Palestinian Intifada…. These diverse, non-partisan committees lead community resistance to Israeli occupation in various forms, such as marches, strikes, demonstrations, direct actions and legal campaigns, as well as supporting boycott, divestment and sanctions.”
The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center describes that First Intifada like activities entails: “ massive use of violence employing cold weapons, usually but not always involving the frequent use of Molotov cocktails and stones. In addition, there are sporadic attacks involving knives and vehicular attacks on Israelis.”
The Spanish government donated €181,508 (2009–2010) to the Israeli Committee against House Demolitions, an organization that argues that Israel is an apartheid state despite the existence of prominent South Africans who demonstrate that Israel is not an apartheid state. The group’s director, Jeff Harper, gave a talk about “Israeli Apartheid: The Case for BDS” during an Israel Apartheid Week in Glascow. In addition to supporting the BDS Movement and the idea that Israel is an apartheid state Harper supports the Free Gaza Movement and rejects Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.
These four organizations listed are just a sampling of the types of groups supported by the Spanish government. In 2012, the new conservative Spanish government did announce that they would cut the Spanish foreign affairs budget. In response, some 500 Spanish NGOs published an “open letter” to Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy asking him to make a commitment to maintaining all Spanish development assistance, even though it is very questionable how funding any of these organizations contributes towards Palestinian economic development.
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About the Author: Rachel Avraham is a news editor and political analyst for Jerusalem Online News, the English language internet edition of Israel's Channel 2 News. She completed her masters degree in Middle Eastern Studies at Ben-Gurion University. The subject of her MA thesis was: "Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings in the American, Israeli and Arab media."
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