Guest post by Collin McMahon
Just like Spygate in the US, far-left NGOs are trying to bring down the conservative government of Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel. Israeli representative Ariel Kallner has revealed that these radical anarchist organizations are being funded by the EU – nothing short of a declaration of war on a sovereign state.
The leftist organizations protesting outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s house in Balfour Street in Jerusalem are financed from abroad, mainly by the EU and Germany, as NGO Monitor’s Itai Reuveni has stated.
??? For the 18th week in a row, thousands of anti-Netanyahu protesters gather outside his official residence in Jerusalem pic.twitter.com/RVriVRT6Mp
— Noga Tarnopolsky (@NTarnopolsky) October 24, 2020
On Sept. 30th, Likud MK and chair of the Caucus on Combating Delegitimization & Anti-Semitism Ariel Kallner wrote to German ambassador Dr. Susanne Wasum-Rainer to complain about German funding for left-wing Human Rights Defenders Fund (HRDF), which provides legal defense to the violent protestors.
„Recent reports in the Israeli media unraveled the (HRDF) legal counsel being provided, among others, to a minority of violent protestants demonstrating in front of the official residence of the Prime Minister of Israel. This minority has been highly criticized for its bellicose behavior, first threatening and oft-injuring police officers, and finally ignoring mask-wearing and social distancing rules, thus endangering general public health,” Kallner wrote.
Writing in Israel National News, EU Parliament Budget Rapporteur Joachim Kuhs (AfD) said, “I am appalled and shocked by these revelations, and will examine this thoroughly, including the classified files. If these accusations are true, this will be reprimanded in my budget report.”
As Chairman of the Knesset Caucus on Combating Delegitimization, Kallner wrote: “I would like to express my sincere concern about this intervention in Israel’s internal affairs that constitutes an undermining of its sovereignty.”
“I find it inconceivable that the State of Israel would fund legal protection for demonstrators against the German Bundestag, even less a violent minority harming law-enforcement officers and overall public health”, Kallner wrote. “Therefore, I enjoin you to muster the necessary effort in monitoring, tracing and halting the funding for HRDF and other relevant Israeli NGOs.”
In her answer of Oct. 5, German Ambassador Dr. Susanne Wasum-Rainer denied the allegations: “Rest assured that the Federal German Government does not support or fund any violent or illegal activities of civil society organizations, neither in Israel nor in other countries. Any organization or project funded by the Federal German government has successfully passed a thorough and transparent screening process.”
Writing on Facebook, Kallner said the German ambassador’s response “couldn’t be more condescending”: “The only reason why we know how much Germany has passed to the Human Rights Defenders Fund and other Israeli organizations, is the Israeli transparency law that requires Israeli associations to report support from foreign countries. No stage of the German funding process on its own part – starting with the organization’s choice, or decisions on budget and project – is transparent.”
The pro-Israel Alternative for Germany (AfD) party posed a formal query to the German government July 13, asking how much funding Berlin provides to which NGOs in Israel and the PA. In its answer Aug. 7, the German government answered that this funding is Classified, because “organizations of civil society are victims of threats and repression” in Israel. It was not clear who the German government was accusing of “threats and repression” except for Israeli authorities.
According to NGO Monitor, Human Rights Defenders Fund received €58,940 from the German government 2018. According to the EU Financial Transparency System, HRDF received €299,988 from the EU 2019.
According to press reports, the NGO HaMoked – Center for the Defense of the Individual is also involved in the legal defense of violent anti-Netanyahu protestors. According to NGO Monitor, HaMoked received €884,164 from the tax-funded church charity Misereor Germany in 2018, and €667,049 from the EU.
When German foreign minister Heiko Maas visited Israel in June, angry victim’s families protested German and European financing for HaMoked, which defends terrorists and murderers, as Arutz Sheva reported.
According to NGO Monitor, HaMoked is funded by the EU (2018: €667,049; 2017: €605,615) and by Miseror Germany (2018: €884,164).
The NGO „Standing Together“, which is organizing the violent protests outside the family home of the Israeli Prime Minister, is also financed by the German government and the party foundations of the German Left and Green parties, Kallner said, based on information from the Israeli Registrar of Associations. „Standing Together“ was funded by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation (Left Party) with €38.825, the Heinrich Böll Foundation (Greens) with €10,075 and the German government’s Civil Peace Service (ZFD) with €11,200.
ZFD is a project of the German Foreign Aid ministry, which purports to aim to “prevent violence”. According to NGO Monitor ZFD works with the shady lawfare NGO “Society of St. Yves” in Israel, which floods Israeli courts with lawsuits to force illegal Arab settlements in Israeli areas, as Naomi Linder Kahn of Regavim states. The “Society of St. Yves” has been supported by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats in the past.
Angela Merkel intervened personally with the Israeli government in 2019 to prevent the demolition of illegal Bedouin settlement Khan al Ahmar. On Oct. 19, EU representative in the PA Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff visited a PA school constructed illegally on Israeli territory with EU funding, on a trip sponsored by radical left-wing NGOs B’Tselem and Breaking the Silence, as the Jerusalem Post reports. B’Tselem and Breaking the Silence are also sponored by the EU, German government and party foundations, as NGO Monitor reports. So the EU helps the PA seize Israeli territory and then sends its representative on a photo op sponsored by radical anti-Israel NGOs.
Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff was highly criticized in Israel in Spring for stating that Palestinian groups on the EU terror list can still apply for funding. NGO Monitor wrote a letter of protest to EU Commissioner Ursula von der Leyen in April. On June 9, Maciej Popowski of the European Commission Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations office replied that “allegations of the EU supporting incitement or terror are unfounded and unacceptable and we strongly object to any such suggestion. Strict monitoring and control mechanisms make sure that all individuals involved in EU funded actions exclusively pursue the objectives and activities approved for EU funding.”
„If there is clear evidence that any organization has made an inappropriate use of EU funds, the European Commission will take the appropriate measures such as recovery of the funds, exclusion of the entity from future EU financing, prosecution, etc. The Commission has received recently a number of requests for clarification on the matter. I can assure you that we took immediate action, including asking the EU Head of Delegation to Israel and EU Representative to the West Bank and Gaza Strip to look deeply into the matter. This internal review process is ongoing. If there is any concern, the European Commission would act immediately. Let me also reiterate that there is no terrorism financing from EU funds. If it ever happens, despite all safeguards in place, it will not be tolerated and will have to be rectified,” Popowski wrote to NGO Monitor.
The fact that the EU Representative to the West Bank and Gaza Strip Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff was holding photo ops at illegal PA/EU settlements sponsored by radical anti-Israel, pro-BDS NGOs like B’Tselem and Breaking the Silence would seem to contradict this letter. Perhaps the European Commission does need to “act immediately”.