The European Lobby in Israel

Seth Frantzman, a PhD researcher at Hebrew University, has written a revealing article about the way the Europeans have insinuated themselves into the Israeli NGO movement to indirectly achieve their goals.  

Frantzman notes that “The EU, realizing it could not get Israel to change its laws through diplomatic means, has resorted to creating an internal lobby within Israel to get Israel to bend to the will of Europe.”  Furthermore “The question is whether the EU funding of these organizations constitutes the creation of a shadow lobby. The EIDHR doesn’t directly sue Israel on behalf of the freedom of movement of Palestinians. Instead it funds local NGOs that do.”

It is more than ironic that Europeans who complain about a pro-Israel lobby, are busily establishing their own Trojan Horse within Israel.

The article is here.   Frantzman writes thoughtful columns under the banner of terra incognita

In 2009 Frantzman wrote a related piece here entitled Colonizing the Conflict where he notes that “Recent revelations that European embassies and the EU fund several radical Israeli ‘human rights’ organizations begs the question: to what degree is the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians choreographed and colonized by outsiders? In the weekly protest at Bil’in Palestinians once again threw rocks at Israeli soldiers and attempted to break through the security fence. But as with every week there were more foreigners than Arabs. Even the Arabs that come aren’t from the villages nearby: the army meets with the heads of the village in order to explain to them what modes of protest are acceptable. The weekly event is like a play or a sitcom that is staged again and again; the format is the same every time.” ..

Frantzman continues ” So why does it go on? It goes on because those who arrive there have a vested interest in having it go on. Websites (such as devoted to the protest at Bil’in stress that many important people and organizations have joined the protests including the Israeli Jewish organization “Physicians for Human Rights”, International Solidarity Movement and Gush Shalom (another Israeli ‘peace’ organization). It is a mandatory stop on any protest-tourists visit to the Holy Land. And it is the place to get wounded for foreign protesters.” 

He also adds “The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a very real conflict. But there is another side to it as well that is simply entertainment for the West. This includes the disproportionate coverage in the New York Times and BBC that covers the most minor people, incidents and events here, especially if they have olive trees in the background. The ‘peace’ organizations that are involved in the conflict have a vested financial and personal interest in it continuing. Without the conflict they would have nothing to do. That is why ‘peace’ activism at Bil’in doesn’t take the form of peaceful protest, but of rock throwing and assaults designed to encourage tear gas and rubber bullets from the IDF which are needed for people to claim they were “injured”, all in front of the cameras. That isn’t peace, it is a manufacturing of the conflict, manipulation of the conflict for the cameras.”

Frantzman opines that “Were the conflict to go away, the legions of people like Mr. Pollak and Ms. Klein who make it their life would no longer be “activists” as a job description. People don’t work against their self-interest. If their job is “peace” they live for war because without it their life’s work would disappear.”�

It’s a relevant comment – “people don’t work against their self-interest”;  even if that self-interest may at times not be initially obvious to an outside person.  For instance, there is clear self-interest for Abbas to prolong the conflict – billions of dollars in aid which would likely curtail if peace was to “break out”;  no need to actually make a compromise and agree to a deal – a deal would undoubtably leave some very unhappy campers e.g. the Palestinians in Lebanon who have been promised their “return”, and Islamists who regard all of Israel as theirs.

But to return to the European funding of NGO’s to further their European agenda. Identifying that it is happening is important, as is having a better understanding of why and how it is happening, and who is specifically funding whom; but then the question remains – what to do about it?

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