The EU’s Feeble Attempts to Stop Funding Palestinian Terror, and the Outraged Palestinian Response

Every year, the European Union channels millions of dollars to Palestinian nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), many of which are connected to, or simply branches of, terrorist groups. The EU has at last instituted new regulations to ensure that its funds cease going to such groups, but, writes Khaled Abu Toameh, these regulations are unlikely to accomplish much:

This opaque language [of the new funding guidelines] means that even if a Palestinian NGO applying for EU grants is an affiliate of terrorist groups, or employs individuals from these groups, the EU will [nonetheless] provide it with taxpayer funding—whether designated for emergency responses to COVID-19 or for regular programs.

But even these small steps have aroused Palestinian ire:

In a nutshell, the Palestinian attitude regarding Western funding has always been: “You Westerners owe us this money because you contributed to the establishment of Israel after World War II. Thus, you have no right to set any conditions for the funding. Just give us the money and shut up. Any refusal to comply with our demands will result in our rage, and possibly terrorism and other forms of violence, not only against Israel, but also against you [non-Muslims] in the West.”

The EU “anti-terror” clause thus has drawn sharp criticism from . . . dozens of NGOs based in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Their main complaint is that they cannot accept “politically conditioned funding” from any party, including EU donors. . . . It remains to be seen whether the Europeans will cave to Palestinian threats of retaliation and drop their demand that EU money actually feed hungry people rather than feed Palestinian terrorists’ hunger for Jewish blood.

Read more at Gatestone

More about: Europe and Israel, European Union, NGO, Palestinian terror

Israel Can’t Stake Its Fate on “Ironclad” Promises from Allies

Israeli tanks reportedly reached the center of the Gazan city of Rafah yesterday, suggesting that the campaign there is progressing swiftly. And despite repeatedly warning Jerusalem not to undertake an operation in Rafah, Washington has not indicated any displeasure, nor is it following through on its threat to withhold arms. Even after an IDF airstrike led to the deaths of Gazan civilians on Sunday night, the White House refrained from outright condemnation.

What caused this apparent American change of heart is unclear. But the temporary suspension of arms shipments, the threat of a complete embargo if Israel continued the war, and comments like the president’s assertion in February that the Israeli military response has been “over the top” all call into question the reliability of Joe Biden’s earlier promises of an “ironclad” commitment to Israel’s security. Douglas Feith and Ze’ev Jabotinsky write:

There’s a lesson here: the promises of foreign officials are never entirely trustworthy. Moreover, those officials cannot always be counted on to protect even their own country’s interests, let alone those of others.

Israelis, like Americans, often have excessive faith in the trustworthiness of promises from abroad. This applies to arms-control and peacekeeping arrangements, diplomatic accords, mutual-defense agreements, and membership in multilateral organizations. There can be value in such things—and countries do have interests in their reputations for reliability—but one should be realistic. Commitments from foreign powers are never “ironclad.”

Israel should, of course, maintain and cultivate connections with the United States and other powers. But Zionism is, in essence, about the Jewish people taking responsibility for their own fate.

Read more at JNS

More about: Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, U.S.-Israel relationship