EU cancels funding to Palestinian NGO that objected to anti-terrorism clause

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The European Union has canceled a joint project and funding for a Palestinian NGO after the NGO objected to the anti-terrorism clause in the funding agreement.

The Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights refused to sign the agreement for the $2 million project. Under the clause, grantees must make certain that members of EU-listed terrorist groups do not benefit from any of the funded programs.

In nearly a yearlong correspondence with the EU, Badil had sought changes to the wording of the clause. The EU responded that it would downgrade the clause from anti-terrorism to anti-incitement.

The three-year project, called Mobilizing for Justice in Jerusalem, was founded to enhance the resilience of Palestinians and expose alleged Israeli human rights violations and “international crimes in Jerusalem,” according to NGO Monitor.

Badil said in a statement posted on its website that “signing the contract criminalizes the Palestinian struggle against oppression and requires the recipient organization to perform ‘screening’ procedures which amounts to policing its own people.” It also spoke of “Israeli colonialism and apartheid” and said the article violates Palestinian and international law.

Olga Deutsch, NGO Monitor’s vice president, said in a statement that her group applauded the EU “for standing strong in the face of pressure and enforcing its anti-terror clause.”

“There is no question that radical groups like Badil, who not only have a history of promoting antisemitism and rejection of Israel, but who will not commit to not working with terror, have no business receiving funding from the E.U. or any other government,” she said.

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