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PMW lecture to European Parliament MPs, results in calls to investigate EU funding of Palestinian terror

Donna Rachel Edmunds  |

MEPs called for an investigation into how EU money ends up going to Palestinian terror organizations, following a lecture given by Palestinian Media Watch director Itamar Marcus to members of the European Parliament. Marcus presented the new PMW report entitled “Two loopholes in European Union anti-terror funding laws,” .

European Parliamentarians have called for a thorough investigation into how European taxpayers’ money is ending up in the hands of Palestinian terrorists, insisting during a meeting on Tuesday that any loopholes in the law through which the money is slipping must be closed.

“It should absolutely not happen that European taxpayers’ money lead to attacks on Israel,” Dutch MEP Bert-Jan Ruissen said at a meeting in Brussels on Tuesday morning. He was joined by Swedish MEP Charlie Weimers, who said, “If and where loopholes exist in EU counter-terrorism financing legislation, they must be closed immediately.”...

Their comments were delivered during a meeting in Brussels ... Attendees heard from Itamar Marcus, director of Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), who presented the findings of his organization’s recent research paper titled, “Two loopholes in EU anti-terror laws and regulations.”

Delivering the findings via video, Marcus explained that a chain of transfers exists, which effectively funnels money from EU taxpayers to terror organizations that carry out attacks on Israeli citizens.

Hundreds of millions of euros are donated annually by the EU to the Palestinian Authority. Approximately 50 million euros each quarter are passed on by the PA to the Palestine Liberation Organization, which in turn finances organizations such as the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, which has carried out suicide attacks in Israel.

Marcus’s paper explains that in 2017, the European Union adopted a directive declaring acts of terrorism “one of the most serious violations of [...] human rights and fundamental freedoms on which the Union is founded.” The directive criminalized a range of terror activities, including terror financing within EU countries, but did not demand that entities outside the EU in receipt of EU funding refrain from terror-related activities criminalized within the EU. In addition, while it stipulated that NGOs that receive EU funding may not fund terror, no such prohibition is attached to states or non-state entities who receive funding, giving them free rein to fund terror.

“The EU criminalized a long list of terrorist support activities in 2017,” Marcus said. “But the EU is giving money to the PA, which almost every day carries out activities supporting terrorism. If the PA were to conduct such activities in Brussels, the perpetrators would end up in jail. How can the EU finance terrorists outside the EU who would be imprisoned in the EU? Why do non-EU citizens not deserve the same protection against terror that EU citizens deserve?”...

Leo van Doesburg, Israel Allies Foundation’s European representative and European Christian Political Movement director for European Affairs, said more needed to be done.

“Although the European Union is making positive steps to avoid that European funding goes to NGOs supporting terrorism, this report shows that there are still loopholes in the framework of EU support of the Palestinian Authority,” he said. “It is important to make clear that we do not accept any EU funding for the finance of Palestinian terrorism. The safety of Israel and its citizens should be a priority of the EU’s policy on the matter.”

Marcus, meanwhile, urged the parliamentarians not to get bogged down in the details of funding chains and money transfers.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s not EU money funding terror glorification,” he told The Jerusalem Post. “The EU should not be funding the PA when their activities have been criminalized by the EU. Why would they want to support people who they determined in their own laws are terror supporters?”]