‘This is only the beginning,’ stated Netanyahu, vowing to ‘continue to take determined action against organizations that seek to delegitimize the State of Israel and strive to defame the state and the IDF around the world.’
Following diplomatic efforts by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the European Union (EU) has announced it is immediately cutting all funding and contacts with the Freedom Protection Council (FPC), an NGO operating in Israel.
A statement by Netanyahu’s office described the FPC as a group the “undermines the State of Israel’s right to exist and seeks to defame it around the world.”
“This is only the beginning,” stated Netanyahu, vowing to “continue to take determined action against organizations that seek to delegitimize the State of Israel and strive to defame the state and the IDF around the world.”
The EU has not responded to the statement, while Haaretz reported that I’lam’s director Kholod Massalha said he is looking into the matter.
The FPC describes its mission “ensuring democratic space for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Israel.”
The Freedom Protection Council, which was founded in 2017 by Ilam – the Arab Center for Media Freedom Development and Research, serves as an umbrella for some 20 extreme-left wing Jewish and Arab NGOs, including B’Tselem, Adalah, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel and the Mossawa Center.
I’lam bills itself as a media monitoring group based in Israel, which also claims to promote Arab empowerment, democracy, and and human rights by drawing “attention to the adversities that afflict the Arab minority in Israel.”
NGO Monitor noted that although I’lam does carry out programs to develop Arab media in Israel and bring Arab affairs to greater public attention, these are only part of its activities. The organization also disseminates politically motivated material that makes unsubstantiated claims and frequently fails to provide sources and evidence for its assertions.
NGO Monitor is an independent research institution that tracks other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that use the “humanitarian” banner as cover for anti-Israel activities.
Israel has repeatedly called on the EU to halt funding to more than a dozen European and Palestinian non-governmental organizations that promote boycotts against Israel, saying the financial support violates the EU’s stated policy of opposing boycotts against the Jewish state.
Israel said the NGOs received a total of 5 million euros ($5.9 million) in 2016, the last year for which data was available.
Some of the NGOs have links to Palestinian terrorist groups.