Members of the Palestinian National Campaign to Reject Politically Conditioned funding met to discuss developments related to the European Union’s (EU) insistence on imposing nationally unacceptable political conditions within the grant contracts for civil society institutions.
The arguments presented by the EU (that these conditions are universal, and that they are not specific to Palestine, and therefore they are not subject to change) do not justify the inclusion of such conditions that contradict the rights of the Palestinian people to struggle for self-determination and to form political parties.
The European Union’s endeavor to compel Palestinian civil society to accept its definition and special classifications of terrorism and implement screening and vetting procedures is an unacceptable approach. Further, and more importantly, this approach contradicts the EU’s stated obligations regarding the status of occupied Palestine, the suffering of our people and the continuing violations of Israel.
This fundamental shift in the EU position vis-a-vis the terms of funding is comparable to the position of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
As in the USAID case, this shift requires a collective and unified position, especially since the persistence of these conditions will cause Palestinian civil society to deviate from its purpose and role, enhance its dependency, destroy its reputation and abolish the whole culture of civil voluntary and communal work.
In light of the above and in consideration and concern for a unified position, based on the rejection of politically conditioned funding, including not being drawn into negotiation of terms that may legitimize the EU lists and procedures, the members determined that the Campaign will continue, expand, and intensify its efforts. In coordination and cooperation, the Campaign
Members will take the following gradually intensifying actions such as Issuing and distribute an introductory brief explaining politically conditioned finding and criteria for acceptance or rejection.
Support the launch of a campaign of European institutions in solidarity with the Palestinian Campaign to Reject Politically Conditional Funding.
Mobilizing the Palestinian public – organizations, grassroots movements and communities – in activities supporting the Campaign’s demand to exclude unacceptable political conditions from funding contracts with Palestinian civil society institutions, through the media, social media, and the production of appropriate materials.
Preparing for a well-supported public event.
Calling, once again, on the Palestinian Liberation Organization, the Palestinian National Authority, and the Palestinian political parties, individually and collectively, whether or not they are listed in the EU sanction list, to issue a clear declared position rejecting the EU’s conditions, and obliging it and all institutions willing to work in Palestine to cancel any condition criminalizing our people’s legitimate national struggle and political parties.
Furthermore, the argument made by the intensified Israeli strategy presenting the rejection of the unacceptable political conditions as a terrorist act is further evidence of an attempt to criminalize the struggle of the Palestinian people and the demonization of civil society organizations. Accordingly, the Campaign, while re-affirming its commitment to the rights-based approach and international law, calls on the EU to recognize the dangers of obligating Palestinian institutions to accept its political conditions.
This will lead to the criminalization of organizations and their staff in the future, according to what was expressed by Zionist-Israeli opinion.
The EU must put an end to what will be caused by the inclusion of these rejected conditions in funding contracts.