France: Funding to NGOs involved in boycott campaigns and with alleged ties to terror groups
On social media there was anger at the money being spent on the conference while so many French people live in poverty and are homeless, a staggering 6 million are unemployed, and support for the National Front continues to rise.
As the NGO reports points out officially boycotts are illegal under French law, but unofficially they are encouraged.
An international peace summit, spearheaded by the French government (was) held on January 15, 2017, in Paris. In this report, NGO Monitor documents French government support of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that support discriminatory BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns against Israel and with alleged ties to terror groups. This type of financial support casts doubts on the ability of France to serve as an impartial host of a summit dedicated to peace.
The French government funds numerous French, Israeli, and Palestinian organizations that support and promote BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns against Israel, despite the fact that such boycotts are illegal under French law.
The Platform of French NGOs for Palestine (The Platform) is one such grantee. One of the Platform’s government-funded projects is explicitly geared towards influencing elected officials, media, and public opinion regarding the conflict – an obvious abuse of taxpayer money. The Platform supports boycott campaigns targeting Israel and partners with organizations instrumental in BDS efforts.
France directly and indirectly funds several other NGOs with alleged ties to the PFLP terror group.
French funding to organizations that support boycotts against Israel is in direct violation of French law:
In 2015, the Court of Cassation confirmed a 2013 decision regarding the illegality of boycotts and the call for boycotts in France. Under this law, in 2013, BDS France was fined €28,000 by a local French court, following a call made by 14 activists in 2010 to boycott Israeli products in a supermarket. In addition, each of the 14 activists was fined €1,000.
Despite these legal decisions, the French government continues to fund NGOs that support boycott campaigns.
The support for boycott campaigns in France is manifested in several ways. Examples include:
The Made in Illegality campaign, which includes The Platform of French NGOs for Palestine, International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH), and the French Union La CGT, goes beyond the French government’s November 2016 decision to support labelling products produced in the settlements and instead supports the boycott of such products. The campaign’s goals include “prohibiting the import of settlement products,” “excluding the settlements from their bilateral agreements and cooperation with Israel,” and “excluding companies which are active or located in the settlements from public markets and public procurement procedures…”