Sunday, June 28, 2015

France: Gaza flotilla NGO generously funded by French Government

But neither François Hollande nor Manuel Valls nor Laurent Fabius will say a single word about this.  Neither will French Jewish journalists or  intellectuals like Bernard-Henri Levy and Alain Finkielkraut...  Europe is definitely not America.

Arutz Sheva reports:

Key 'Freedom Flotilla III' organizers received roughly half a million euros from French government aid agency. One of the NGOs behind the latest anti-Israel flotilla to Gaza is funded by the French government, Arutz Sheva has learned.

The Platform of French NGOs for Palestine (Plateforme des ONG françaises pour la Palestine) is among the groups supporting the Freedom Flotilla III, which seeks to directly defy the Israeli government's blockade of the Hamas-ruled enclave.

On Friday the Platform announced that the latest boat to join the flotilla, The Marianne of Gothenburg, had set sail from Sicily and was set to join four other vessels carrying some 70 anti-Zionist activists en route for Gaza.  Among those on board will be former Tunisian president Moncef Marzouki, Spanish MEP Ana Maria Miranda Paza and Arab-Israeli MK Basel Ghattas (Joint List), whose planned presence has triggered widespread controversy in Israel.

But another potentially controversial aspect of the flotilla that has been largely overlooked is the role played by European government-funded NGOs.  The Platform of French NGOs for Palestine is an umbrella organization for more than 40 anti-Israel groups, and is very active in the so-called BDS (Boycott Divestment and Sanctions) movement against Israel. Among other things, the Platform demands an end to all agreements and relations between the European Union and Israel.

It is also a regular recipient of French taxpayers' money, via the French Development Agency (Agence Française de Développement or AFD), a public aid agency which works on behalf of the French government to carry out "sustainable development programs" around the world.

Although much of the AFD's resources are devoted to projects in Sub-Saharan Africa, it also invests millions elsewhere, including the Middle East.

As recently as March 2014, the AFD approved a three-year grant of 225,000 euros to The Platform of French NGOs for Palestine.

This was not the first such grant by the AFD to the Platform; between 2010-2011 the agency donated a total of €261,200 to the group.   The Platform has also received thousands of euros in donations from French parliamentarians, according to a 2014 report by the NGO Monitor watchdog.

Neither is the Platform the only radical anti-Israel NGO to receive French government funding. For example, the Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS) received a grant  of €139,550 from the AFD between 2012-2014. 

The single-biggest Palestinian recipient of French Development Agency is the NGO Development Center (NDC), which in 2010 received a €5,000,000 AFD grant over the course of three and a half years. 

Among other things, the NDC actively works against "normalization" with Israel, and published the "Palestinian NGO Code of Conduct," which calls on Palestinian NGOs to reject "any normalization activities with the occupier, neither at the political-security nor the cultural or developmental levels." It also published "A Strategic Framework to Strengthen the Palestinian NGO Sector, 2013-2017," which "aims to provide a strategic direction to NGOs," including an "Anti-apartheid wall campaign" and "Anti-normalization campaign."  More.

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