European Union research subsidies have been a crucial source of funding for Israeli academic institutions, businesses, and government agencies, including many military companies, that are deeply involved in human rights abuses and international law violations – including entities operating in, and profiting from, illegal Israeli settlements.
Concerns about EU taxpayer money going to Israeli businesses and institutions implicated in war crimes and human rights violations have been voiced by Members of the European Parliament , and many European and Palestinian civil society and human rights organisations for many years.
The EU’s stance vis-à-vis Israel’s violations of international law and human rights abuses has been paradoxical and hypocritical; while frequently expressing “deep concern” and “condemning” Israel’s illegal settlements, it nevertheless has rendered itself complicit by funding the very same companies and institutions that carry out, or otherwise aid and abet, these unlawful activities.
EU Complicity in Israel’s Violations of International Law and Palestinian Rights
Israel is not a member of the EU but, following the signing of the EU-Israel Association Agreement, since 1995 Israeli applicants have had the same access to the EU research grants as EU members.
The EU has legal and moral obligations not to recognise Israeli sovereignty over the territories it has occupied since June 1967, not to further empower Israel’s unlawful military occupation and its oppression of millions of Palestinians, and not to further undermine the Palestinian people’s inalienable and universally-recognised human rights.
Yet, through Horizon Europe funding, the EU is complicit with Israel’s violations of International and Human Rights Law. This complicity manifests itself in three main ways:
• By funding companies complicit in Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights and discriminatory policies, including the Crime of Apartheid as defined in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court;
• By funding Israeli military companies accused of involvement with war crimes;
• By funding entities that are participating in Israel’s colonisation and expansion of illegal settlements.
It is difficult to escape the conclusion that the EU is thus complicit in the death, displacement and discrimination inflicted upon the Palestinian people by the State of Israel.
Read more in our briefing here which outlines some of the most egregious examples of this complicity; but it should be noted that this is not an exhaustive list.