Why do Irish Aid and Trócaire still have this NGO as a partner?

BADIL refuses to sign the EU’s anti-terrorism clause on funding.

In mid-June, the European Union (EU) pulled funding from the BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, a Palestinian NGO that promotes the “Palestinian right of return” and is a leader in the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.

The reason the funding was pulled was due to BADIL’s refusal to sign a clause that would oblige it to ensure that no terrorist organisations benefited from the funded programs. The EU has informed the group that due to its refusal to sign Article 1.5 of Annex II of the “General conditions applicable to European Union-financed grant contracts for external actions,” it was obliged to “consider [BADIL’s] application no longer valid”.

130 Palestinian NGOs refused to sign the clause claiming that it amounts to illegal interference. BADIL, for its part, reacted angrily to the cancellation of the funding claiming that the clause amounted to the “acceptance and adoption of the allegations of the Zionist lobby and Israeli campaigns” with the aim of “criminalizing the Palestinians’ struggle”. However, it’s a little disingenuous to suggest that an anti-terrorist clause would only be included in the conditions because of the “Zionist lobby”.

Of course, it makes sense that such a decision by the EU should at least be considered by member states. What of Ireland? Will Irish taxpayers’ money, given as aid, also now be withheld from BADIL? The situation is at best unclear. As described here, Irish Aid gave BADIL a donation €4000 in the last few years – despite the NGO’s history of publishing antisemitic cartoons and posters. More significantly, Trócaire – a major recipient in funding from Irish Aid – still lists BADIL as one of its partners. Is Trócaire still funding BADIL, despite the EU decision?

The huge majority of Irish taxpayers would be horrified that Irish aid might be used in any way to fund terrorist groups. If BADIL is refusing to sign the EU’s anti-terrorist clause, it should not receive one cent of Irish taxpayers’ money. That should apply both to direct aid from Irish Aid and aid given indirectly via agencies such as Trócaire. Now that the new coalition is in place, we hope that the Minister for Foreign Affairs will be able to give such assurances as soon as he can.

by Editorial

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