(Shutterstock) (Shutterstock)
(Shutterstock)

The EU has given $290,000 to a program headed by three Israeli leftist groups seeking to eradicate the “culture of impunity” among ‎Israeli security forces, a new report has exposed.

By: Ariel Kahana/Israel Hayom via JNS

The collaboration between the European Union (EU) and ‎left-wing groups seeking to undermine Israel and the ‎IDF now includes the funding of legal proceedings ‎against IDF soldiers, a watchdog group revealed last ‎week.‎ ‎ ‎

NGO Monitor, which promotes greater transparency ‎among foreign-funded Israeli nongovernmental ‎organizations, claims that the program, to which the ‎European Union has allocated €250,000 ($290,000), was set up at ‎the request of three left-wing groups and is slated to be ‎in place at least until 2021.‎

This latest initiative is the brainchild of: Yesh Din—‎Volunteers for Human Rights; Breaking the Silence, ‎an advocacy group dedicated to exposing alleged ‎wrongdoings by the IDF; and Physicians for Human ‎Rights—Israel.‎

Citing a “culture of impunity among members of ‎Israel’s security forces,” the groups ‎claim that the Israeli judiciary is incapable of ‎properly investigating illegal actions against ‎Palestinians when those are committed by IDF ‎soldiers.‎

‎“The military justice system allows soldiers to act ‎with almost complete impunity” in cases involving “forced entrances into Palestinian homes,” the ‎groups claim in the petition for EU funding.‎

The Europeans often accuse Israel of allowing its ‎security forces to act with impunity, thus exempting ‎them from accountability for their actions.‎

A Serious Legal Threat

The EU’s consent to fund such legal action is ‎considered a serious legal threat, as up until now, the ‎international community has accepted the assumption ‎that Israel is capable of investigating itself. ‎

The initiative could, in fact, compromise Israel internationally, as under the Rome Statute—the treaty that ‎outlines the principles by which the International ‎Criminal Court in The Hague operates—a country’s ‎inability to investigate itself is grounds for ICC ‎intervention.‎

The groups claim the program is necessary to ‎‎“identify and address, through legal and public ‎proceedings, systemic failures in the military ‎administration,” meaning to point a finger at ‎officers and soldiers.‎

The groups have asked the EU for funding to supply ‎Palestinian women with video cameras, so they could ‎document the IDF’s security missions, especially ‎arrest raids.‎

This is necessary “for the purpose of building a ‎database, providing testimony, following up on ‎investigations, filing appeals over their closing, ‎and filing High Court of Justice petitions on ‎matters of principle and in specific cases,” the ‎funding request explained. ‎

The program “means to keep the issue of Israel and ‎its security forces’ impunity on the international ‎agenda, as well as raise international awareness ‎to the systemic impact of the failure to enforce the ‎law on Palestinian communities.”

It further seeks to “challenge the continued ‎violations of human rights resulting from such home ‎invasions, which are often arbitrarily carried out ‎by the Israeli security forces,” the request ‎continued. It makes no mention of the fact that ‎these alleged “invasions” are actually raids ‎carried out as part of the IDF and Shin Bet security ‎agency’s counterterrorism efforts.‎

Shin Bet Director Nedav Argaman revealed last week ‎‎that these efforts‎ have ‎‎prevented more than ‎250 major terrorist attacks since the ‎‎beginning of the year.‎ ‎

Potential ‎‎Disruption of Counterterrorism Efforts

The program has been set up despite its potential ‎‎disruption to daily counterterrorism efforts, said NGO ‎‎Monitor. The funding request does not ‎specifically state that that is what it seeks to do, ‎but the steps it suggests taking appear to aim for ‎that result.‎ ‎

‎“This is a disturbing step in the way these ‎organizations are working to raise money, especially ‎given the European Union’s agreement to fund a ‎project that claims that the Israeli judiciary is ‎dysfunctional,” a statement by NGO Monitor said. ‎

A statement by Breaking the Silence said that “as ‎usual, Israel Hayom is not interested in checking ‎the facts, only in false headlines that serve the ‎political agenda of the government for which it ‎works. ‎

‎“Breaking the Silence does not, in any way, seek to ‎prosecute Israeli soldiers and their identity is ‎protected from those who wish them harm. Anyone ‎trying to describe a different reality at the ‎expense of journalistic integrity, including Israel Hayom, does so at their own risk.”

A statement by Yesh Din said, “This is a biased ‎report that aims to present human-rights groups’ ‎activities in a false and distorted manner. ‎

‎“As we were not given adequate time to respond to ‎this nonsense, we will say only that the attempt to ‎present this initiative as one trying to undermine ongoing ‎IDF activities is utterly baseless, and it is clear ‎anyone in their right mind, including the reporter ‎and his sources, that the truth is light years away ‎from that. ‎

‎“The claim that this program allegedly seeks to ‎prosecute Israeli soldiers at the ICC is also a ‎total lie,” the group said. ‎

The European Union was unavailable for comment.

shutterstock_196518893

Subscribe to Our FREE Newsletter for More Great Stories Like This One

United with Israel publishes stories like this every day. We believe that our work allows a more balanced view of Israel to emerge. With so much anti-Israel media bias out there from outlets like CNN and the BBC, helping the Holy Land means getting our message out to as many people as possible.

You can help.

Subscribe to our free newsletter to ensure that you get the latest and best stories from United with Israel. Together we can make a difference, and it starts with communication.

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO OUR FREE NEWSLETTER