The European Union spent nearly €5.5million ($6.4 M) in 2019 on grants to NGOs focused on promoting ‘Palestinian culture’ as well as ‘preserving Palestinian identity’ in the Old City of Jerusalem and surrounding neighborhoods, a report into EU spending revealed.
In June, the Commission updated its financial transparency system, filing information of the grants granted to NGOs in 2019. NGO-Monitor analyzed the data and revealed that of 42 grants handed for projects in Israel, the Judea-Samaria and Gaza, which totaled €37.15 million ($43 M), seven of them, which totaled €11.8 million ($14 M) were Jerusalem focused projects.
One of them was a grant totaling €1,184,538 ($1,397,259) granted to ACT For Alternative Dispute Resolution And Studies, the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs (PASSIA) as well as PalVision, “To contribute to preserving the Palestinian character and cultural heritage of East Jerusalem (EJ) by strengthening the Palestinian identity and enhancing the sense of belonging among Palestinians.”
The project’s goals included: “To protect Islamic and Christian Waqf religious and cultural heritage properties against Israeli violations and threats” and “To enhance Palestinians ability to identify and value their cultural heritage and have a good understanding of what can be done to protect their cultural heritage.”
An additional, €2,086,757 ($2,461,486) was granted to Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC), the Society of St. Yves; Jerusalem, Land Research Center (LRC); Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counseling (WCLAC); and Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem (CCPRJ) with the underlying mission of supporting “the marginalized Palestinian communities of east Jerusalem, increase their resilience, prevent forcible transfer and reinforce the Palestinian identity of east Jerusalem.”
Specific goals of the project included: “1.To challenge the Israeli policies targeting the marginalized Palestinian communities in east Jerusalem, reduce their impact, and empower those targeted communities through legal aid and advocacy 2.To document, challenge and ultimately transform Israeli policies.”
A project claiming to be “inclusive education for east Jerusalem children” listed as it’s goals being to “Contribute to preserve the Palestinian identity of occupied east Jerusalem. While promoting equity and inclusion adopting a rights-based approach, thus addressing the needs of Palestinian students and the overall young community of east Jerusalem (EJ).”