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Horizon2020 endorses Israeli colonial violence and EU complicity

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For all its glorification of human rights and dignity, the European Union has not bothered to even conceal its involvement in funding Israeli research for atrocities under the Horizon2020 framework. The trend is to persist in the manipulation of legal loopholes which provide the continuation of funding state-sanctioned terror disguised under the now widely-acceptable and deceitful euphemism of security concerns.

In a briefing published recently, the European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine (ECCP) has reiterated, through detailed analysis, that the EU has sustained a dual approach towards Horizon2020 funding for Israel. The briefing, titled “Dual use and Misuse/Malevolent use of research results in the case of EU funding to Israeli military and security companies”, explains how the Israeli dual use for technology has provided a seemingly neutral space which allows for the distortion of research, funding and ultimate aims – namely the continued and endorsed oppression of Palestinian civilians.

The ECCP emphasised that while dual use is acknowledged by Israel: “The EU has no means to stop Israeli companies from misusing the technology and know-how developed through their R&D funding.” Despite this, the EU is obliged by international law to refuse aiding and maintaining Israel’s violation of international legislation.

This contradiction has allowed a perfect rupture between international law and obligations, to the extent that impunity has become a coveted and integral component of any decision and subsequent puerile explanations. An example of such attitude would be the response by Christian Berger, director of the European External Action Service (EEAS) North Africa, Middle East, Arabian Peninsula, Iran and Iraq department: “There is no legal basis to exclude entities/project partners if they carry out military activities outside Horizon2020 actions.”

Dirk Becker, executive director of Innovation and Networks Executive Agency, said: “The allegation that the scientific research that was carried out was used or will be used for military purposes and in order to deploy military products is not substantiated.” This is based upon the premise that Horizon2020 provides funding for scientific research. However, there is nothing to negate the fact that the EU is complicit in providing financial support for research which will be ultimately used by Israel in its oppression of Palestinians, regardless of ethics committees that are allegedly monitoring dual use, misuse and violation of international law.

The information provided in the ECCP briefing is only a sliver of normalised political violence that has virtually progressed unhindered. Seen in isolation, it may be easy to construct imaginary parameters and restrict observation to the discrepancies that provide support for Horizon2020. Yet, the same dynamics bolstering research later used for murder are also evident in other aspects of the EU’s relationship with Israel’s colonisation process.

The EU’s diplomatic role is lethal; its active participation through funding Israeli companies such as Elbit, notoriously known for close links to Israeli state terror, should leave no ambiguity as to where its misplaced loyalties lie. In the background, almost inconspicuous, the Palestinian population remains shackled by an international legacy imposed upon a sliver of land, bearing the lacerations of perpetual colonial massacres and the ignominy of symbolic, ineffective support.

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  • peepsqueek

    “the Palestinian population remains shackled by an international legacy imposed upon a sliver of land”– The periodic removal of Jews from Gaza goes back at least to the Romans in 61 of the Christian Era, followed much later by the Crusaders, Napoleon, the Ottoman Turks, the British and the contemporary Egyptians. However, Jews definitely lived in Gaza throughout the centuries, with a stronger presence in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, until they were all once again removed 10 years ago, every last one of them. It appeased no one, and Hamas rockets rained down on Israel within weeks. Lesson learned!