EU urged to exclude Israel from research fund

Some 154 organisations and NGOs push European Union to exclude ‘Israeli military companies’ from its development fund.

EU flags
Israel is a part of the union's current research and development initiative, known as Horizon 2020 [File: Francois Lenoir/Reuters]

A number of Israeli firms are at risk of losing billions of dollars if the European Union decides to exclude Israel from its upcoming scientific research and development fund.

Some 154 organisations from 16 countries have urged EU legislators to exclude “Israeli military companies” from being included in an upcoming $117bn research and innovation programme, Israel Hayom daily reported on Sunday.

“The EU has been funding security-industrial research for many years,” the letter, which called on the EU to immediately exclude all Israeli military and security companies from its framework programmes, read.

“European taxpayers’ money is being channeled to military companies, among them many Israeli corporations, under the disguise of research and a promise that the technologies and techniques developed will be used solely for civilian purposes,” the letter continued.

Israel is a part of the union’s current research and development initiative, known as Horizon 2020.

The letter further noted that the EU’s research money has in the past gone towards funding projects serving military interests, as opposed to funding projects with civilian applications as well.

It also said there were many indications that the EU’s border control policies are built on “concepts and technologies” that violate human rights.

As such, signatories to the letter have also asked the EU to limit EU framework programs “strictly to civilian security and peace research”, excluding research in border surveillance and dual-use technologies.

European countries have in other ways funded Israeli military activities inside the occupied Palestinian territories.

An investigation by the Danish media outlet Danwatch found that pension funds in Norway, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands have billions of euros invested in 36 companies involved in illegal settlement building activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Source: Al Jazeera