EU signs huge number of science grants for Israel amid Gaza genocide

Urusula von der Leyen and the European Commission are maintaining research funding for Israel. 

Chine Nouvelle SIPA

The European Union has given the green light to a large number of new science grants for Israel amid the genocidal war on Gaza.

Trawling through an EU funding database, I counted almost 90 projects involving Israeli firms or institutions which the Brussels bureaucracy has approved since 7 October.

Israel Aerospace Industries, a weapons maker that has boasted of playing a “pivotal role” in the current war against Gaza, is taking part in at least two of those projects.

Many other projects include Tel Aviv University, the Technion and Hebrew University of Jerusalem. All three of those colleges are offering special funding to students who – as reserve soldiers with the Israeli military – have perpetrated a genocide over the past six months.

I discussed the close connections between Israel’s universities and the military on The Electronic Intifada livestream last week.

Mossad connection

The EU is implicitly allowing Israel to portray its oppression of Palestinians as defensive.

On 8 November – just over a month after the Gaza genocide began – the Brussels bureaucracy authorized a new research project on terrorism.

Among its participants are Reichman University. That Israeli college has a “counterterrorism institute” co-founded by the late Shabtai Shavit, who had previously been a director of Mossad, the infamous spying and assassination agency.

Some EU projects involving Israel’s universities were given the formal go-ahead after the International Court of Justice found in January that there is a plausible case Israel is committing genocide.

By signing the new grant agreements, EU officials are siding with a state ordered to stop committing genocide, widely recognized as the worst crime against humanity.

It is an open secret that Israel has exploited the opportunities afforded by its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza to develop a lucrative arms industry.

The EU has no qualms about giving research grants to businesspeople with deep connections to the weapons trade.

The Israeli firm RunEL is participating in a new EU-financed project on the future of wireless communications. Zion Hadad, the firm’s CEO, used to be a leading scientist with Tadiran, now – under its current name Elbit Systems – Israel’s top weapons producer.

In the early stages of the Gaza genocide, Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission’s president, promised Israel her full and unconditional backing.

Officials working for the EU have shown such support by striving to maintain a business as usual approach. Amid the genocide, the EU’s embassy in Tel Aviv has run a seminar celebrating how Israel “excels” at gaining access to research grants.

Sordid irony

Israel is the second largest beneficiary of the EU’s science program, that seminar was told. Known as Horizon Europe, the program has been allocated a total budget of nearly $104 billion between 2021 and 2027.

Medical innovation is among the objectives of the new EU research projects involving Israel.

There is a sordid irony in awarding Israel grants for health projects at a time its troops have been laying waste to Gaza’s hospitals. Babies in incubators have not even been spared during the current genocide.

Nor should the EU be excused for agreeing to a new research grant for Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial, since the war on Gaza was declared.

Israel has long abused the Holocaust in order to get away with its violence against Palestinians. Yad Vashem has been central to those efforts.

Few things can be more obscene than helping Israel abuse the Holocaust while carrying out a holocaust in Gaza.


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