More than 150 European academics and researchers are demanding an end to EU funding of Israeli weapons firms under the guise of supporting research.
In a letter to European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and research chief Carlos Moedas on Tuesday, the researchers decry how funds are granted to Israeli arms makers such as Elbit Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries, “the producers of lethal drones that were used in the Gaza military assaults against civilians, together with numerous academic institutions that have close ties with Israeli military industry.”
“We appeal to the European Union to impose a comprehensive military embargo on Israel, as long as Israel continues to blatantly violate human rights,” the researchers add.
“We are deeply disturbed that public funds contributed by European taxpayers are channeled to a country that not only disregards human rights but also uses the most advanced knowledge and technology for the very violation of human rights.”
I am one of the signatories of this letter demanding that the #EU stop funding Israeli arms companies and suspend the EU-Israel Association Agreement.
What does it say about the EU that it is normal for it to fund companies that test arms on civilians?https://t.co/jBDIMX3Mub pic.twitter.com/hO0BL9JEoE
— Syksy Räsänen (@SyksyRasanen) June 5, 2019
The researchers note that Israel continues to enjoy an “exceptionally privileged status in dealing with Europe” despite how Israel perpetrates war crimes against Palestinians that are well documented and “widely condemned by the international community.”
Their call adds to the voices of members of the European Parliament, other academics, European trade unions, political parties and human rights organizations that have over years stated their objections to Israeli participation in EU-funded research programs or called for an arms embargo on Israel.
Last week 19 scientists, many from the European Union, joined the American Nobel Prize winner George P. Smith, to call for a boycott of an international physics competition being held in Tel Aviv next month.
Read more: The EU and Israel’s killing partnership