Wiesenthal Centre to European Commission: “Investigate France, Spain and Ireland for Alleged Continued Funding of Palestinian Terror Organizations.”
November 19, 2020
Paris – In a letter to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, expressed outrage at findings of the highly regarded Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), entitled “Have France, Spain and Ireland agreed to fund Palestinian terror organizations?”
The report, by Adv. Maurice Hirsch, notes that, following the August 2019 bombing by the PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine) - murdering a 17-year old girl and wounding her family - “four of the six main terrorists arrested were not only members of the PFLP, but were also central figures in Palestinian NGOs that were the recipients of substantial aid from the European Union”... “the EU announced, after the murder, that it had added a new condition to its ‘General Conditions’ form for NGOs requesting support,” requiring their commitment “to preventing EU money going from them to any potential beneficiary on the EU’s restrictive measures list – i.e. EU designated terror groups,” such as the PFLP.
The Wiesenthal Centre had commended the EU for this measure:
“1.5 bis. Grant beneficiaries and contractors must ensure that there is no detection of subcontractors, natural persons, including participants to workshops and/or training and recipients of financial support to third parties, in the lists of EU restrictive measures.” [Website of the European Commission]
The report explained that, “While the EU, as a whole, took steps to ensure that its aid to NGOs does not fund Palestinian terror, the Palestinian Coordination Committee of the National Campaign Against Conditional Funding has announced that Spain, France and Ireland have agreed to continue funding to Palestinian NGOs, even in the absence of any assurance that their aid is not funneled through the recipient Palestinian NGOs to terror organizations actively involved in murdering Israelis.” (see https://palwatch.org/page/18375)
Samuels commented on the three allegedly delinquent countries, stressing the danger of “deals” with terrorists - directly or indirectly - and the rebound threats of French, Spanish and Irish terrorism:
Following the 1980’s spate of terror attacks against Jewish targets in France, we were informed about a “verbal deal” struck by French Intelligence (DST) with the Abu Nidal Organization (a.k.a. Fatah Revolutionary Council), to the effect that offered "freedom of movement in France in exchange for a moratorium on violence on French territory." Lacking a reliable source, we dismissed such an outrage as, what is known today as “Fake News”... But, a year ago, the “deal” was admitted in an interview with former head of DST, Yves Bonnet (Le Parisien, 8 August 2019).
At the time of the rue de Rosiers massacre, I received a call from a French commercial pilot. We met. He reported that Palestinian arms were reaching Europe. He claimed that materiel was assembled off the coast of Venezuela, on Isla Margarita – today a free-trade zone, allegedly controlled by Hezbollah, with a growing presence of Hamas, al-Qaeda and ISIS fugitives among an Arab community of some 12,000.
"The arms were sent by boat to the French Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe or Martinique. From these territories, flights considered as domestic could freely arrive in Paris without security or customs controls,” claimed the pilot.
At the time, we turned to the Élysée Palace and were assured that President François Mitterand himself knew nothing of this deal. A few days later, we learned that the “delegate general of Palestine” (a.k.a. “ambassador of Palestine”) to France, Ibrahim Souss, was hauled into the Quai d’Orsay Foreign Office, allegedly to discuss the islands’ “traffic” issue.
If our pilot source was correct, the arms supply to Abu Nidal through France into Europe could have been used in his terrorist organization’s subsequent deadly itinerary resulting in at least 400 murdered victims and many more wounded: 23 November 1985, Egypt Air Flight 648 hijacking and stand-off in Malta, 58 killed ; 27 December 1985, simultaneous shootings at the El Al ticket counters in Rome and Vienna airports, 20 killed and 138 wounded ; 5 September 1986, Pan American flight 73 hijacking, 20 killed and 120 wounded ; 6 September 1986, attack against the Neve Shalom synagogue in Istanbul, 22 killed ; 11 July 1988, attack on a Greek cruise ship, 10 killed and 98 wounded ; 21 December 1988, Pan American flight 103 explosion over Lockerbie, Scotland, claimed by Abu Nidal among other suspects, 270 killed.
According to the US Department of State, Spain was “on ‘high’ national alert for terrorism throughout 2019, for the fifth year in a row and Spanish authorities continued to arrest individuals suspected of planning terror attacks; facilitating terrorist financing; and engaging in ISIS- and al-Qa’ida-related recruitment and radicalization"... “It has aligned with the “Counter-Terrorism Strategies of the EU with four pillars: Prevent, Protect, Pursue, and Prepare the response.”
El Paìs has reported that the leftist party, Podemos, maintains “close relationship, which is both political and financial in nature,” and “significant funds from the Venezuelan and Iranian governments.”
A UK Government Foreign Travel advisory places terrorism in Ireland as a high risk factor, especially against UK interests.
Ireland annually provides €10 million in bilateral and multilateral aid to Palestinian organizations.
The New Irish Republican Army (NIRA) is a dissident paramilitary branch of the historical IRA, fruit of mergers between the radical Real IRA, proscribed in Britain and in the United States, and other smaller factions.
The traditional IRA-NIRA/PLO-PFLP cooperation - dating back to the 1970s - reportedly continues: Paul Collinson, a British explosives expert, identifies 200 IRA-issue pipe bombs in Jenin after Operation Defensive Shield ; in August 2020, a Palestinian recruited by the NIRA was arrested in Scotland on terrorism charges.
“Madam President of the European Commission, we urge you to launch an investigation into the PMW charges against these three EU member-States and to take appropriate measures for the sake of all parties,” concluded Samuels.
For further information, contact Shimon Samuels at email@example.com, join the Center on Facebook, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent directly to your Twitter feed.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).