Protest on Nakba Day, May 15th, 2013
On this symbolic day 30 activists of the Belgian peace organizations ‘Vrede vzw’, ‘Vredesactie’ and the solidarity movement ‘Intal’ organised an action at DG Enterprise in Brussels to demand an end of European funding of the Israeli military industry through the research program FP-7.
According to Ludo De Brabander, spokesperson for the three organisations: “Both Elbit Systems and Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI), two Israeli weapon manufacturers, provide equipment for the Israeli wall that has been declared illegal by International Law. Both are important market leaders of drones that are used for militairy operations in the Palestinian Territories that are illegaly occupied. These same companies receive European funds by particiapting in several research programs under FP7 worth 235,8 million euro.”
Two activists clothed as businessmen from the Israeli arms industry entered the building of DG Enterprise (EU Commission) to ask for more funding of common research programs under the new Horizon 2020 program. Acting in front of security officers they said: “We represent the Israeli arms manufacturing Industry. We’re here to ensure that the very generous research funding that our members currently receive from the European Commission will continue under the coming Horizon 2020 program.”
In a cynical manner both actvist/businessmen pointed to widespread Israeli human rights violations: “you can rest assure that previous money committed under the Framework Program 7 has been spent well,” referring to the funding of drone programs in European Security Research projects with the participation of Israeli arms producers. Israeli Airospace Industries (IAI), the biggest Israeli arms company, has been involved in at least 69 Research and Development programs subsidised by the EU.
Palestinian victims, represented by blood covered activist, showed their suffering as a result of numerous operations by the Israeli military. They unfolded a banner with the message: “Stop EU funding of the Israeli Military industry.”