“We will not give up on the Palestinian cause for money.”

The message, conveyed by Taysir Khaled, a member of the PLO Executive Committee on a press conference in Ramallah says much more about the nature of aid(ing) than about the Palestinians’ negotiating positions. Repeating, again, Olav Stokke foreign aid is used as a ‘lever to promote objectives set by the donor whom and that the recipient would not otherwise have agreed to’ (Stokke 1995: 11-12). Political blackmailing is part of the aid experiment, not only in the Palestinian case. And this ‘feature’ is more relevant from the recipient’s perspective than for example, the length of roads paved or the number of schools built by donor money. Conditionality is about rejecting social values, norms and beliefs, the very being of the recipient.

The same logic would have applied to the EU-Israeli negotiations on Israel’s participation in Horizon 2020… if  the official explanation of the long-delayed agreement would not have gone as follows: ‘The negotiations were never about getting either side to subscribe to the other side’s principled positions, but about defining practical ways to allow Israel’s participation in an E.U. program governed by E.U. rules. This is what we succeeded to do’ (Maja Kocijancic, spokesperson for Catherine Ashton, the E.U. foreign commissioner, quoted by Science Magazin).

Adiv, Sterman (2014) ‘Kerry threatens to cut PA aid if no peace deal signed. Times of Israel, January 10, 2014  http://www.timesofisrael.com/kerry-threatened-to-cut-pa-aid-if-no-peace-deal-signed/

Cordis (2013) Israel will take part in Horizon 2020. December 2, 2013. http://cordis.europa.eu/news/rcn/36298_en.html

Rettman, A (2013) EU-Israel talks fail to agree on science funding. EU Observer, September 13, 2013. http://euobserver.com/foreign/121424

Stokke, O. ed (1995) Aid and political Conditionality. London: Frank Cass

Vogel, G (2013) European Union and Israel Reach Deal on Funding Program. Science Magazin, 27 November 2013, http://news.sciencemag.org/asiapacific/2013/11/european-union-and-israel-reach-deal-funding-program

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