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Being Thankful

According to the spokesperson of the European Union (EU) in Jerusalem, the latter donates an annual amount in the range of EUR 300 million. The individual countries of the EU also donate a roughly similar amount. So in total, Palestine receives around EUR 600 million annually from the European Union. That’s huge! And makes the EU the largest donor to the Palestinians.

Essentially, the EU works with the PA to build up the institutions of a future independent, contiguous, and sovereign democratic and viable Palestinian state existing side-by-side with Israel in peace and security. Believing that a functioning Palestinian state is essential for a two-state solution to the Middle East conflict, and with the most robust economy in Europe, it comes as no surprise that Germany is the leading donor, with projects in areas such as humanitarian assistance, development cooperation, and police reform.

The German Federal Foreign Office website states that in 2020, the German government provided a total of around EUR 193 million to support the Palestinian people. That amount was divided into EUR 95.46 million for development cooperation and transitional development assistance; EUR 87.2 million for humanitarian assistance; EUR 5.8 million for stabilization and peacebuilding; and approximately EUR 5 million for culture and education.

The Federal Republic of Germany does not recognize Palestine diplomatically. As Palestinians, we hope that will happen someday. However, Germany has a representative office in Ramallah, and there is a Palestinian mission in Berlin. Historically, relations between Palestine and Germany go back as far as 1840, the year when there was a Prussian Consulate in Palestine, which later passed to the German Empire. Since then, the German presence in Palestine has left its mark, and for well over a century, local Palestinians have benefitted from German institutions in various fields, not least of which are the German schools in Palestine.

As generous as the Germans have been to Palestinians, it needs to be said that Palestinians are concerned by the scrutiny faced by those who express solidarity with Palestine. All in all, however, Palestinians are grateful for German aid, without which our plight would have been even more difficult. In fact, I feel that Palestinians do not show or express enough gratitude. So thank you, Germany.

Long live Palestine!

By Sani Meo

  • Sani Meo is co-founder of the English-language print and online magazine This Week in Palestine and has been its publisher since TWiP’s inception in December 1998. Since January 2007, he has also been the publisher of the Arabic online magazine Filistin Ashabab, which targets Palestinian youth.

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