Europe Israel Press Association

Profile: Europe Israel Press Association

1- Name of NGO:

Europe Israel Press Association

2- Brief & Mission:

The Europe Israel Press Association (EIPA) serves as the Israel lobby in Brussels. Established in the middle of 2012, the EIPA operates as a public relations consultancy, facilitating communication between journalists and spokespersons representing the Israeli state. These organizations actively work towards promoting a sympathetic portrayal of Israel within the mainstream media.

3- Bias, Agenda & Motivation:

EIPA, similar to the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM) in London, shares a common objective of ensuring that the mainstream media portrays Israel in a sympathetic manner. BICOM has pursued this goal by cultivating relationships with influential newspapers and broadcasters. In a leaked 2011 email, Lorna Fitzsimons, the then director of BICOM, revealed how she provided briefing to the Financial Times while they were preparing an editorial on the Middle East. The resulting editorial echoed a key Israeli demand regarding the right of Palestinian refugees to return home.

While BICOM engages with politicians, it also places significant emphasis on working with the media. EIPA’s website acknowledges that BICOM has contributed to some of its published material, highlighting their collaborative efforts in shaping public discourse.

4- Links to Governments/Political Agenda:

Keren Ribo, the communications manager of EIPA, has previously served as an editor for IsraelDefense, a magazine known for featuring interviews with Israeli generals and advertisements from Israeli weapons companies. These advertisements often bear slogans such as ‘There’s no better way to spy’. This association suggests that the organization functions as a tool employed by Israel to safeguard and promote its interests.

5- Sources of Funding:

EIPA does not publicly disclose details about its financial activities. There have been allegations that the organization receives funding from Israeli businessmen, although specific information about its financial sources remains undisclosed..

6- Activities:

EIPA offers journalists the opportunity to participate in press junkets to the Middle East, which is one of its main incentives. Itineraries for these tours have included visits to Israeli settlements located in the occupied West Bank. Reports on these trips from the Israeli media suggest that they are meticulously planned and organized. In 2013, for instance, journalists were taken to factories situated on occupied land where Palestinians work, with the intention of presenting the settlements as beneficial collaborations between Jewish and Arab communities. This particular trip was coordinated by Shay Attias, who has held a senior position in Israel’s public diplomacy ministry. Attias currently serves as the chief executive of the Israeli Council for P2P Diplomacy, with P2P standing for “peer to peer.”

7- NGO Leadership:

Keren Ribo holds the position of communications manager at EIPA.

8- Controversy:

EIPA collaborated with several organizations, including the Jewish National Fund, the European Jewish Association, the World Forum of Russian-speaking Jewry, and the public diplomacy group ‘Face of Israel,’ to organize a comprehensive and enlightening tour of Israel and the occupied territories for journalists. The tour emphasized Israel’s technological advancements, as reported by the European Jewish Press.

It is worth noting that the Jewish National Fund, which holds direct ownership of 13 percent of public land in Israel, acquired a significant portion of this land after the displacement of Palestinians in 1948.

9- Contact Details:

  • Website:https://eipa.eu.com
  • Address: Brussels
  • Email: aurelie@eipa.eu.com

10- Classification/Blacklist:

The organization has faced condemnation and scrutiny due to its affiliations with Israel, resulting in its blacklisting.

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