BDS IN THE PEWS
Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS)
August 11, 2013
- Website: http://www.pmrs.ps/
- Founded in 1979 by a group of doctors and health professionals as a “grassroots” and “community-based” health organization.
- Mission statement reveals that the organization’s primary goal is advocacy and political change, for which “health” serves as a vehicle. According to PMRS, “Health is viewed as an entry point for social change and community development."
- Funding: PMRS does not include any financial data, donor information, or sources of funding on its website, creating a complete lack of transparency and accountability. The information is also not available on website databases which report on nonprofit companies and expose financial statements.
- President of PMRS, Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, ran as an independent candidate in the Palestinian presidential race in 2005, served as the Palestinian Minister of Information in 2006, and is currently serving as the Secretary-General of the Palestine National Initiative (PNI).
- The “Advocacy and Networking” section of the PMRS website states that it is dedicated to “lobbying and advocacy with the aim to influence national policies."
- Political Advocacy: Repeatedly claims that Israel violates “human rights,” employs methods of “collective punishment,” “deploys non-conventional weapons against civilians” and seeks to “oust the Palestinians… into densely populated enclaves fully controlled by Israel and geographically separate.”
- Activities: On March 26, 2013, participated in the World Social Forum, held in Tunis. PMRS representatives screened videos on “the consequences of settlers’ violence and violations of Palestinian children's psychology” and “the extreme condition of Palestinian living in the Israeli ruled Area C in the Occupied Territories."
- On June 30, 2010, completed the first phase of a project, in collaboration with the Italian political NGO Terre de Hommes, which sought to “evaluate,” “prevent and stop the deterioration of health and psychological conditions of the children in Gaza living in poverty, under the ongoing Israeli siege and repeated attacks by the Israeli military.” The project claims that “52% of the children in Gaza suffer from anemia, and severe deficiency in phosphor, calcium and zinc, while a significant number of children suffer from infections in their respiratory system.” Independent statistical evidence contradicts these claims, and indicates that the other factors, such as nutritional habits, lifestyle, and education are the main factors, and not Israeli policies. See also the 2010 publication of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS).
- On November 5, 2006, published a press release titled “Urgent Appeal to End Gaza Carnage,” accusing Israel of using “new dangerous weapons which cause severe tissue damage, burning and tearing the victim's body from the inside and leaving long term deformations,” without offering evidence to support the allegations. The statement “urgently appeal[ed] to members of the international community to demand an immediate end to Israel's indiscriminate attacks on women, children and other civilians, which represent a form of reprisals and collective punishment.”
- The “Photo Story” section of website features images of Palestinian children behind barbed wire.