(Jerusalem) – Jerusalem-based watchdog NGO Monitor this week condemned the role of radical NGOs, many of which are funded by European governments, in the planned voyage to 'break the siege of Gaza'.  Far from providing any genuine aid to Gaza residents, or helping to create understanding, this is a publicity stunt, designed to advance the anti-Israel biases of these NGOs.
 
The event is organized by the 'Free Gaza' organization, a coalition of groups such as the pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement (ISM), the Israel Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) and Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR).  Worryingly, both ICAHD and PCHR benefit from public money through the allocations of the European Union and various European governments, under the "Partnership for Peace Program" and EIDHR, the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights. (See NGO Monitor's detailed report, Europe's Hidden Hand). Clearly, this stunt in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza does nothing to promote peace, democracy or human rights.
 
ISM has a shameful record of placing foreign nationals is danger through encouraging 'direct action', which has resulted in the deaths of both American citizen Rachel Corrie and UK citizen Tom Hurndall,  In 2003, ISM's extreme ideology was underscored when terrorists, originating from the UK, used ISM as a cover to attack the Mike's Place bar in Tel Aviv, murdering three people.  More recently, ISM has been a leading force in the violent protests against the security barrier at Ni'lin.  The current voyage threatens to again sacrifice safety for radical politics.
 
Meanwhile, ICAHD manipulates the language of human rights to promote a similar political agenda. Under the façade of human rights, ICAHD routinely refers to Israel as an 'apartheid' state while Jeff Halper, ICAHD's Director rejects the 2 state solution which would mean the end of Israel as a Jewish state.    
 
The event will cost a reported $300,000, an immoral waste of the European public money enjoyed by NGOs including ICAHD and PCHR.  This amount could surely be used to provide genuine aid by legitimate and apolitical organizations.  The 'Free Gaza' campaign has ignored the Israeli Foreign Ministry's willingness to provide humanitarian aid.
 
NGO Monitor's Executive Director, Prof Gerald Steinberg commented, "This event exposes the worst aspects of the NGO involvement in the conflict. Officials of ISM, ICAHD and PCHR are selfish publicists and fringe ideologues, and those who fund them are complicit.  Instead of providing actual aid to Gaza, like genuine humanitarian organizations, they have shown that they value hatred over assistance."     

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Editors Notes:

Please click to view NGO Monitor's most recent analyses of ISM and ICAHD:

NGO Monitor was founded to promote transparency, critical analysis and debate on the political role of human rights organizations.  For more information, see our website at

Other recent publications and reports by NGO Monitor include:-

Analyzing the NGO Campaign on Gaza – Beyond the Rhetoric – Jan 22, 2008

HRW's Gaza 'Collective Punishment' Hoax  – June 16, 2008

'Europe's Hidden Hand', EU Funding for Political NGOs – March 27, 2008

NGO Monitor's Executive Director is, Prof. Gerald Steinberg.
 

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