Special Edition: 21 October 2004
Christian Aid: Report Uses Humanitarian Aims
to Promote Political Bias
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Although Christian Aid claims to be a charitable and humanitarian
organization, the main focus of its activities on Arab-Israeli issues
is almost entirely political. In its latest publication, "Facts
on the ground: The end of the two-state solution?", (October
21 2004), the facade of humanitarian objectives has been dropped
entirely in favor of a blatantly political and highly partisan position
that is entirely outside of this NGO's competence.
Like many previous
reports by Christian Aid, this report ignores the complexities
of the conflict and its history, while its authors examine a single
element, out of context of the broader picture. Thus, they have
failed to consider the role of incitement to hatred, and extremist
Palestinian demands on issues such as refugee claims, which have
been manipulated since the 1948 war in order to block agreement.
Christian Aid's latest venture into the complex politics of the
Arab-Israeli conflict also fails to consider Palestinian rejection
of all proposals regarding shared access to Jerusalem, which was
another critical factor in the collapse of the permanent status
negotiations. And although the history of Palestinian terror in
the service of rejectionism receives limited attention, Christian
Aid's claim that "the issue of land - which is both the problem
and the solution in the conflict between Palestinians and Israel",
reflects a very narrow and largely uninformed perspective.
Instead, by isolating the single issue of land, and examining this exclusively from the perspective of the Palestinian leadership, Christian Aid has produced a highly biased and counterproductive political publication, which will add more fuel to the fire and hostility.
The emphasis on a "single state solution" also repeats reflects the current political position of the Palestine Liberation Organization, headed by Yassir Arafat. Under Arafat's guidance, Michael Tarazi, of the PLO's Negotiation Support Unit (which is funded by the British government as a "development" project) has recently written a number of newspaper columns on precisely the same themes as those that are the subject of this Christian Aid report.
Thus, the claim that this report reflects the "Facts on the ground" is highly
misleading - these facts are highly selective and filtered through
a pro-Palestinian political lens. Although emphasizing political
assertions (I.e. "the strangulation of the Palestinian economy,
as more land is taken from the West Bank for settler roads and settlements"),
the impact of terrorism and corruption among Palestinian leaders
receives scant notice. The exposed politicized objectives of Christian
and Israeli partners" have been substituted for professional
and unbiased analysis of these complex and controversial issues.
As a result of these and other serious deficiencies, the claim that the recommendations that flow from this report are likely to somehow resolve a conflict that has continued for 75 years (long before "occupied territory") is simply not credible.