Summary: The YMCA’s relief and development agency, Y Care International, headed by former Anglican hostage negotiator Terry Waite, claims to aid young people in the Middle East. Y Care has a number of initiatives to assist Palestinians, but it also participates in the political campaign that blames exclusively for Palestinian hardships, and removes the context of terror.
Y Care International is the international relief and development arm of the YMCA in the UK and Ireland. According to its website, “Y Care International works in partnership with YMCAs across the developing world, funding and supporting grassroots development programmes in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.”
Y Care International was co-founded in 1984 by Terry Waite, a former hostage negotiator and emissary of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Waite, who continues to serve as Y Care International’s president, was himself held hostage for over four years by guerilla terrorists in Lebanon.
Y Care has a number of initiatives to assist Palestinians, while simultaneously participating in the political campaign that blames Israel exclusively for Palestinian hardships, and largely removes the context of terror. The organization’s website features a briefing submitted to the British parliament in 2004 addressing “Development Assistance and the Occupied Palestinian Territories”. The submitted briefing was incorporated into the Second Report of the Select Committee on International Development of the UK House of Commons, together with reports from numerous organizations, including "The Politicization of the Development Agenda by NGO’s", the memorandum submitted by NGO Monitor.
Y Care International’s submission highlights the inconveniences endured by Palestinians, but makes little reference to terrorism and the legitimate security concerns that force the Israeli government to establish the check-points and other measures. The same practice is reflected in Y Care’s condemnation of administrative detentions of Palestinians suspected of terrorist activities.
The document also cites statistics from the Save the Children Fund and Betselem, whose biased pro-Palestinian narratives have been previously analyzed by NGO Monitor. Y Care also provides a direct link to a highly politicized article written by an EAPPI volunteer.
Following the lead of many other political NGOs, Y Care condemns Israel’s security barrier. Images show both the limited concrete sections of the barrier as well as the major chain-link fence sections, yet the report consistently refers to the barrier as “The Wall”, a term used as the section’s heading. The term “Security Fence” is employed only once and in quotation marks. The report laments the “serious impact on the quality of life of Palestinians” created by the construction of the security barrier, but makes little reference to the data showing that the barrier has stopped terror attacks and saved a number of lives, both Israeli and Palestinian. The only mention of the reasons behind its construction (such as the over 1000 Israelis who have been killed in Palestinian terror since 2001) is made in passing, as part of a quote from an external source.
Y Care concludes by claiming to “support Israel’s right to defend itself”. However its actions and its reports demonstrate a clear and overt bias towards the Palestinians, violating the principle of universality in human rights, and largely overlooking legitimate security concerns and violation of the human rights of Israelis resulting from Palestinian terror.