The international medical organization Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF-Doctors Without Borders) prides itself on its neutrality, claiming to provide emergency assistance to people around the world regardless of their “race, religion, gender or political affiliation.” In practice, however, MSF consistently abuses its status as a humanitarian organization to launch venomous anti-Israel political campaigns. These attacks are entirely divorced from medical and health related issues, raising questions as to what its priorities and goals are.
The French branch of the organization recently launched an exhibition titled “In Between Wars,” serving as a mouthpiece for Palestinian propaganda. In it, MSF parrots the “Nakba” narrative that views the founding of the State of Israel as a catastrophe, thus delegitimizing the very existence of the Jewish state.
Questions of relevance should be directed not only at MSF, but at its funders as well. In 2014, the organization took in €115 million from institutional donors, mostly European governments, EU bodies, and UN institutions. This includes €40 million from European governments like the UK, France, Germany and others. It is doubtful that these governments sought to create a platform for pro-Palestinian incitement when they donated funds to a medical NGO.
This bastardization of humanitarian aid to spew hate is detrimental to all involved. The demonization of Israel exacerbates tensions and deepens mistrust between Israelis and foreign NGOs, as well as between them and their Palestinians neighbors. As such, these actions do not contribute to the advancing of a peaceful solution to the conflict.