Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF, aka Doctors Without Borders) has risen to international stature as a result of the volunteer medical assistance it provides to people in underdeveloped countries and in crisis areas around the world. However, over the last few years, the group has branched out to include political advocacy targeting Israel as a component of its international activity.
The latest example of this egregious misuse of its humanitarian mandate is the “In Between Wars” exhibition that the NGO presented in Dubai last November… the piece purported to provide visitors with a view into the lives of Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza. Instead, “In Between Wars” served as a mouthpiece for incitement and radicalization.
MSF does not limit itself to attacking the legitimacy of Israel and Zionism. It also romanticizes deadly Palestinian violence by referring to images of “armed soldiers face[ing] young stone throwers or Molotov cocktails” as “icons symbolizing the struggle of the Palestinian people against the Israeli occupation.”
MSF’s descent into political advocacy is a cautionary tale for other international humanitarian and human rights NGOs. By increasingly embracing one-side of a complex, protracted conflict, MSF jeopardizes the impartiality that allows it to operate in conflict zones around the world. By inserting itself so crudely into the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the organization does tremendous harm to the heart of its humanitarian mission of providing emergency aid to those who need it most.