Mohammed Allen, a long-time operative in the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (a terrorist group affiliated with Iran) triggered a major international public relations campaign and debate by going on a hunger strike that brought him to the brink of death.
Allaan was first arrested in 2006 after recruiting a suicide bomber, and was tried, convicted and served 35 months in an Israeli jail… The threats of large-scale violence in Israel and international condemnation if Allaan were to die were used to pressure Israel to release him unconditionally.
In this deadly political chess game, a number of Israeli and Palestinian non-governmental organizations (NGOs), claiming to promote moral agendas, play a central role.
The petition before the High Court of Justice, asking the judges to release Allan, was brought by Adalah, an influential Israeli political advocacy NGO. Adalah is joined by Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I), the Arab Association for Human Rights, Al-Mezan and other groups. These NGOs are among the leaders of campaigns demonizing Israel, and the Allaan hunger strike is another means to achieve this end.
As in many other situations, the NGO influence is reflected in the media coverage, particularly outside of Israel, which repeats the language and claims of NGO press releases, social media posts and other activities. With annual budgets of millions of shekels provided by European governments and the US-based New Israel Fund, the NGOs generate publicity to promote their political goals.
In connecting the NGO dots in the Allan case, the picture that emerges is very cynical, with the details and arguments manipulated, particularly by politicized NGOs and their funder/enablers, to achieve objectives far removed from the specifics – particularly by hiding the core terrorism dimension.