[Opinion] The Catholic connection to 'L'Affaire d'Orange'
Click for NGO Monitor’s Report, Catholic Aid Societies and Political Campaigns Directed at Israel.
Orange CEO Stéphane Richard’s “Cairo declaration,” stating that his company would cut ties to Israel “tomorrow,” was the culmination of a well-funded, highly organized campaign by a coalition of French NGOs.
Chief among them is the Catholic Committee Against Hunger and For Development (CCFD).
This Catholic connection to the international BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) campaign is but a keyhole image of a much larger picture that should be placed at the top of the Catholic-Jewish dialogue agenda.
CCFD, as it turns out, actively promotes the global campaign to delegitimize Israel including pushing BDS and the maximalist Palestinian demand of a “right of return.”
In a new report, “Catholic Aid Societies and Political Campaigns Directed at Israel,” NGO Monitor documents this funding by nine Catholic aid societies – mostly associated with Caritas International. These funds are used for highly politicized purposes, including activities that, contrary to the pope’s powerful affirmation, intensify the conflict and undermine genuine efforts for peace. In total, between 2008 and 2014 an estimated €7.4m. (about $10m.) was allocated by various Catholic charities to many such NGOs.
Because these NGOs contribute to Middle East tensions and encourage hatred toward Israel and the Jewish people, the Catholic charities are dragging the Church into the Middle East conflict as a full participant. The Church’s role as a peacemaker is shattered, and the pope’s courageous ethical stance against anti-Semitism is demeaned.
“L’affaire d’Orange” brings into sharp focus this intolerable and immoral complicity of Catholic charities in the global political war against Israel’s legitimacy.
This must immediately be brought to the top of the Jewish- Catholic dialogue, including the pope himself.