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Embrace the Middle East

Profile

Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Websitehttp://www.embraceme.org/
Founded1854, originally as the Turkish Missions Aid Society, an evangelical charity set up to support missionary work among Armenian Christians in Turkey. In 1956-7, “Bible Lands Services and Supplies [was] founded,” and in 2012, changed its name from BibleLands to Embrace the Middle East.
In their own words“a non-governmental, inter-denominational charity” that partners “with local Christians who provide health, education and community development programmes to those in need – regardless of their faith or nationality.”

Funding

  • In 2017, total income was £6.6 million; total expenses were £4.6 million, of which £1.4 million was spent on “Israel and Palestine.”
  • Does not list donors, reflecting a lack of transparency and accountability.

Activities

Political Advocacy

  • While Embrace the Middle East runs schools and organizes educational programming and other community development initiatives, it promotes an entirely biased and distorted view of the conflict based solely on the Palestinian narrative of victimization and Israeli aggression.
  • Endorsed the Kairos Palestine document, which promotes BDS (boycotts, divestment and sanctions); denies the Jewish historical connections to Israel in theological terms; and rationalizes, justifies, and trivializes terrorism, calling it “legal resistance.”
  • In May 2018, during the violence on the Gaza border, Embrace the Middle East condemned the “lethal and indiscriminate use by the Israeli military of live fire…Yesterday’s events mark a new low in a long and profoundly dispiriting cycle of violence and contempt for human life that is becoming the shameful hallmark of Israel’s treatment of the people of Gaza, supported implicitly by some in the international community.” Embrace the Middle East ignored the violent nature of the protests, which included Molotov cocktails, arson, and attempts to breach the border fence with Israel.
  • In March 2018, Programmes and Partnerships Manager for Israel & Palestine Stephen Tunstall accused Israel of turning Gaza into an “open air prison.”
  • On June 27, 2017, Embrace the Middle East held its “2017 Annual Lecture” featuring a “thought-provoking lecture that explores Britain’s historical and current relationship with Palestine…2017 marks some significant and momentous anniversaries: 100 years since the Balfour Declaration, which committed Britain to support a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine; 70 years since the ill-fated UN Partition Plan for Palestine; 50 years since the Six Day War and the start of Israel’s occupation; and ten years since the start of Israel’s blockade of Gaza.”
  • On June 8, 2017, Tunstall wrote that “Until the Israeli occupation of Palestine ends, there will be no peace and the people of Gaza, in particular, will continue to suffer and die needlessly as a result of poverty and violence,” placing sole blame for the conflict on Israel and omitting Hamas terror against Israeli civilians, Palestinian rejectionism, as well as legitimate Israeli national security concerns.
  • In June 2017, Embrace the Middle East sponsored a Methodist Conference Fringe event titled “Justice delayed, justice denied; Israel and Palestine in 2017” to “reflect on significant anniversaries in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict this year, including 100 years since the Balfour declaration, 50 years of Israel’s military occupation of Palestine and 10 years of the blockade on Gaza, and what actions the Church can boldly take to help bring about a just peace for all in the Holy Land.”
  • In January 2017, Embrace the Middle East released its “Lent study guide: Moving to the margins,” which called for people to write to their MPs and Prime Minister asking “to ensure all the materials necessary for rebuilding homes and businesses in Gaza are delivered without delay. Essential reconstruction items like wood, cement, and water pumps are prevented by Israel from entering Gaza and innocent people are suffering the consequences.” Embrace the Middle East ignores the necessity behind the construction of the blockade and its role in stopping Hamas’ smuggling of weapons and rockets used to target Israeli citizens.
    • Embrace the Middle East provides on its website a sample letter to MPs calling for the UK government to “use its influence with Israel as the occupying power under international law to improve both the healthcare infrastructure in Gaza and patients’ access to healthcare…Israel’s blockade of Gaza which began in 2007 prevents essential supplies from entering and many patients requiring medical treatment from leaving.”
  • Supports the “World Week of Peace in Palestine Israel,” organized by the World Council of Churches, which calls for “advocacy and action in support of an end to the illegal occupation of Palestine.” The WCC plays a key role in mobilizing churches worldwide to support the international boycotts, divestments and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.
  • On May 22, 2016, Jeremy Moodey, then CEO of Embrace the Middle East, spoke at Oxford’s “Palestine Unlocked” festival on “The Twice Promised Land: Britain’s Role in Creating 100 Years of  Conflict in Palestine.”
    • Moody has called Zionism “an incoherent and racist theology.”
    • Moody posted a July 9, 2015 tweet endorsing BDS, stating: “Ten years of #BDS against Israel’s occupation of #Palestine. Major achievements for a movement that is now mainstream.”
    • Moody sent an October 2013 letter to The Methodist Observer “explaining why Embrace the Middle East is encouraging Christians to consider BDS as a non-violent tool to end the occupation.”
    • Posted an August 17, 2015 tweet alleging, “The reality of Israeli settler- colonialism in #Palestine: bulldozers demolish ancient olive trees nr Bethlehem today.”
  • Embrace the Middle East published an “Advent Services Resource Pack,” which links “the familiar Christmas story to the stories of those living in the lands of the Bible TODAY,” in an attempt to exploit religious symbols and narratives to demonize Israel.
  • Publishes lesson plans for teachers to use in schools. One, on the theme of “Walls,” attempts to explain “the difficulties some Palestinian children have in getting to school” due to the security barrier. The lesson plan promotes the Palestinian narrative of victimization and Israeli aggression, while ignoring that the security barrier was constructed in response to a prolonged and brutal suicide bombing campaign by Palestinians groups against Israeli civilians.
  • Co-signed an August 2015 campaign, calling on world leaders “to press the Israeli government to lift the blockade on Gaza,” while altogether omitting that the blockade was implemented in an effort to stop Palestinian terrorists from smuggling of weapons and rockets into Gaza that would later be used to target Israeli civilians.

Staff

Partners

Funding Provided to NGOs active in the Arab Israeli Conflict

NGO2017201620152014
Caritas Jerusalem27,00025,00045,00092,000
East Jerusalem YMCA83,00082,00085,00080,000
JAI Olive Tree Project31,00033,00030,00020,000
Kairos Britain6,000
Near East Council of Churches- Gaza112,00050,00050,00050,000
Palestinian Bible Society55,00047,00044,00043,000
Society of St. Yves24,000

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