Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP)
|Founded||1984, by Dr. Swee Ang Chai.|
|In their own words||Claims to be “an independent, non-political, nonsectarian humanitarian aid organization” that “works for the health and dignity of Palestinians living under occupation and as refugees.”|
- In 2020, total income was £10 million; total expenses were £9.4 million.
- According to available information, donors include Trocaire, the United Nations (UNICEF, UN OCHA, UN occupied Palestinian territory Humanitarian Fund), Islamic Relief, Muslim Aid, and the Ploughshares Trust. (See funding chart below.)
- In 2020, MAP received $1.8 million from the UN OCHA “occupied Palestinian territory Humanitarian Fund.”
- In 2020-2021, MAP received $125,000 from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.
- In 2015, MAP received £725,000 from the United Kingdom (DFID) for “Emergency Response: Gaza Conflict.”
- In October 2002, MAP accepted the proceeds of a book, After the Terror, which argues for the legitimacy of Palestinian terror attacks against Israeli civilians; in November 2008, received proceeds from an anti-Israel Christmas campaign organized by Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods; in 2009, enjoyed the profits of Seven Jewish Children, a play that was publicly condemned for antisemitic undertones.
- MAP is a UK based charity claiming to work “for the health and dignity of Palestinians living under occupation and as refugees.” Promotes distorted and false narratives and demonizing rhetoric under the guise of medical expertise and scientific fact.
- Presents political analysis, legal declarations, and speculations regarding Israel’s military operations and weaponry, far beyond the scope of any medical expertise it might possess.
- In March 2019, the Charity Commission for England and Wales warned MAP that it must “take care” in heeding regulatory guidelines, following a complaint that portions of the money raised by the Palestinian organization are being used “towards political propaganda rather than for its stated purpose of providing medical aid.”
- In 2018, MAP was criticized by the UK Charity Commission for utilizing its annual income for political propagandarather than for its stated purpose of providing medical aid. Complaints that led to the Charity Commission inquiry include inaccurate and misleading content on MAP’s website, such as material promoting racist hatred, false claims regarding the medical situation in the West Bank and Gaza, and the promotion of the antisemitic play “Seven Jewish Children.”
- MAP utilizes highly biased and politicized language, accusing Israel of “indiscriminate attacks” and “collective punishment” against the Palestinian population while alleging that Israeli defensive measures are “arbitrary.”
- MAP focuses on the “nakba” (catastrophe) as a central theme in its work. MAP has dedicated newsletters, reflections, and several articles on the topic.
- MAP organizes “fact-finding” visits, together with the Council for Arab-British Understanding (Caabu) lobby group, to disseminate an anti-Israel narrative to British parliamentarians, journalists, and EU politicians. One such visit in February 2017 included meetings and briefings with local NGOs including Military Court Watch (MCW), Addameer, Adalah, Public Committee Against Torture (PCATI) and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I).
- In October 2021, MAP condemned the decision by the Israeli Ministry to designate six Palestinian NGOs as terrorist organizations. According to MAP, this decision is “part of persistent pattern of attacks on #Palestinian human rights organisations and closing civil society space. The protection of human rights defenders is essential to protecting the right to health.” MAP Advocacy Manager Rohan Talbot also tweeted, “These organisations are our friends and partners, we are proud to work alongside them and stand in solidarity with them against this outrage.”
- In April 2021, MAP signed a joint statement welcoming the decision of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to launch of a formal investigation into alleged war crimes committed by Israel in the “State of Palestine.” The statement condemned the UK’s opposition to the ICC investigation, stating that “The investigation is the first genuine hope that alleged perpetrators of the most serious crimes will be held to account for their actions…”
- In January 2021, MAP, alongside a number of Israeli, Palestinian, and international organizations, issued a declaration headlined “Israel must provide necessary vaccines to Palestinian health care systems.” The NGOs falsely claimed that Israel has “legal obligations” to “ensure that quality vaccines be provided to Palestinians living under Israeli occupation and control,” while altogether ignoring that Palestinians residing in Jerusalem are part of the Israeli health care system; that under the Oslo Accords the PA is responsible for health care of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza; and that the PA has adopted its own vaccine policy for its population.
- In June 2020, to mark “13 years since the start of the Gaza closure,” MAP, alongside Al-Haq, Al Mezan, and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), launched “an online resource and campaign for the lifting of the Gaza closure” calling for a “genuine solidarity movement that will allow us to create the political will and address the root causes of Palestinians’ rights deprivations in Gaza.” The campaign omitted 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.
- In March 2020, MAP, Al Mezan, and Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights (LPHR) published a report titled “Chronic Impunity: Gaza’s Health Sector Under Repeated Attack.” The report dealt with 2018 protests along the Israel-Gaza border, yet ignored and whitewashed the context of Hamas terrorism, repeated assaults on Israeli civilian communities, and attempts to sabotage the border fence and infiltrate into Israel to commit violence.
- In October 2019, MAP Advocacy and Campaigns Manager Rohan Talbot spoke at a conference on “Standing up for Palestinian rights under increasing Israeli and US attacks.” According to Talbot, “Governments must stop treating the Palestinian people as though they are the victims of some inevitable natural disaster.”
- In July 2019, MAP Founder Swee Ang participated in a panel at the Palestine Expo conference and exhibition titled “Gaza: The Siege.” The expo served as a platform for organizers and participants to espouse anti-Israel rhetoric, antisemitism, and promote BDS, as well as demonization and delegitimization campaigns.
- In May 2019, during the violence on the Gaza border, MAP posted about the “staggering loss of life and bloodshed,” stating that “Not a single perpetrator has been held to account for any of these attacks, meanwhile the rights demanded by protesters in Gaza continue to be denied.” MAP ignored the violent nature of the protests, which have consisted of an organized armed attack on the Israeli border and IDF positions, attempts to destroy and breach the border fence, and sustained arson, rocket, and mortar attacks on Israeli civilian communities.
- In October 2017, MAP called on the UK government to “save lives by increasing DFID support for Gaza, both through the UN’s US$25 million humanitarian funding appeal and long-term investment in healthcare” and “Us[e] all diplomatic opportunities – including multilateral forums and bilateral relations with Israel – to bring an end to the closure of Gaza.”
- In September 2017, MAP participated in a panel titled “Prisoners’ Health in Israel and Palestine” at Medact’s conference, “Health Through Peace.” The panel, which included PHR-I and Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights (LPHR), discussed “the issue of Palestinian prisoners in Israel and their frequent subjection to unethical treatment.”
- In March 2017, MAP and Al Mezan held a side event at the UNHRC titled “Health Under Occupation,” discussing how “50 years of occupation of Palestinian territory and 10 years of blockade and closure of Gaza have detrimentally impacted the right to health of Palestinians” and “explore action the international community should take to ensure accountability for attacks on healthcare and protect the right to health for Palestinians.”
- In February 2017, MAP co-published a “briefing paper” together with Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, the “first in a series of briefings exploring how Israel’s occupation affects the health and dignity of Palestinians.” The groups call upon the UK to “place pressure on the Government of Israel to remove obstacles to the right to movement which undermine healthcare.” The paper condemns Israeli security measures while completely ignoring the context of violence and terrorism under which these types of policies are enforced.
- In December 2016, MAP, alongside PHR-I, published a factsheet documenting “limitations on breast cancer care” for Palestinian patients, stating that “The only effective way to remove the obstacles to better care is to end the occupation. As the 50th anniversary of the occupation approaches in 2017, governments like the UK must redouble their effort to bring it to an end. This is not only a moral responsibility for the international community; it is a vital and direct way to save lives and improve the quality of life for all Palestinians, none more so than those suffering ill-health and disease.”
- 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.
- Co-signatories include a number of other highly biased and politicized NGOs active in the Arab-Israeli conflict: Broederlijk Delen, Christian Aid, CCFD, Diakonia, French Platform of NGOs for Palestine, Heinrich Boll Foundation Palestine, Medico International, Norwegian Church Aid, Norwegian People’s Aid, Oxfam, Pax Christi, Physicians for Human Rights, Trocaire, Lutheran World Federation, World Vision, and others.
- In June 2015, MAP, along with Al-Mezan and Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights (LPHR), released “No More Impunity: Gaza’s Health Sector Under Attack.” The publication alleges the “destruction of and damage to medical infrastructure and loss of life and injury to civilians and medical personnel” during the 2014 Gaza conflict. Like previous publications from these NGOs, “No More Impunity” is characterized by one-sided accounts, a total lack of verifiable sources, and lack of context. In addition, MAP and its partners erase the terror affiliation of three “paramedics” and “medical volunteers” who were killed in an Israeli strike.
- In July 2013, as a part of the “MAP Films” project, an exhibition, “Whole in the Wall,” by Palestinian artist Khaled Jarrar, made its debut performance at London’s Ayyam Gallery. The exhibit aims “to get Westerners to sense the wall’s physical and mental brutality, and to think about its daily impact on life for Palestinians.”
- In November 2012, MAP was one of 22 political advocacy NGOs behind the report “Trading Away Peace: How Europe helps sustain illegal Israeli settlements,” which promoted a BDS agenda. It called on the EU to “ban imports of settlement products,” “prevent financial transactions to settlements and related activities,” and “issue guidelines for European tour operators to prevent support for settlement businesses.”
MAP and Terrorism
- During a wave of terrorism that began in the end of 2015, MAP’s publications repeatedly criticized Israeli policy and actions, without even mentioning the attacks on Israeli civilians.
- MAP’s “2014 Gaza relief partners” included the Hamas-run Gaza Ministry of Health (MoH) and IDEALS, an NGO funded by Interpal, which the United States has designated a terrorist entity.
- From 2013 to 2014, Dr. Majed Nassar served as Director of Programs in the West Bank for MAP. Nassar has reported ties to the PFLP. According to a 2007 document, Israel has prevented Majed Nassar from traveling “since 2001,” a decision upheld by the HCJ.
- Swee Ang
- Founder and Honorary Patron Dr. Swee Ang was one of the main authors of the “Open Letter for the People of Gaza,” published in The Lancet medical journal (July 23, 2014), which accused Israel of “war crimes” and carrying out a propaganda campaign that “justifies the creation of an emergency to masquerade a massacre.” The letter made numerous unsubstantiated allegations, including accusing Israel of utilizing illegal weaponry to deliberately kill civilians and engaging in a “military onslaught on civilians in Gaza under the guise of punishing terrorists.” The letter also denies Israel’s right to self-defense and fails to mention Hamas rocket fire and terror tunnels from Gaza into Israeli territory.
- According to NGO Monitor research, Swee Ang promoted a video made by American white supremacist David Duke, who was expelled from Italy for “allegedly trying to establish a pan-European neo-Nazi group.” The video is described on Duke’s YouTube page as “reveal[ing] how the Zionist Matrix of Power controls Media, Politics and Banking and how each Part of this Tribalist matrix supports and protects each other!”
- In a 2011 interview with the BBC (part 1 & 2), MAP founder Dr. Swee Ang discussed wearing a “Hezbollah scarf…to get better treatment” in Lebanon, and revealed her support for colleagues from “Medical Aid” who were “defending their camp” through suicide bombings. She then tried to claim that MAP staff’s Palestinian political inclinations have “nothing to do with the charity.”
- On February 2, 2009, Dr. Swee Ang published the introduction “The Wounds of Gaza” from her book From Beirut to Jerusalem on The Lancet’s “Global Health Network” website. The article remained posted for twenty-eight days until it was removed due to factual inaccuracies.
- Aimee Shalan
- Shalan, Chief Executive of MAP, is an Al-Shabaka Policy member and formerly served as the Head of Education at the Council for Arab British Understanding (Caabu).
- On October 28, 2017, Shalan spoke at the “Annual Fundraising Day for Scottish Medical Aid for Palestinians.” Allison Waugh, an Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) participant, also spoke at the event about “Daily life in the West Bank.”
- In October 2016, Shalan published an article titled “One Hundred Years and Counting: Britain, Balfour, and the Cultural Repression of Palestinians” calling for people to “Use the media, public forums, and other outreach to increase understanding of the Balfour Declaration’s devastating impact on the Palestinian people through its negation of Palestinian culture and identity,” as well as “Coordinate a creative public communications campaign focusing on Israel’s attacks on Palestinian culture and history and on the legitimacy of Palestinian civil society’s call for the cultural and academic boycott of Israel until it complies with international law.”
- In May 2016, Shalan participated in a Palestine Solidarity Campaign conference titled “Nakba: then and now – Palestine from 1948 to today” to “mark the 68th anniversary of the Palestinians’ loss of their homes and land when the state of Israel was created in 1948. Learn about what that means to Palestians [sic] then and now, and how that dispossession continues today.”
- Nabila Ramdani
- Ramdani, a trustee for MAP and a French-Algerian journalist, has accused Israel of “apartheid,” “ethnic cleansing,” and “genocide.”
- In November 2017, Ramdani published an article called “The rise and fall of Priti Patel,” in which Ramdani asserts that “Israel hones in on morally weak but well-connected figures to try to control British policy.” Ramdani furthers that “agents of Israeli hegemony operate at the heart of sovereign governments.”
- Neil Sammonds
- Sammonds, MAP Director of Advocacy and Campaigns, serves as a Human Rights Researcher on Syria/Lebanon/Jordan at Amnesty International. He was formerly the “manager on UK arms trade with Israel” for the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
- In August 2017, Sammonds gave a presentation on “How the Israeli Occupation Obstructs the Development of Palestinian Healthcare” at the “Right to Health: Palestine 2030” conference.
- In July 2017, marking 50 years of “Israel’s military occupation,” Sammonds called upon the international community to take “urgent and decisive action to uphold international law” as “it is not enough for governments to pay lip-service to human rights. Without effective accountability, further attacks on Palestinian civilians, health facilities and personnel are likely and the occupation will devastate many more lives.”
- In April 2017, Sammonds participated in a panel organized by Amnesty International –UK called “In Pursuit of Accountability” discussing “settlement expansion, longstanding and systemic impunity for violations of international law and the mounting restrictions placed on civil society organisations.” The panel featured Nada Kiswanson (Al-Haq), Rachel Stroumsa (Public Committee against Torture in Israel), and Rina Rosenberg (Adalah).
- Member of Association of International Development Agencies (AIDA).
- Member of the “Displacement Work Group,” an initiative of Badil and OCHA to “monitor human rights violations (evictions, home demolitions, land confiscations) resulting in the displacement of people from their lands and communities,” along with: Addameer, Al-Haq, Al-Mezan, AIC, ARIJ, Badil, BIMKOM, B’Tselem, CARE Intnl., DCI – Palestine section, Diakonia, EAPPI, Ir Amim, ICAHD, Maan Development Ctr, Oxfam UK, Oxfam Solidarite – Belgium, PA Govt. Spokesperson, PCHR, RHR, Society of St. Yves, Save the Children UK, Shatil, UNFPA, Stop the Wall, ACRI, UNFPA, WCLAC, World Vision, and Yesh Din.
- The Lancet-Palestinian Health Alliance was launched in 2009 as a partnership between The Lancet, the Institute of Community and Public Health at Birzeit University, and MAP. LPHA is led by The Lancet editor-in-chief Richard Horton. The Lancet, partly due to this partnership, has become a platform for MAP’s demonization of Israel.
Grants received 2016-2020
Prof. Gerald Steinberg brings the problematic record of Palestinian NGO Medical Aid for Palestinians to the attention of the Australian government, receiving an assurance that these concerns will be taken into account in future funding projects.
The June 26, 2015 publication, No More Impunity, published by Medical Aid for Palestinians, Al-Mezan, and Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights, is characterized by one-sided accounts, a total lack of verifiable sources, and lack of context.
Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) promotes a polarizing anti-Israel narrative under the guise of medical expertise and facts.
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