|In their own words||“United for Health”|
- In 2016, Third World Health Aid’s (TWHA) total budget was €2 million. The organization received €1.4 million (71% of its total budget) in government funding. The Directorate-General Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid (DGD), a branch of the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, provided €1.1 million.
- DGD funding designated for TWHA activities in the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem amounted to €164,154 in 2016, €74,229 in 2015, and €220,602 in 2014.
- In 2015, the European Commission provided TWHA with €11,642.
- Third World Health Aid (TWHA), known as “Médecine pour le Tiers Monde (M3M)” in French and “Geneeskunde voor de Derde Wereld (G3W)” in Flemish, is a Belgium-based organization that claims to fight “for the right to health and sovereign development in Palestine, the Philippines, Cuba, the DR Congo, Laos and other parts of the world..”
- According to its website, TWHA’s objective in the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem is to “contribute to the unification of the Palestinian social movement” through “the struggle for the right to health.”
- Supports an arms embargo against Israel, which would “give wings to the BDS campaign.” According to TWHA, “the imposition of such an embargo by the Belgian authorities would be a powerful signal to prevent Israel from launching a new war. At the same time, it would be a strong signal to Europe to finally decide to bury its alliance with Israel.”
- Supports the suspension of the European Union-Israel Association Agreement.
- Signatory to a 2017 statement marking the anniversaries of the 1917 Balfour declaration, the 1947 United Nations Partition Plan, and the “beginning of Israel’s occupation in 1967.” The statement calls for “the suspension of the EU’s Association Agreement with Israel.” The statement condemns the 1947 UN partition plan, claiming it “resulted in the 1948 Nakba, the demolition of more than 530 Palestinian villages and the expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians from their homeland, and is thus a process of ethnic cleansing.” It also claims that European countries “made Palestine carry the consequences of the monstrous genocide of the European Jews by the Nazis; and subsequently they did nothing to require that Israel respect UN resolutions.”
- Supports the “Made in Illegality” campaign. The campaign’s demands include banning Belgian and French imports of all “settlement products,” discouraging Belgian and French companies “from investing in settlements,” and preparing information for travelers “to ensure that they avoid supporting companies and tourist sites that are located in the settlements.”
Other Anti-Israel Activities & Conspiracy Theories
- In an article titled “The Palestinian national identity censored in the name of neutrality,” TWHA denounces the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) for censoring textbooks “in the name of the principle of ‘neutrality’.” ”Controversial passages” that THWA accuses UNRWA of censoring include “conflict, settlements, Israeli soldiers, violence against the Palestinian population, and Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.” According to the article, “the culture of normalization with Israel can only distance the future Palestinian generation from resistance to occupation.” (emphasis added)
- In an article titled “Women rights in Palestine: a double struggle,” TWHA claims that “the Israeli occupation of Palestine is an obstacle for Palestinian women” in “their struggle for rights and equality.” The article suggests that some Palestinian parents “decide to not allow their daughters to go to school and sometimes prefer to marry their daughters at a young age…to avoid degrading treatment [by Israelis] at the checkpoints.” TWHA also claims that “mobility restriction [of Palestinians] increased the number of weddings within same family in the village” and that this “increases the risks of genetic anomalies.”
- Referring to the 2009 closure of a community center in Jerusalem run by Health Work Committees, a TWHA partner, as well as other Palestinian community centers, TWHA accused Israel of advancing “a policy of repression and discrimination, aiming at expelling the Palestinians and Judaizing the city.” THWA does not mention that the center was closed by Israeli authorities due to its ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization (see below for further ties to the PFLP). In this context, TWHA also accuses Israel of advancing a “policy of ethnic cleansing” in Jerusalem.
- In a 2013 article titled “Gaza drowned, Israel adds water,” TWHA referred to a weeklong storm that caused damage in Gaza and claimed that “making the situation worse, Israel opened the gates of a dam…with the consequences that the homes of hundreds of Gazans were left under water.” This story was a blatant fabrication.
- Referring to the reconstruction of Gaza following the 2014 Gaza war, TWHA claims that “medical aid for the Palestinians is above all an opportunity for the Israeli pharmaceutical industry, which enjoys a monopolistic position in the sale of medicines to the inhabitants of Gaza. For the Israeli business world, ‘reconstruction’ is in turn a source of profit.”
- In a 2013 publication bearing the Belgium Development Cooperation logo, the organization states, “One of the most flagrant examples of how a sovereign state has been undermined is the decades-long occupation and colonization of Palestine, which began in 1948 when Palestinians were driven en masse from their villages in what is now Israel.” (emphasis added)
- TWHA partners with and funds the Palestinian organizations Union of Health Work Committees (UHWC) and Health Work Committee (HWC). Both of these organizations have alleged ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization, designated as such by the EU, US, Canada, and Israel. UHWC is a PFLP affiliated health committee active in Gaza, as identified by USAID and in Palestinian documents (for more details, see NGO Monitor’s report “The European Funded NGO PFLP Network”).
Information about funding to Palestinian NGOs taken from TWHA annual reports:
|Health Work Committees and Union of Health Workers Committee||€163,595||€176,635||€172,131||€152,588||€131,693|
- The precise amount transferred to each NGO is unclear. In the wake of the 2014 Gaza war, TWHA raised €65,000 for UHWC.
- Omitting his conviction by an Israeli court of being a PFLP member, THWA claimed that the detention of its “colleague” David Ghoul, the coordinator of the youth program of HWC, “demonstrates that his work bothers, that working with young people lacking future and hope to give back them confidence, disturbs the Israeli government.”
- The Israeli High Court of Justice decision on his matter [19274-07-15] states, “The defendant decided to join the organization [PFLP]… Due to the closure of the [Nidal] center, the organization began to operate covertly through the ‘Health union committees – Jerusalem’…On 09/06/15 the defense minister announced that the association is an unlawful association…”
THWA partners with Intal and is a member of various NGO platforms including 11.11.11, CNCD 11.11.11, ACODEV, ngo-federatie, European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine (ECCP), and People’s Health Movement.