NGOs Promote Next Flotilla in Lobbying Event at European Parliament
European Funding Again Contributes to Campaign Masked as “Humanitarian Mission”
JERUSALEM – A number of radical non-governmental organizations (NGOs) will hold a May 10 lobbying initiative and press conference at the European Parliament to promote next month’s planned flotilla to Gaza, organized in conjunction with the terror organization Humanitarian Aid Foundation (IHH). Representatives from the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), Free Gaza Movement, and European Jews for Just Peace are scheduled to meet with European lawmakers in a series of private meetings, as well as speak at a press event afterwards, notes Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor, a research institution that tracks NGOs in the region.
“Many of the same NGOs that funded and organized the violent May 31, 2010 flotilla are organizing this new flotilla,” says Prof. Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor. “They clearly have no interest in delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza – for which there are many options – their main goal is to provoke another violent confrontation.”
NGO Monitor notes that the European Union, individual European governments, and the New Israel Fund (NIF), fund many of the other NGOs that are participating or have endorsed the latest flotilla efforts, including the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, Alternative Information Center (AIC), Sabeel, Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP), Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), Israeli Committee Against Housing Demolitions, and Zochrot. Full report on NGO and funding related to the flotilla.
“The flotilla is a continuation of NGO strategy seeking to incite violence and demonize Israel, under the façade of human rights,” adds Prof. Steinberg. “These NGOs compare Israeli soldiers to Nazis, call for a ‘one state solution,’ invoke the rhetoric of ‘apartheid,’ and promote boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel. Such campaigns, along with the flotilla, do not foster an environment conducive to peace and mutual understanding. Rather, they make those goals more difficult to achieve.”
The ISM supports “armed struggle” and its co-founders Huwaida Arraf and Adam Shapiro said deaths from Palestinian “resistance” are “no less noble than carrying out a suicide operation. And we are certain that if these men were killed during such an action, they would be considered shaheed Allah.”
As mentioned, the IHH, a Turkish group linked to Al Qaeda and Hamas (and recently designated as a terrorist organization by the Dutch government), is a key organizer of the flotilla. Under international law, UN member states, as emphasized in UN Security Council Resolution 1373, must “prohibit their nationals or any persons and entities within their territories from making any funds, financial assets or economic resources or financial or other related services available” for terrorist activities.
“The flotilla highlights the problematic nature of European funding for political advocacy NGOs,” Steinberg notes. “Beyond UNSC Resolution 1373, donor states to the Palestinian Authority, many of which are European, condemn such provocative flotillas to Gaza. Yet, their taxpayer euros are funding activities organized by a terrorist organization.”
As reconfirmed by Mathilde Redmant, deputy director of the Red Cross in Gaza, on April 21, 2011, “There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza.” Humanitarian aid reaches Gaza through multiple routes, including the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt, which has been open since June 2010 and the hundreds of tons of goods that Israel trucks in each week. Additionally, Israel has agreed to deliver any humanitarian aid to Gaza after an inspection at the border.