Dr Mads Gilbert’s Media Campaign: From Justifying 9/11 to Promoting Hamas

Release Date: 6th January 2009

(Jerusalem) – NGO Monitor today uncovered the radical political and ideological background of Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian doctor providing highly one-sided criticism of Israel in the media, including The Times (UK), BBC, Sky News and the Norwegian press.

Dr Gilbert traveled to Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital as a member of the Norwegian Aid Committee, NORWAC an NGO funded by the Norwegian government ostensibly to provide health care services in partnership with the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Since arriving in Gaza, Gilbert has repeatedly and falsely accused Israel of deliberately targeting civilians and invoked a comparison with the 1982 events in Sabra and Shattila. At the same time, he has made no mention of evidence that Al-Shifa hospital has been used for military purposes.

Dr Gilbert is a former member of the fringe left Red Party in Norway, which has its roots in the country’s Communist Party. Gilbert stood as the Red Party’s candidate in local elections in the town of Tromsoe in 2007.

In addition, the centrality of his ideology was highlighted in comments following Al-Qaida’s terrorist attacks on USA on September 11th 2001, in which Dr Gilbert expressed sympathy with the terrorists. Days after the atrocity, in an interview for the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet Gilbert said ‘The attack on New York did not come as a surprise after the policy that the West has led during the last decades…The oppressed also have a moral right to attack the USA with any weapon they can come up with’. When asked directly in the same interview, ‘Do you support a terror attack against the USA?’, Gilbert replied ‘Terror is a bad weapon but the answer is yes within the context which I have mentioned’.

Given his background of ideological extremism, NGO Monitor urges media outlets and human rights organizations to treat Dr Gilbert’s comments and assessment from Gaza with great caution. NGO Monitor’s Executive Director Prof. Gerald Steinberg commented that: "By justifying terror, supporting Hamas and fueling the conflict, NORWAC and Mads Gilbert have violated the Hippocratic Oath – ‘first, do not harm’."


———- ENDS ————

Editors Notes:

For NGO Monitor’s full report on NGO condemnations of Israel’s operation in Gaza, please click here.

For further analysis, please click here for Prof Gerald Steinberg’s op-ed in the Jerusalem Post on 28th December.

NGO Monitor was founded to promote transparency, critical analysis and debate on the political role of human rights organizations. For more information, see our website at


Other recent publications and reports by NGO Monitor include:-

Amnesty on Gaza (again): Ideology Instead of Research – August 14th, 2008

HRW’s Letter to President Bush: The ‘Collective Punishment’ Hoax – June 16th, 2008

NGO Campaigns on Israel’s Gaza Policy – January 22nd 2008

NGO Monitor’s Executive Director is, Prof. Gerald Steinberg.

Members of NGO Monitor’s International Advisory Board include Elie Wiesel, Prof Alan Dershowitz, Sir Martin Gilbert and R. James Woolsey

For further information, comment or interviews contact Dan Kosky

+972 (0) 546-305-504

NGO Monitor – 1, Ben Maimon Blvd. – Jerusalem 92262 – Israel – T: +972-2-566-1020

F: +972-77-511-7030

E: dan.kosky@ngo-monitor.org">dan.kosky@ngo-monitor.org