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Advocacy Project (Washington DC): Indoctrination Through Graduate NGO Internships
- Website: http://advocacynet.org
- Mission: “The Advocacy Project helps marginalized communities to produce social change. This is done by partnering with advocates from the communities themselves.”
- Activities: Arranges graduate student internships and related activities (Peace Fellows) with political advocacy NGOs and other partners to “develop information tools and launch campaigns.”
- Scope: Global, with strong emphasis on Middle East and the Palestinian narrative, in cooperation with radical political advocacy “partners” such as the Alternative Information Center, Grassroots International, Democracy and Worker’s Rights Center in Palestine (DWRC), and Middle East Nonviolence and Democracy (MEND).
- Executive Director and Founder Iain Guest, journalist, and adjunct at Georgetown University displays a consistent bias in blog entries and postings. In 2001, Guest wrote: “Over the past year, The Advocacy Project has profiled civil society in several countries that have either emerged from wars or are still in crisis. They have included Bosnia, Kosovo, Cambodia, and Guatemala. In each country we found community activists who were rising to the challenge and providing essential support for a fearful, damaged population. Nothing prepared us for what we saw in Palestine. Palestinians have been under siege since September 28 last year, when the current Palestinian uprising broke out.”
- Blogs by interns placed with the political advocacy NGOs reflect the intense indoctrination:
- Nikki Hodgson, 2012, AIC: “You hear of the rocket attacks, the suicide bombing, the bulldozer attacks [targeting Israeli civilians]. All deplorable, but put within the context of daily home demolitions, unwarranted arrests, vague prison sentences, bombings, checkpoints, humiliation, beatings, and violence coming at you from every side, you begin to see things in a slightly different light.”
- Nur Arafeh, 2012, DWRC: “The important question is WHY. Why are Palestinians represented in such a racist and orientalist way in Israeli schoolbooks? One of Israel’s biggest concerns is to attain a Jewish majority. …The role of these soldiers is not only to fight to maintain security but also to humiliate Palestinians and drive them out of the country.” Nur Arafeh also posted the following cartoon by Carlos Latuff (who frequently draws highly offensive cartoons containing antisemitic imagery):
- Eliza Bates, 2007, DWRC: “Waves of fury and despair keep rising up within me. I want to take those young IDF soldiers, bend them over my knee and spank them until they are blue in the face. You do not treat other human beings like that. It is not OK to shoot tear gas or rubber bullets at children.”
- Sarah Sachs, 2006, AIC: “Meanwhile, the Palestinians will continue to live under Occupation. Delays at checkpoints, racial profiling, tear gas in schoolyards, un-policed hate crimes committed by settlers, the closings of cities like Nablus and Jenin, house demolitions, military executions, the isolation of villages by the further construction of the Separation Wall. . .”
- Nitzan Goldberger, 2005, AIC: “Since the first days of the occupation, the Israeli Authority has systematically destroying Palestinian homes. Military orders were issued to justify such violations. For supposed ‘security reasons’ thousands of houses were demolished throughout the occupied territories. …It is seen as a kind of collective punishment against all families as well as Israel’s method of suppression, despite the fact that this is a violation of the Geneva Conventions and all humanitarian laws.”
- Caitlin Williams, 2003, MEND: “The consistent refusal by the Palestinians to be intimidated by the Israeli soldiers they encounter is, in my opinion, a form of resistance that is nonviolent. It is resistance to the legitimacy of the occupation and to the intimidating and often humiliating tactics the Israelis use to try and make life here unlivable. It is a way of saying, “I refuse to stop living my life here, on this land and I refuse to lose my dignity and humanity when faced with the threat of violence.” All of this, just by walking through a check-point with one’s head held high!”
- All items in the Middle East section (many written by Guest) repeat the Palestinian narrative of victimization and other distortions:
- AP Series “On the Record – Palestinian Civil Society Under Seige” –”Describes how Palestinian civil society responded to the outbreak of the intifada in 2000.” Postings largely ignore mass terror attacks targeting Israeli civilians. AP’s editorial refers to: “Israel’s violent response to the new uprising in September …”, “the ‘bantustanization’ of the Palestinian territories”, “lack of restraint shown by Israeli forces”, etc.
- Report on human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories: In this report entitled “Defending Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory – Challenges and Opportunities,” (2007), Iain Guest wrote that “Israeli occupation poses the greatest threat to human rights in the OPT. … the Israeli government is exploiting security concerns to squeeze Palestinians into ever-tightening areas, consolidate settlements on the West Bank, expel Palestinians from East Jerusalem, and seize Palestinian land. This process is relentless…”
- Profiles of civil society leaders: Profiles eight NGO leaders many of whom lead the Durban Strategy of demonization and delegitimization, from the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees, and Gaza Community Mental Health Programme.
- “Brief overview of Palestinian labor rights”: Highlighting the NGO Democracy and Workers’ Rights Centre (DWRC) in a highly distorted political context, again erasing the context of terror. “Before the uprising broke out last September, as many as 125,000 Palestinian workers – almost a quarter of the entire Palestinian workforce – were employed in Israel… As it has done in the past, the Israeli government cited security concerns to justify the closure. But Israel must also have been hoping that mass unemployment would somehow force an end to the uprising.”
- Under “Additional Resources”, AP provides links to major promoters of Palestinian political warfare, including Electronic Intifada, Jewish Voices for Peace, and Al-Awda – The Palestine Right to Return Coalition, no credible academic sources.
- Government funders (as listed, April 2013) include the Netherlands, Bosnian Embassy in Washington, DC, Italian Embassy in Washington, DC, Germany, US State Department (DRL), Liechtenstein.
- Other funders include: UNICEF, Amnesty International, Coalition for an International Criminal Court, the Catherine T. and John D. MacArthur Foundation, Arigatou Foundation, Heinrich Böll Foundation (Germany), and the Open Society Institute.
- For 2003 NGO-Monitor analysis, see http://www.ngo-monitor.org/editions/v1n03/v1n03-1.htm