Between July 2015 and August 2017, Save the Children did not issue any statements relating to Israel, and it had not initiated a campaign focusing on Israel since May 2016. Even Save the Children’s “Occupied Palestinian Territory” website was mostly inactive since November 2016.
Since mid-August, however, Save the Children has resumed its campaign against Israel:
- To mark World Humanitarian Day (August 19), Save the Children (“Worsening Child Protection Crisis Plaguing the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” August 18, 2017) referred to an “alarming rise in abuses” and claimed that “After 50 years of occupation, generations of Palestinian children remain trapped in an ongoing cycle of violence and diminishing human rights” and “are being denied a future.” Jennifer Moorehead, director of Save the Children – Palestine, was quoted in Palestinian media (Ma’an News Agency, “NGO: Palestinian territory facing ‘worsening child protection crisis‘,” August 17) as the author of the statement.
- On August 24, Save the Children (“Aid Agencies Alarmed by Attacks Against Palestinian Educational Facilities Ahead of the New School Year”) accused Israel of “target[ing]” Palestinian “educational facilities,” and alleged that children “face countless threats in simply trying to reach school and enjoy their basic right to education. These threats include: violence and harassment from settlers/Israeli soldiers on the journey to school, military activity in or around their schools, military or police arresting and detaining children from their classrooms, lost time due to the closure of a military area or firing zone, delays crossing checkpoints…” Save the Children’s statement did not reveal that the structures faced demolition orders for being illegally built without permits, but rather took a side in an ongoing public relations skirmish.
- Under the headline “Gaza: One Million Palestinian Children in ‘Unlivable’ Conditions” (September 5), Save the Children blamed Israel for a “decade of isolation” of Gaza that “had reduced power available to households…” It also called on Israel to blindly “lift the Gaza blockade,” without acknowledging the rationale behind it – to prevent weapon smuggling into Hamas-controlled Gaza. Notably, the publication does not mention the word “Hamas” or note that Hamas is a totalitarian, terrorist regime.
If Save the Children seeks to fulfill its humanitarian agenda, it should return to a policy of providing aid without adopting the Palestinian political narrative, which is destructive and further fuels the conflict.