“British NGOs manipulating Christmas to advance a political agenda”- NGO Monitor
DECEMBER 23, 2008 – NGO Monitor is an organisation based in Israel. Their objective “is to end the practice used by certain self-declared ‘humanitarian NGOs’ of exploiting the label ‘universal human rights values’ to promote politically and ideologically motivated anti-Israel agendas.”
They believe, “The community of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) has become extremely powerful and influential, particularly with respect to human rights related issues and the Arab-Israeli conflict.
They tell us, “their reports, protests and lobbying activities have a dominant impact, particularly in the United Nations as well as on the policies adopted by many governments and that they intend to publicize distortions of human rights issues in the Arab-Israeli conflict and provide information and context for the benefit of NGOs working in the Middle East.”
This morning, NGO Monitor published a report, “Hijacked by Hatred: British NGOs Use Christmas for anti-Israel Attacks.” In their report they say:
“In advance of Christmas 2008, several British NGOs have returned to previous theological offensives against Israel by combining emphasis on Bethlehem, stories of Palestinian suffering, and false allegations of Israeli cruelty. Through Christmas cards, carols, and charity fundraising, War on Want, Amos Trust, Pax Christi and others condemn Israel’s security barrier and erase the Palestinian terror campaign that necessitates it. As in previous years when NGOs used Underground station advertisements and greeting cards, these campaigns manipulate Christmas and Christian religious symbols to advance a political agenda, and in some cases, may be promoting antisemitic canards.”
Highlights of their report include:
- Through the use of holiday and religious symbols, NGOs such as War on Want, Amos Trust, and Pax Christi are manipulating Christmas to advance a political agenda, and in some cases, may be promoting antisemitic canards.
- NGOs organized an event entitled, “Bethlehem Now: Nine Alternative Lessons and Carols for Palestine,” involving “traditional carols with untraditional lyrics, interspersed with poetry and prose readings, to highlight current reality in the Holy Land.” The tendentious lyrics and themes of the event led to strong condemnations from Christian and Jewish community leaders.
- War on Want is promoting an “Alternative Gift” of donations to Stop the Wall (Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Coalition – PGAAWC). PGAAWC focuses on “stopping and dismantling the Apartheid Wall” and supporting the boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement.
- War on Want and Amos Trust are marketing Christmas cards depicting the security barrier and conflating Jesus with the Palestinians.
- On December 2, 2008, Christian Aid hosted a fundraiser called “From Bethlehem to Bristol.” While the fundraiser appears to be a departure from the explicit and extreme demonization of Christian Aid’s previous campaigns, it still provided a one-sided perspective on the conflict.
NGO Monitor‘s report can be read in its entirety at: