Thursday, October 1, 2015

France: Doctors Without Borders condemns Israel, ignores Hamas war crimes

The Algemeiner reports:

As an internationally recognized humanitarian organization, Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders, aka MSF) is viewed by many as apolitical, solely concerned with improving the well-being of people in need. In truth, MSF has strayed far from its goal of providing emergency medical aid, and it has violated its own pledge to observe “neutrality and impartiality.” Instead, it is taking advantage of its reputation to engage in anti-Israel political warfare.

Over the summer, a number of MSF publications adopted an extreme anti-Israel narrative. First was a July 7, 2015, opinion piece written by MSF-USA Executive Director Jason Cone that whitewashed Hamas attacks against Israeli — and Palestinian — civilians. In the article, Cone ignored Hamas’ war crimes, which include targeting Israeli civilians for death and using innocent Palestinians as human shields. Incredibly, Cone’s only criticism of Hamas related to its decision to ban painkillers in Gaza.

Cone said that rocket attacks against Israeli civilians are “called acts of resistance on one side and terrorism on the other.” Similarly, Cone casually mentioned the rise in “Palestinian attacks against Israeli civilians (mostly settlers),” suggesting that some terrorist attacks are more acceptable than others. [...]

Another political attack against Israel appeared in a July 2015 promotional video, featuring Mathilde Berthelot, an MSF program manager. Echoing Cone’s propaganda, she charged that Israel uses Palestinian violence “as an alibi for a policy which is repressive and expansionist,” adding, “we are no longer able to accept this alibi. We must take an even bigger stand for the people of Palestine.”

The video also refers to Israeli military operations in Gaza as “wholesale massacres” and decries the“humiliation and oppression they [Palestinians] are subjected to daily.” These vitriolic attacks are further proof that MSF has aligned itself with one side of the conflict in a way that is wholly inconsistent with its humanitarian standards.

This type of antagonism from MSF is not new. During the 2008-2009 conflict in Gaza, Felipe de Ribeiro, Executive Director of MSF-France, argued that Israel used the decision of Palestinian snipers to take up positions near medical facilities as an excuse to attack these sites — with the implication that Israel was targeting civilians. Dr. Marie Pierre Allie, President of MSF-France, claimed that the violence in Gaza was worse than violence against civilians in Somalia, Congo and Darfur.

Recently, MSF’s use of demonizing language has been accompanied by a series of demonstratively false claims, including the accusation that Palestinians are prohibited from leaving Gaza to receive medical treatment – despite the fact that Palestinian patients leave Gaza for medical centers in Israel on an almost daily basis.  So too, these doctors-turned-political-activists falsely state that Israel’s military “continues to starve the territory of desperately needed supplies, including building materials,” ignoring the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism that allows building materials into Gaza under UN supervision. Similarly, the group absurdly claims that one “million children still live in bombed out ruins,” despite their own finding that 12,000 homes were destroyed in Gaza during the fighting in 2014. Read more.

Read Michael Freund's piece, Doctors without scruples, @ the Jerusalem Post (23/07/2010):
The latest example of this was on display in recent weeks in a remote part of Africa, when a team of five Israeli specialists flew to the Congolese city of Uvira to treat 50 villagers who had been severely burned in a devastating fire that claimed more than 230 lives. Working around the clock, they treated the wounded, trained Congolese doctors in performing skin grafts and donated a ton of medical equipment to local medical facilities.

And yet, incredibly enough, these angels of compassion received a distinctly cold reception from MSF volunteers working in the area, who seemed to go out of their way to demonstrate their displeasure at having to work in the vicinity of Israelis.
As Haaretz reported (July 18), the Israeli medical staff “got the distinct impression that the volunteers did not wish to be around them.”

The treatment meted out to the Israelis was such that it left Dr. Eyal Winkler, deputy director of plastic and reconstructive surgery at the Sheba Medical Center, in a state of disbelief. “This is the reality today,” he said. “Doctors from international aid organizations treat a delegation of volunteer Israeli doctors to Congo as though we were occupiers.”

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