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Propaganda has taken over from humanitarianism
Australian Financial Review ^ | Jun 7, 2002 | Gerald M. Steinberg

Posted on 06/06/2002 5:18:41 PM PDT by anapikoros

The term non-governmental organisation (NGO) usually evokes images of altruism and compassion, particularly among the anti-globalisation crowd that believes that states, and the politicians who run them, are flawed and their actions need to be tempered. NGOs are supposed to speak up for the weak and downtrodden, and to promote the rights of individuals and minorities.

In this spirit, tens of thousands of NGOs have sprung up, concentrating on environmental issues, human rights, humanitarian relief and campaigns against dangerous weapons such as land-mines and small arms. These groups are well funded and use their generous budgets to promote themselves and their causes.

The largest and richest NGOs, such as Greenpeace, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Oxfam, have become well-known brand names and the major figures in these groups are more powerful than many government officials.

At the same time, in many cases, these organisations have themselves added to injustice and duplicity, particularly in the Middle East. Like the United Nations and its affiliate, UNRWA, prominent NGOs have become captured by the pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel lobby.

These organisations played a major role in last year's infamous Durban conference that was supposed to fight racism but ended up contributing to hatred of Israel and anti-Semitism.

Similarly, the myths of the Jenin massacre were propelled by NGOs such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Oxfam, Physicians for Human Rights (the list is much longer) and their biased and unverified reports were picked up and repeated by the media.

To make matters worse, much of the funding for these non-governmental organisations actually comes from governments.

Large allocations from income generated by government taxes is provided to NGOs, supposedly for humanitarian projects, allowing politicians and officials to promote their private agendas through the back door. The practice is widespread in Europe, Australia and Canada as a means of increasing visibility and impact in the UN and international organisations, while advancing the careers of the politicians involved.

The European Union spends as much as 15 per cent of its total budget in support for NGOs and prominent organisations have budgets of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Most of these groups operate with an even more appalling lack of transparency and accountability than the governments they criticise for precisely these failings.

The tens of millions of dollars spent on projects funnelled through NGOs and labelled simply and ambiguously as humanitarian aid projects or peace support do not receive the scrutiny of direct spending by government ministries.

The results are rarely subject to external evaluation, and the annual allocations keep flowing, regardless of whether there is any impact. In the Middle East, huge amounts of international humanitarian aid to the Palestinian refugees has failed to provide any change, and most of the money has disappeared.

This generous government funding supports numerous anti-Israel propaganda groups that masquerade as NGOs, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. Oxfam International, with an annual budget of $720 million, has launched a massive campaign urging condemnation of Israel for gross violations of international humanitarian law. The Australian affiliate, known as Oxfam Community Aid Abroad, receives 21 per cent of its funding from the Australian Government for projects in the Palestinian refugee camps.

While claiming to be a humanitarian organisation, CAA, like other groups working under Arafat's jurisdiction, turned a blind eye to the recruitment, training and dispatch of suicide bombers.

In their emotional appeal, Oxfam CAA's leaders note: "Our colleagues, staff and friends in Ramallah and other towns have confirmed the horrific situation we are all witnessing on our televisions: grave breaches of humanitarian law, including: the targeting of medical personnel, denial of medical care to the injured and chronically ill; actual and threatened violence against clearly identified staff of the Red Cross, Palestinian Red Crescent Society and the UN ..." The list is quite long, and filled with many eyewitness reports.

A cursory examination reveals that CAA's eager propagandists have chosen to ignore the long history of entirely unreliable (i.e. false) reports designed to delegitimate Israel, as well as the background of the brutal Palestinian terrorist campaign that led to the Israeli response.

To refer to Oxfam and its partners in trendy Israel-bashing as humanitarian organisations makes a mockery of the term. These false claims also undermine those apolitical and less publicised groups that actually provide humanitarian services instead of politics and ideology.

These examples serve to illustrate the hidden political and ideological agendas of the NGOs. Their haloes are growing very thin and their activities around the world are coming under greater scrutiny, particularly in the highly propagandised realm of Middle East politics. Like the entire United Nations system, with which these organisations work very closely to promote and protect each other, the role of NGOs needs urgent and total reform.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
Gerald M. Steinberg is director of the Program on Conflict Management and Negotiation at Israel's Bar Ilan University.
1 posted on 06/06/2002 5:18:41 PM PDT by anapikoros
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To: anapikoros; Grampa Dave
Just the tip of the ice berg. These NGO's are almost para-statals - they certainly think themselves as such. another aspect is their use by business and states to channel their energies to beat competitors.

A very good example is the use of "Islamic" charities and NGO's, preferably with the imprimatur of an American or European home base, to act as fronts in Bosnia and Central Asia and elsewhere to funnel junds to terrorist operations and affect other logisitics. They are "fronts."

2 posted on 06/06/2002 5:27:26 PM PDT by Shermy
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To: anapikoros
NGOs are a very mixed bag. Some do important humanitarian work, and call our attention to overlooked people in need (i.e., persecuted Christians). Others once did good work, but have become corrupted. Chief among these are all but a few of the organizations with "human rights" as their focus. As many of you know, I call the hypocritical activists in these organizations "human rightsers".

Several of the large "human rightser" organizations (e.g., "Human Rightser" Watch, "Amnesty" International) even serve the New World Order empire on the ground, in such places as Bosnia, Kosovo and FYR Macedonia. They serve to oppress the Slavic Christians in these countries with threatened "war crimes" charges and other means, and to make sure the the great majority of humanitarian aid goes to muslims only. Their goal is the total islamization of these lands, and their subservience to NWO looters like Soros.

The worst of all are the islamic "charities", who serve up their "humanitarian aid" with a large order ot terrorism and subversion.

Even in the case of the good NGOs, they are almost always self-appointed, and are no substitute for representative democracy. Those anti-globalists who want to base their ideas of governance on NGOs are therefore dead wrong! And the globalists, by using the bad NGOs as their agents, are winning against the anti-globalists' "NGO strategy" in a VERY big way!!!!

3 posted on 06/06/2002 5:49:23 PM PDT by Honorary Serb
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To: anapikoros
Many NGOs are really Neo-Government Organizations supporting the agendas of their governmental partners.
4 posted on 06/06/2002 8:01:09 PM PDT by F-117A
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To: anapikoros
"...particularly among the anti-globalisation crowd that believes that states, and the politicians who run them, are flawed and their actions need to be tempered."

HUH? I'm anti-globalization and we KNOW our pols and states are flawed, but we insist on sovereignty anyway! What a bold faced lie. The statement suits the Pro-globalization crowd.

5 posted on 06/06/2002 10:41:08 PM PDT by brat
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To: Shermy
We have a lot of home grown versions, Club Sierra, Planned Parenthood, the Million Mammaries against guns, the March of Dimes, the Red Cross, United Way, all of the pink ribbon so called non profits, the groups who look for homeless people to keep their jobs, ALF/ELF/PETA. We don't have to look under our beds for blue helmeted ngos, we have more than enough home grown ones here in America.
6 posted on 06/06/2002 11:32:42 PM PDT by Grampa Dave
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To: F-117A
>>>>Many NGOs are really Neo-Government Organizations supporting the agendas of their governmental partners<<<


For example, State Department subcontracts services of Soros-funded network of pseudohumanitarian organisations to do the dirty work in places such as Tajikistan, Kyrgistan, Kosovo, Serbia and FYROM. Their activities would be often considered illegal in US and illegal for US Government to perfiorm.

The same network has been infiltrated by the enemies of US and in a pervert way US tax payers finance activity detrimental to US interests.

7 posted on 06/07/2002 7:15:03 AM PDT by DTA
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To: Shermy
Interesting that so many of the paleos are now on board with all the UN NGOs, because they share a common point of view on Israel.

I thought paleos were supposed to dislike the UN.

8 posted on 06/07/2002 7:23:43 AM PDT by denydenydeny
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