Abraham Cooper

NGOs’ immoral tunnel vision

Who is not moved by the pictures of Israeli families with 15 seconds to reach the safety of bomb shelters from terrorist rockets that can now reach beyond Tel Aviv, and Gaza families forced to choose between evacuating or heeding their democratically-elected officials to stay-put and serve as human shields to protect their Hamas leaders from Israel’s efforts to end end the reign of terror raining down on Israel’s civilian population?

One might think that the spectacle of Hamas’ elites again and again ordering its constituents to put their families in immediate danger, while they hide thousands of missiles within the civilian infrastructure, behind women’s skirts, under mosques and even hospitals would bring the civilized world to its senses and finally acknowledge the true nature of the Hamas regime that runs Gaza. Don’t hold your breath. In fact the United States and the European Union continue to fund and support Mahmoud Abbas’ “unity government,” that still includes Hamas as a partner.

The Gaza/Hamas scenario is a recurring nightmare — it’s happened before in 2006, 2008, and 2010 — but the international community, including the UN and the world’s NGOs, say and do virtually nothing, and when they do act, they often succeed in only making things worse.

In 2014, flak jacket-wearing ‘war’ correspondents on the ground and talking heads back in TV studios from London to Los Angeles repeatedly ask: why don’t Palestinian civilians have bomb shelters? There are two discomfiting reasons: First–Bomb shelters might actually minimize civilian casualties among Gaza’s hapless populace, something that would negatively impact Hamas’ core-strategy in its asymmetrical war against Israel. Hamas counts on spawning martyrs-on demand for the 24-hour, internet-driven news cycles to depict Israel as a Nazi-like monolith bent on murdering innocent babies and their mothers. The second reason is that there is a desperate shortage of cement, but no one ever demands to know why. That’s because a series of new tunnels diverted thousands of tons from 24,000 concrete slabs Israel was pressured into allowing into Gaza to ease a so-called crisis in the civilian construction center. Those slabs were used o build sophisticated tunnels extending into Israeli territory to wreak havoc through more kidnappings and suicide bombings targeting Israelis civilians.

One such “terror tunnel” discovered earlier this year — thirty meters deep, equipped with power generators that extended into southern Israel being readied for “a quality terrorist attack” on peaceful kibbutz residents.

Not a peep of protest or outrage from the international NGOs that had clamored for the release of the “building materials for Gaza’s civilians. The hall of shame reads like a who’s who of Europe’s Civil Society, including Christian Aid, Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network, Handicap International, IKV Pax Christi, International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Medical Aid for Palestinians, Medico International; MS ActionAid Denmark; Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) Oxfam, Quaker Council for European Affairs, Save the Children UK, and Trocaire.

Amnesty International UK and 21 other groups published Dashed Hopes: Continuation of the Gaza Blockade claiming—that despite the easing of the Gaza blockade—“Gaza needs 670,000 truckloads of construction materials for housing alone in Gaza, while “an average of only 715 truckloads of construction materials” per month had been let in.

Gisha, an NGO based in Israel, complained: “The Israeli approval process requires international organisations to document in tremendous detail every nut and bolt design for construction projects as if we were regulating highly specialised weapons.”

Wonder if Gisha spokespeople would still argue the point today while they do the 15 second dash to take cover from Hamas’s seemingly endless supply of missiles and the multitude of underground storage facilities hiding them.

Clearly, Hamas’ chutzpah is continuously supercharged by international NGOs who stubbornly refuse to accept U.S. President John Adams’ insistence that “facts are stubborn things” that have to be accepted. Tragically, that is not the case when Israel and Palestinians are involved.

Instead of calling out Hamas for its crimes against humanity — against the people of Gaza, NGO’s are instead leading the ludicrous charge of “disproportion response” by the Israelis, when what really upsets Hamas and its “humanitarian” fellow-travelers, is the lack of “proportionality” between Israeli and Palestinian casualties.

Palestinians forced to become “human shields” deserve all our sympathies. Deserving our scorn however are international NGOs that maintain their deafening silence in the face of brutal Hamas’ continuing policy of using its own women and children as cannon fodder. Perhaps the NGOs are too busy doing what they do best: preparing the next indictment of the Jewish State for having the gumption to protect its citizens from the scourge genocide-seeking terrorists.

This article was co-authored by historian Harold Brackman, a consultant to the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

About the Author
Rabbi Abraham Cooper is the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Associate Dean and Global Director of its Ed Snider Social Action Institute