July 14, 2016
Do NGOs that work in and around Israel use their volunteers for propaganda?
Reading hard-left media or the propaganda produced by “pro-Palestinian” organizations, one forms the impression that the IDF is constantly launching random attacks on Palestinian civilians in the West Bank. But write to a Palestinian university about coming for a semester abroad, and you will be told that students “live normal lives” and that “the media exaggerate” the situation. Furthermore, writes David Collier, the selfsame NGOs devoted to harping on the “brutality of the occupation” reassure prospective volunteers that, if they are wise about avoiding riots, they’ll be fine:
[Representatives of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM)] point out that injuries can occur at demonstrations. They suggest [that similar injuries] . . . would occur if you were to take such actions in “many places in the world.” Secondly they state that when working in the field, either at checkpoints, schools, or in the towns, the risk of any injury is “low or non-existent.” . . .
In fact, Palestine is a perfect place for Westerners to volunteer. . . . These areas are close to Europe, cheap to get to, incredible to travel around, sunny, and most of all secure. Given the proximity and cost, there are few better alternatives today to volunteering in “Palestine,” and none working on the premise of humanitarian aid are anywhere near as safe.
Yet, at the same time, most of the people arriving in Palestine have never seen conflict and have never left first-world comfort. . . . Even though it’s perfectly safe, someone coming from the West is likely to view the life of the Palestinians as being harder than anything they have seen. . . . . That the lives of those in the West Bank may be better than almost everyone else in the region does not cross their minds. . . .
But manipulating young Western students with no sense of history and who are legitimately shocked by realities that are harsher than those of their university dorms doesn’t take much in the way of political genius—simply a willingness to lie in the service of a cause. These NGOs knowingly mislead people who may truly believe the Palestinians are randomly being murdered in the streets—because they know they can lie and still receive funding from Western governments.