December 27, 2012 Leave a comment
A few days ago, the Commentator published an article by me (text below) on the reasons why so many Christian organisations working in the Middle East are hostile towards Israel. There are a good number of excellent pro-Israel organisations, who seek to serve both sides of the divide in Israel and who successfully keep a non-political stance. Why can so many others not do the same. If the organisations working in Palestinian areas insist on being so poisonously anti-Israel, why do the pro-Israel groups not behave in the same way towards Palestinians? Who is showing a more Christian face to the world; the ones serving Palestinians while actively and loudly denigrating Israel, or the ones quietly serving both communities and hating neither? This blog in the Times of Israel by NGO Monitor echoes these concerns.
Dexter Van Zile (Why are Christian charities bashing Israel? 15th December) admirably exposed a major problem in the Christian development agency universe; a problem that too often seems to focus on only one geographical area in the whole world. Embrace the Middle East (an evolution of a long-standing agency with a history of excellent work on behalf of the poor of the Middle East), Christian Aid, World Vision, The Amos Trust and many others do provide aid to the poor and they do engage in commendable development projects in the cultural and religious turmoil we call the Middle East. Sadly, however, the majority of such charities seem to have an unacceptable political bias where this one geographical area is concerned – that narrow strip of land popularly known as “Israel-Palestine” or “Palestine-Israel” depending on your worldview! As someone who has worked in the Christian charity sector for over 25 years and with a special concern in the Middle East, I would like to offer a four point rationale for this anomaly in the mindsets of otherwise thoroughly admirable, caring organisations. Read more of this post