Red Cross violates own policy, sides with Palestinians – Report

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International Committee of the Red Cross (File).

Pro-Zionist NGO proves that the aid organization’s principles of neutrality and confidentiality are nowhere to be seen in the Middle East conflict.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) violates its own principles of neutrality and confidentiality when it comes to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, a veteran peace-for-peace NGO charged Sunday.

According to the aid organization’s stated philosophy, it works “to protect and assist people affected by armed conflict and other situations of violence” by trying to persuade the parties to “address humanitarian concerns through a confidential and bilateral dialogue.”

It notes that if the parties or the ICRC discloses the private information, this would “serve as a major disincentive for parties’ cooperation with the ICRC.”

It is also considered very important to “act as a neutral intermediary between parties to armed conflicts.”

Mattot Arim turned to the U.N.-sanctioned body with several recent cases where neutrality and confidentiality were blatantly not maintained. This included an ICRC news release on October 12 where it called for Palestinian farmers to have “safe” access to their olive groves while charging that Israelis try to harm them during harvest season.

“For years, the ICRC has observed a seasonal peak in violence by Israeli settlers residing in certain settlements and outposts in the West Bank towards Palestinian farmers and their property” at this time of year, ICRC Jerusalem mission head Els Debuf said.

She also added charges of “the destruction of farming equipment,” and “the uprooting and burning of olive trees” to her list of public complaints that “we continue to share with the authorities in charge.”

When challenged regarding the condemnatory nature of the release, ICRC spokesman Christoph Hanger insisted that “we are following our working modalities,” as there was “no public condemnation nor a reference to the state of Israel” in the article.

In reply, Mattot Arim pointed out that “the authorities in charge” in Judea and Samaria can – obviously – only be a reference to Israel.

The NGO also asked if the ICRC’s principle of neutrality should be motivating it to demonstrate equal concern about all victims of violence, including the hundreds of incidents directed by Palestinians against Israeli civilians.

Hanger had no answer to this, simply insisting that “our focus and modus operandi remains on our trusted dialogue with authorities.”

“The International Red Cross has the advantage of the assumption, in the West, that the organization is neutral,” the NGO explained to WIN. “Therefore, if International Red Cross employees make false accusations and present them as ‘facts,’ people will believe them. This can fool many naïve young people and be very dangerous.”

The problem is one of long standing, the group said.

“ICRC officials have accused Israel of breaking the law and of mistreating Palestinians, over and over again, for years. Unfortunately, for as long as the International Red Cross keeps this up, antisemitism may continue to rise.”

In 2017, ICRC President Peter Maurer held a press conference in Jerusalem where he openly charged Israel with violating “the provisions and the spirit of international law, the law of occupation, as we call it,” due to “the settlement enterprise.”

Among other allegations, he stated as fact that this has “curtailed educational and employment opportunity” and makes “water supply systems difficult for Palestinian communities.”

Palestinian literacy rates are at the top of the Arab world, and the 15 Palestinian universities and colleges that are listed for Judea and Samaria were all established only after Israel liberated the region in 1967.

As for water, Mattot Arim said, “What the International Red Cross don’t say is that until Israel regained control in the Six Day War, only 10% of Palestinian households were connected to water infrastructure. Today 95% have water.”

“It is very sad that the famed International Red Cross should engage in what amounts to Israel-bashing. This in turn allows anti-Israel sentiment and its twin brother, antisemitism, to masquerade as objectivity,” the group concluded.

(World Israel News).

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