Pull the other one

In his CiF article of February 5th  Adam Levick wrote “[t]o salvage its reputation as a non-partisan, charitable endeavour offering constructive approaches to the Arab-Israeli conflict, Christian Aid must attempt to develop greater accountability for such negative agendas within its organisation.” Unfortunately, I am not quite as magnanimous as Mr. Levick and frankly, I can’t see that Christian Aid has much of a reputation to salvage. For several years now Christian Aid has pursued a markedly anti-Israeli agenda and the objective evidence casts serious doubts upon the credence of CA Director of Marketing Matthew Reed’s response to the article in which he claimed that “Christian Aid has always been unequivocal in its support for the security of Israel and the rights of all Israeli people to live safely and securely”.
Christian Aid is part of the DEC which will be remembered by many readers here for its virulently anti-Israeli campaign this time last year which even the BBC found too partial to broadcast. CA offers teaching packs for use in primary and secondary schools in the UK which are hardly a model of a balanced view of the Middle East conflict. CA’s partners in Israel include Sabeel, Adalah (an organisation which calls for an end to Jewish immigration to Israel coupled with the right of return), PCHR, ICAHD, Ittijah, and the Alternative Information Centre which in 2006 received some 328,395 shekels from Christian Aid. Readers will remember that I covered the AIC and its links to a terrorist organisation proscribed by the EU and the US in a previous article. In short, whilst Matthew Reed is claiming to have the rights and security of Israel’s citizens in mind, CA’s mouthpieces on the ground promote anything but those aims – a fact of which CA must presumably be aware, and indeed condone, as it continues to pump money into these organisations.
Adam Levick’s article also prompted a response from the author of the Ctl Alt Shift article; self-declared “journalist/revolutionary” Jody McIntyre. Matthew Reed tried to claim that McIntyre was an “outside contributor” to CA’s youth website, but a quick perusal indicates that the latter has been contributing articles to the site at least since April 2009 and indeed McIntyre is described there as “Ctrl.Alt.Shift’s very own freedom fighter Jody McIntyre”, so one would presume that Christian Aid must have bothered to check out their contributor. After all, a multi-million pound organisation funded by so many UK churches, Irish Aid and even the British Government would not to take the risk of embarrassing its funders by way of its choice of partners or contributors, would it?
One can only therefore conclude that Christian Aid must be fully aware of the fact that Jody McIntyre also writes for Electronic Intifada, and that his articles are used by the International Solidarity Movement , ICAHD and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign among others. Christian Aid must also, of course, know that McIntyre was part of Galloway’s ‘Viva Palestina’ convoy and that his ‘Twitter’ friends include the 9/11 ‘troofer’ rapper Lowkey, famous for his lyrics –

“Every coin is a bullet, if you’re Mark’s and Spencer,
And when your sipping Coca-Cola,
That’s another pistol in the holster of a soulless soldier,
You say you know about the Zionist lobby,
But you put money in their pocket when you’re buying their coffee.”

Matthew Reed may have thought that he had averted controversy among the readers of Adam Levick’s article, but the comments of the CiF crowd below the line illustrate very graphically what sort of opinions are held by the type of person who agrees with Christian Aid’s style of political campaigning.

5 Feb 2010, 11:51AM
if an ngo is going to be critical of two conflicting parties they need to be seen as unbiased as possible
This is probably a bit over your head; but don’t you think it possible that if the zionists had never tried to disenfrachise Palestinians and create their state on their land then perhaps there would not be a conflict.
Or do you think it right to criticise Palestinians for existing?


5 Feb 2010, 11:52AM
Without a meaningful re-examination of funding practices and activities such as Ctrl.Alt.Shift, Christian Aid’s moral standing, and its ability to have a positive impact, will continue to be eroded.

I don’t think so. There are very few people in the West who find the Israeli system of Apartheid and military oppression palatable. Of course there will be cries of anti-semitism, but they don’t explain why a number of very famous Jews have expressed similar opinions. Basically if Israel wants to stop criticising people, it needs to stop bombing civilian targets with white phosphorous
and killing Palestinian children..

5 Feb 2010, 11:56AM
I find it difficult to see the difference between
In one post, McIntyre refers to Zionism as a “racist ideology with the sole aim of stealing the land of Palestine and expelling Palestinians from their country”.
Zionism, the national movement for the return of the Jewish people to their homeland and the resumption of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel…
The latter comes from the website of the AMERICAN-ISRAELI COOPERATIVE ENTERPRISE.

5 Feb 2010, 12:04PM
I just can never understand why the Guardian seems to have as a policy the promotion of Judaism over Christianity. I’m not saying it should be pro-Christian (but we are in a nation where it is the dominant religion) but it seems, when I read articles like the above, that it is a promotional magazine for the Israeli State.

5 Feb 2010, 12:05PM
The article in question may be needlessly provocative in some ways, but it does make some salient points about Israel:
(1) The open secret that they have possessed nuclear weapons for forty years, and have never admitted it, or bothered to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (unlike Iran).
(2) Israel’s refusal to abide by international law, as expressed in UN resolutions calling on them to withdraw from occupied Palestinian territories.
This short piece doesn’t even touch on all the daily oppressions that Palestinians suffer under Israeli occupation, such as military assaults, assasinations, security checkpoints, theft of land, embargos, etc.
To suggest some kind of moral equivalence between an occupying power and the weak, impoverished occupied people is absurd, as is the tiresome attempt to equate any criticism of the State of Israel with anti-semitism.

5 Feb 2010, 12:18PM
It’s about time the pro-Israel lobby used a tactic other than to smear critics of Israel as being anti-semitic. It’s an old trick which loses credibility each time it’s used.
Sure, the parallels between the holocaust and Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians aren’t perfect; the scale is less and the Palestinians can defend themselves just a little better. But the current Israeli policies are blatantly racist.
Israel continues studiously to ignore the UN resolutions it finds inconvenient, yet demands support for the world community.
Too many Western governments are in thrall to the Zionist lobbying groups. Congratulations to Christian Aid for telling it as it is.

5 Feb 2010, 12:43PM
More Israeli propaganda – I just look at the UN investigation and the fact if no impartial investigation is made the ICC will intervene, the continued blockage of Gaza is a crime against Humanity, the continued occupation and land-grab in the West bank breaks International Law. Israel should be in the dock not Christian Aid.

5 Feb 2010, 1:43PM
israel is never wrong and never in the wrong as least as far as some western governments are concerned.
in fact netanyahu states that israel is a jewish state, so in what way does israel represent the morality and ethics of judaism?
i mean is what israel does to its non jewish citizens/people and palestinians really the jewish response as given by the torah?
anyway whilst we have this attack on chrsitian aid, the israelis are busily preparing and threatening lebanon, gaza,syria and iran and not so long ago turkey .
since miuch of this aggression from israel is off the broadcast news im just waiting for that after event shock and awe being broadcast.

5 Feb 2010, 1:56PM
Not read the Christian Aid article but from what the author has stated it seems entirely accurate. Israel is responsible for war crimes and yes peres is a war criminal as he has been part of a government who has committed crimes against humanity in lebanon gaza and westbank.
The fact that he has a nobel peace prize only illustrates the absurdity of the peace prize. wasn’t arrafat a winner of the peace prize as well and then later branded a terrorist by Sharon and Bush.
Yes the Palestinians have committed acts of terrorist but as in life its difficult criticising the victim of vicious crimes for lashing out


5 Feb 2010, 2:44PM
McIntyre wrote the truth. I cannot understand why you have to apologise to anyone let alone to those whom Goldstone has called war criminals.

5 Feb 2010, 3:32PM
This article is just another shameful attempt to improve Israel’s tarnished image abroad. But kicking the messenger (Christian Aid), who has done no more than to report the truth is not the way to achieve this.
It is a fact that Israel has not behaved decently towards the people whose land it occupies. The only way in which Israel can regain respect from the world is to behave like the ‘beacon of democracy’ it professes to be, starting by treating all inhabitants of Israel and the occupied territories humanely, giving them the vote and equal rights under the law.
Nothing less will do. The two-state-solution is dead.

5 Feb 2010, 3:32PM
.## ” McIntyre refers to Zionism as a “racist ideology with the sole aim of stealing the land of Palestine and expelling Palestinians from their country”.##
.It should, of course , have read “refers to Zionism as a religiously discriminatoryideology …with the sole aim of stealing the land of Palestine etc etc..

5 Feb 2010, 3:36PM
Thanks for alerting me to this. IT’s made my day.
It’s about time that the odious Peres was put in his place (who can forget his “Palestinians don’t love their children” on Sky while fathers wept over the bodies of their dead babies?)
And as the father of the Zionist nuclear arsenal, not to mention the colonies (some on Christian land, at Jifna for example), makes the claim that this man is a warrior for peace risible.
Too often forgotten is the fact that Zionism is an ideology that despises Christians as well as Muslims.


5 Feb 2010, 4:28PM
If somebody posted pictures of Nazi concentration camps side by side with British concentration camps in the Boer War, this would not imply moral equivalence: it would imply that anyone who pursues racist, colonialist and imperialist policies will go down the same slippery paths – indeed with similar complacency and self-justification of the populace of the aggressor nations.
The only people who would claim that the above juxtaposition implied moral equivalence with Nazism would be the apologists for the British camps.

5 Feb 2010, 5:58PM
I completely agree that what ChristianAid is doing is wholly political and so in conflict with their charotable status.
I also think the substance of what they say is right. I think Zionism is clearly a form of racism and Israel has repeatedly committed war crimes. This can’t be said enough though Christian Aid should not be the ones saying it.

Indeed, Christian Aid’s rather transparent political agenda does raise legitimate questions regarding its charitable status. According to the Charity Commission

“Campaign material: Many charities, by the nature of their work and the issues they deal with, will raise issues which some people find emotive. Such charities’ campaign materials will frequently have an emotive content, and this is perfectly acceptable so long as it has a well-founded evidence base and is factually accurate. However, trustees will need to consider the particular risks of using emotive or controversial materials, which may be significant because of the risk to public perception of the charity. These risks will need to be weighed up against the potential benefits which might include enhanced public understanding and a change in attitude towards an issue.”

The Trustees of Christian Aid would do well to review their position regarding both the above paragraph and the rest of the Charity Commission’s rules regarding political activity, for (like many other British charities) they have long since crossed the line between charitable campaigning and controversy caused by the use of non-factual content. However, the additional affiliations of some of Christian Aid’s trustees do make one question whether they are indeed capable of such urgently required introspection.
“Christian Aid has always been unequivocal in its support for the security of Israel and the rights of all Israeli people to live safely and securely”. Pull the other one, Matthew Reed; it’s got bells on.

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