Pressure of Biased Charities on BBC and Sky over Gaza Appeal
Jerusalem based watchdog, NGO Monitor today highlighted the political bias of some of the charities which comprise the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEP). The DEC is made up of thirteen member organizations, whose television appeal for relief in Gaza was refused by both the BBC and Sky, on the grounds that it would jeopardize the broadcasters' impartial and objective stance on the conflict.
DEC members include Oxfam, Christian Aid, Save the Children and World Vision, whose coverage of the Gaza conflict has been far from impartial. Each organization released numerous statements overwhelmingly condemning Israel, some of which utilized false legal assumptions to push for political action against Israel. A statement from Oxfam said "The international community must not stand aside and allow Israeli leaders to commit massive and disproportionate violence against Gazan civilians in violation of international law". Similarly, Christian Aid called "on Gordon Brown to push for the European Union to suspend its talks with Israel on upgrading relations." (This statement has since been removed from Christian Aid's website).
These NGOs have repeatedly demonstrated their highly one-sided approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict. In March 2008, a coalition of groups including CARE, Christian Aid, Oxfam and Save the Children released a lengthy report titled 'The Gaza Strip: A Humanitarian Implosion'. This promoted the legal fallacy that Israel is still responsible for Gazans, despite the 2005 Disengagement and that Israel is guilty of 'illegal collective punishment'. These arguments have been refuted by legal experts. Additionally, Christian Aid's partner organizations in the region include Sabeel, Alternative Information Center and others, who reject the idea of a Jewish state and encourage anti-Israel boycotts.
NGO Monitor's Executive Director, Prof Gerald Steinberg said, "Politicized NGO super powers such as Oxfam and Christian Aid have lost credibility as humanitarian organizations in this conflict. Endorsing their Gaza campaign would erode the image of impartiality and objectivity that the BBC, Sky and other news organizations seek to project."