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'Hugs, kisses and hummus' - How proxy NGO's corrupt the palestinian resistance [01.05.2014]

Normalization: 'Hugs, kisses and hummus' by Younes Arrar

… the great majority of these NGO’s … are part of their own governments political agendas, … which aims at emptying us from our national identity, from our willingness to resist, and make the Palestinians accept to live with the facts they have on the ground, to coexist with the Israeli occupation and normalize with them, to forget about our legitimate political rights, and to give up unconditionally.

Are they really helping us / are they supporting our legitimate rights?

Hundreds of international NGO’s are working with and among the Palestinians (under the pretext of helping) on the Palestinian land since the 1970’s until now. Actually, so many questions could be asked about the point / value of their activism and the achievements they have made so far after such a long time of work with the Palestinian NGO’s, local communities, parties, and all sectors of the Palestinian society and of course the Israeli occupation so called “peace NGO’s” and all sectors of their society!

At the political level internationally

All these NGO’s have failed over the past few years to influence their communities and the decision makers in their countries to build an influential power and/or a lobby that is able to correct or at least enhance the official political behaviour concerning finding a reasonable solution towards ending the Israeli occupation and therefore the Palestinian suffering, which makes me wonder, where they serious about whatever they are doing at the first place?
I believe not, because they are part of their official regimes and never work independently, because most of their money are governmental money controlled one way or another by their governments, and confirms to me at least that they are implementing their own governments political agendas, and definitely these agendas were and are never pro the Palestinian political legitimate rights.

At the political level locally (Palestine and Israeli occupation entity

All these NGO’s have cooperated and coordinated with Palestinian NGO’s and Israeli occupation “peace” NGO’s at all levels over the past years until this moment, but no tangible results so far, no Palestinians believe that peace is possible for the foreseeable future because of the Israeli occupation ongoing hostile activities / crimes against the Palestinian people, land and properties on the ground, and the Israeli occupation society is becoming day by day more racist and extreme.

It’s important to add that these international NGO’s are always asking the Palestinian NGO’s to have an Israeli partner as a precondition to fund any Palestinian project under the pretext of bridging the gaps, peace building and dialogue! Which for sure reveals their hidden agenda which is making us look equal and not as occupier and victim. This is really the case, occupying power and people under occupation. So, their hidden goal is to deceive the international community by showing us equals, or as they always indicate to it as “Israeli Palestinian conflict” which is not the case. We are people and land under Israeli occupation, it’s not a conflict, according to the international law, we are under Israeli occupation.

What type of projects are they mainly funding?

They mainly fund projects that have to do with terms such as democracy, dialogue, non violent conflict resolution, reconciliation, coexistence, negotiations, mutual understanding, good government, equality, forgiveness etc, but never productive and / or infrastructure projects. In principle none of the Palestinians is against such concepts (terms) because they constitute a fundamental building block of our culture and heritage and are practiced in our daily life. But we are against the hidden intentions of such terms that is accepting facts imposed by the Israeli occupation on the ground - “Normalization” - , accepting the situation the way it is on the ground, accepting the solutions imposed by the Israeli occupation, making us accepting them without ending the occupation. So the best description that can fit such projects is “hugs, kisses and hummus”, because Palestinian (unnoticed minority) Israeli occupation delegations always meet, shake hands, hug, kiss and eat hummus with no results, never results, of course you can clearly see if there is any results on the ground after such a long time of meetings, Zero.

Moreover, are people under occupation in urgent need for democracy or freedom? Are people under occupation in urgent need for dialogue or ending the Israeli occupation? Are people under occupation in urgent need for reconciliation or independence? Are people under occupation in urgent need for kisses and hugs or liberation?

What Palestinians are really in urgent need for from international NGO’s and communities is political and legal support, supporting people’s steadfastness on their endangered land, infrastructure which was destroyed by Israeli occupation forces over and over, rebuilding the Palestinian houses demolished by Israeli occupation on daily basis, developing area “C”, saving occupied Jerusalem from the ongoing Judaization, protecting Palestinians lives from the Israeli occupation killing machine, exposing Israeli occupation daily terrorism and crimes against Palestinian people, land and properties and hold them responsibility, be part of BDS campaigns (boycott, divestment and sanctions), mobilizing protests and sit-ins in their own countries in front of Israeli occupation embassies, consulates, companies, and in front of their own ministries and parliaments, and on top of all contributing to the efforts of putting an end to Israeli occupation instead of funding worthless useless projects that have no value on the ground other than making us (Palestinians and Israeli occupation) look equal parties and buying more time for the Israeli occupation to create more facts on the ground.

Popular Resistance

Over the past few years these NGO’s have focused their funds to support Palestinian and Israeli occupation NGO’s talking about non violent popular resistance and/or related to non violent popular resistance (not supporting the popular resistance active on the ground just those using this term or slogan). I have to ask why to support Israeli occupation “peace” NGO’s claiming to be supporting Palestinian popular resistance, taking into consideration that only about 100 Israeli peace activists are participating in the Palestinian popular resistance on the ground since it has started in 2003 until now, adding that most of the Israeli occupation “peace” NGO’s don’t believe in the Palestinian fundamental legitimate rights recognized by the international law. And as for the Palestinian NGO’s related to this topic and they are a lot, why they are funded, knowing that they have zero influence, achievement, mobilization and participation in the protest activities on the ground, their projects are not seen nor create tangible on the ground, So, where does the money go?

Let’s see, most of the time one third of the project’s budget goes to senior staff hired by the funding NGO (Donor), second third, high salaries, incentives and administrative expenses for the funded NGO (recipient NGO) staff, and the last third goes for dull meetings, lectures, workshops, travels, entertainment and food (hugs, kisses and hummus) for targeted groups (and they are really very very small minority in both sides). How could such projects reflect on the society and goals of the project itself (this is been going since the 70s of the past century until now).

The Palestinian popular resistance is still very limited due to lack of funds, which means clearly that the Palestinian popular committees didn’t and still don’t receive any funds to fund their resistance activities (political, cultural, social, educational, agricultural activities) and they are actually funding such activities by themselves (self-financing).

As a conclusion, I believe and I know from experience that the great majority of these NGO’s are proxy NGO’s that are part of their own governments political agendas which are not innocent ones (these governments have contributed to the creation, empowerment and funding of the Zionist occupation entity on our land), which aims at emptying us from our national identity, from our willingness to resist, and make the Palestinians accept to live with the facts they have on the ground, to coexist with the Israeli occupation and normalize with them, to forget about our legitimate political rights, and to give up unconditionally.

In short, their projects are hugs, kisses and hummus.


Younes Arar is a human rights defender and activist, a coordinator of the South West Bank Popular Committee (Hebron and Bethlehem districts), and the executive manager of the Beit Ommar Cooperative for Agricultural Production and Services. He is also one of the founders of the Commission for Nonviolent Popular Resistance in Palestine (High Follow Up Popular Resistance Commission), found in September 2009. He has a BA in hotel management and tourism from Bethlehem University (1996) and a diploma in peace building from Salesian Pontifical University in Rome (2007).

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