Doctors Without Borders nurse killed in Gaza while reportedly firing and throwing grenades at Israeli troops

This news has been reported by several sources, including among others Reuters, the Deutsche Welle, and The Daily Mail. According to those sources, a 28 year old Palestinian, working as a nurse for Doctors Without Borders (DWB, or MSF if you use the parent-organization French name, Médecins Sans Frontières), was killed by Israeli soldiers while allegedly opening fire at them and throwing grenades. (I will take these reports as true until I learn otherwise.)

According to Reuters, al-Majdalawi might have been acting as a lone wolf:

The organization later confirmed in a statement that Majdalawi had been killed but did not elaborate.

“MSF is working to verify and understand the circumstances regarding this extremely serious incident, and is not able to comment further at this stage,” it said.

Its website says the group runs three burns and trauma centers in Gaza, whose Islamist Hamas rulers have fought three wars against Israel in the last decade.

Gaza authorities did not confirm Majdalawi’s death, saying that would require having his body, which they believed was being held by Israel. The Israeli military said it could not immediately confirm this.

No armed Palestinian factions claimed Majdalawi as a member.

Responding to Israeli media reports on Majdalawi’s killing, his brother, Osama, described the married 28-year-old on Facebook as a “martyr” who had “bought the weapon with his own money” and acted “completely independently”.

Now this can’t be laid directly at the door of DWB—except that the organization has long had an anti-Israel policy, even implying that Israel shouldn’t exist. It’s repeatedly taken sides with Palestine against Israel and made excuses for Palestinian terror attacks against Israel. Read this article in The Forward (of course it may be biased, but do your own investigation and note that the author links to the “explanation” of the Executive director of MSF). Click on the screenshot to read:

An excerpt (my emphasis):

On June 30, 2016, Jason Cone, Executive Director of Medecins Sans Frontiers-USA (MSF-USA, Doctors Without Borders) attempted to defend his organization from scrutiny over its politicized, anti-Israel bias. He did so through a strawman argument, claiming that his organization was being falsely accused of antisemitism. In this way, Cone deflected attention from the larger issue, namely, that it is wholly inappropriate for a humanitarian organization such as MSF, to assume a one-sided politicized agenda on a complex, multi-faceted issue like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Along with his colleagues, he has adopted a narrow understanding of this protracted conflict and has decided to agitate against Israel, while embracing the worst of Palestinian extremism.

Under Cone and others, MSF’s various branches have vacillated between ignoring Palestinian violence against Israeli civilians, and seeming to justify or celebrate it, as in the MSF-France online, interactive exhibition, “In Between Wars.” Described by the head of MSF-USA as “depicting the humanitarian hardships Palestinians face,” the presentation serves as a showcase for virulent anti-Israel propaganda.

While purporting to present Palestinian life in the West Bank and Gaza, the exhibition parrots the “Nakba” narrative that views the founding of the State of Israel as a catastrophe, delegitimizing the very existence of the Jewish state. Worse, MSF glamorizes deadly Palestinian violence by referring to images of “armed soldiers face[ing] young stone throwers or Molotov cocktails” as “icons symbolizing the struggle of the Palestinian people against the Israeli occupation.” Similarly, one of the exhibits displays the living rooms of Palestinian homes, identifying them as a place to pay tribute to “martyrs”—a term that whitewashes the murderous terror attacks many carried out against innocent civilians. This sympathetic portrayal of Palestinian violence led Roger Cukierman, head of the Council of Jewish Institutions in France, to condemn the display as “an apology for terrorism” and warn “that [it] could inflame antisemitic violence.”

. . . Jason Cone’s own July 7, 2015, opinion piece contributed to this demonization by presenting Palestinian rocket attacks against Israeli civilians as being “called acts of resistance on one side and terrorism on the other.” Furthermore, he mentioned a rise in “Palestinian attacks against Israeli civilians (mostly settlers),” suggesting that some terrorist attacks are more acceptable than others.

Yes, the “terrorism” is all by Israelis, and attempted killing of Israeli civilians by Palestinians is simply “resistance.” For further articles along these lines, see here, here, and here. (For MSF’s response, see here.)

Now I am not an unalloyed supporter of Israel. Their settlement policy is deeply problematic, and Netanyahu seems recalcitrant to consider what I favor: a two-state solution. On the other hand, the Palestinians are also making a two-state solution impossible, and, indeed, I don’t think Hamas—who control Gaza and whose charter calls for the destruction of Israel—wants that solution. They want Israel gone completely. I despair of such a solution ever occurring; but realize that it’s been largely the fault of the Palestinians. Since 1937, they have turned down offers of sharing land with Israel as separate states seven times, and for a long period even refused to negotiate. In contrast, Israel has never rejected either negotiation or the “accords” that were worked out since the late 1980s.

In terms of which state is acting more ethically, I think it’s Israel, as Palestinians use human shields, regularly and directly target Israeli civilians, and engage in repeated acts of terrorism against civilians. In my view, the Palestinians, with the collusion of Western media, have painted themselves as guiltless victims at the same time they preach anti-Israel and anti-Semitic hatred in their schools and state media. If there’s an “apartheid state”, it’s Palestine.

By taking sides with a terrorist state, MSF is violating its own dictates to perform humanitarian action without regards to politics. When Kelly Houle and I auctioned off my multi-autographed version of Why Evolution is True on eBay, we donated the entire $10,000+ to Doctors Without Borders. And I put them in my will, scheduled to get a lot of money when I die.

No longer. I have a multi-autographed version of Faith versus Fact that I’ll also auction off for charity. But the money won’t be going to Doctors Without Borders: I’ll find another organization that does similar things. And I’m taking DWB out of my will, replacing them with an organization that doesn’t support terrorism. (I’ve divided up my inheritance money between medical relief organizations, organizations helping poor children throughout the world, and conservation organizations that buy up land and preserve wildlife.) I’m sure I can find organizations less problematic than DWB that deserve my dosh.

 

66 Comments

  1. Posted August 27, 2018 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Under Hamas, Gaza effectively seceded from the PA. Since then, it has engaged in clear acts of war against Israel. Gaza’s status under international law is of a belligerent entity, and Israel has every right to use military force against it, to blockade it, etc.

    Further, Hamas’ attacks targeting civilians constitute war crimes under international law.

    Given all this, and Hamas’ chartered objective of eradicating Israel, the latter is acting with incredible restraint.

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted August 27, 2018 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      Hamas has taken over governance of the Gaza strip since ~ 2007, and since then has not allowed elections that could unseat it from having power in the area. I do wonder how they would do today if elections were to happen.

  2. Dale Pickard
    Posted August 27, 2018 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    I think that DWB is calling it right.

    • mikeyc
      Posted August 27, 2018 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      You are going to have to defend that.

      • Dale Pickard
        Posted August 28, 2018 at 12:35 am | Permalink

        No thank you.

        • Taz
          Posted August 28, 2018 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

          What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

          – Christopher Hitchens

  3. Randall Schenck
    Posted August 27, 2018 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Your situation with the will is often a problem and we have to make changes for various reasons such as this. What seemed like a reasonable idea suddenly becomes a bad one. I have had the same thing in the past so we must always be prepared to make changes. Nothing is as permanent as it seems.

    • Posted August 27, 2018 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      Also sorry that you needed to change your donation/Will support for a previously trusted organization, based on new information. Have had to do so several times (on a much smaller scale!)with AmazonSmile donations.

      • Posted October 13, 2018 at 7:32 am | Permalink

        I have stopped liking Doctors Without Borders since they abandoned Kayla Mueller.

  4. Diana MacPherson
    Posted August 27, 2018 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    That’s disappointing with MSF. They are supposed to be apolitical and treat all patients the same.

    • Dale Pickard
      Posted August 27, 2018 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      Well, as the direct result of military occupation and economic blockade, DWB has far many more Palestinian “patients” than Israeli.

      • Malgorzata
        Posted August 27, 2018 at 11:07 am | Permalink

        There is no occupation of Gaza, the only Israeli soldiers in Gaza are two corpses of Israeli soldiers, killed by Hamas during a cease fire. There are also two captured civilian Israelis, kept incommunicado by Hamas who refuses any access to them (not that Red Cross and other international organizations are insisting on such access). According to international law you need “boots on the ground” to occupy a territory. Without it there is no occupation.

        There is a blockade (aproved even by U.N.) so that Hamas wouldn’t get even more weapon. Other needed goods are delivered through Israeli border crossings. Except that Palestinian Authority is now enforcing sanctions on Hamas and refusing to pay for fuel, electricity and some medicines. If Hamas didn’t attack Israel there would be no dead and wounded Palestinians except those who die and are wounded when bombs being build to kill Israelis explode prematurely or when a terror tunnel collapses. Do you know how many Palestinian children used to build these tunnels died there?

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted August 27, 2018 at 11:44 am | Permalink

        Even if that were true (though I highly doubt that there are more Palestinian patients than African ones) MSF proclaims to treat everyone and remain apolitical. They treat warlords and their victims the same. This shouldn’t change with whichever patients they encounter; it’s supposed to be a consistent value of the organization.

        • Dale Pickard
          Posted August 27, 2018 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

          Simply stating the facts is enough to gain DWB this criticism, especially from the extreme right to whom anything perceived as criticism of Israel the State is deemed antisemitic.

          • Posted August 27, 2018 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

            Which facts? Like that Israel is occupying Gaza? You seem to be confusing assertions with facts, both here and in your other drive-by comments.

            • Dale Pickard
              Posted August 27, 2018 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

              I just recognize that any criticism of Israel or their policies will be attacked as antisemitic. I don’t think that DWB is antisemitic or that they deserve the label.

              • Posted August 27, 2018 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

                I criticized Israel’s policies in my post. Am I anti-Semitic? Lol!

              • Dale Pickard
                Posted August 27, 2018 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

                Dr. Coyne, I frequent this website for the biology and I am uncomfortable with what I see as extremist politics.
                With all due respect, you, unlike DWB and myself, are obviously immune to charges of antisemitism. Despite what you say, your documented expositions here on your website make it clear to those of us who are otherwise culturally unaffiliated nonbelievers that the line you draw between criticism of Israel and charges of antisemitism is very fine. Several commenters on this thread have made this charge of DWB.

                There are subjects on which disagreement is forbidden. Those of us who hold legitimate but contrary thoughts and opinions are loathe to express our thoughts for fear of being labeled antisemitic.

                DWB apparently has crossed this line despite the fact that they provide tangible worldwide humanitarian assistance to victims of aggression. It would appear that in this case support of DWB is being withheld because they are telling truth regarding medical reality on the ground and for treating Palestinians.

              • Posted August 28, 2018 at 6:48 am | Permalink

                Well, Dale Pickard, I’m sorry you’re uncomfortable with the “extremist politics,” but that’s just too bad. There are plenty of other websites with biology where you don’t have to be uncomfortable, so why don’t you go there?

                Yes, the line is not easily discerned, but to say that nobody who criticizes “Zionism” is NOT antisemitic is native. Go read Nick Cohen if you still entertain that fantasy. As for disagreement being forbidden, you were free to disagree here, weren’t you?

                As for me withholding support from DWB, it’s because they put out statements supporting terrorism by demonizing Israel and valorizing Gaza. I will give my money to organizations that do good but don’t enable organizations like Hamas.

                And, with due respect, you should educate yourself about the issues. As Malgorzata told you above, there isn’t any “occupation” of Palestine.

              • Dale Pickard
                Posted August 28, 2018 at 11:47 am | Permalink

                Dr. Coyne,
                Thanks for the reply. I’m glad to hear that disagreement is not forbidden. I post here under the assumption that the point is fair discussion and a diversity of opinion. However, this ideal is apparently not (always) withstanding.
                From the little I have written here, you have deduced that I am ignorant and uneducated as to the issues or that I have somehow been conned or brainwashed into believing that which is not true.
                I include your thoughts on this subject into my ongoing education on the matter as I do try to temper my thoughts with a diversity of opinion. I’ve read Dershowitz but I’ve also read Norman Finklestein and Miko Peled.

                I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time learning the history from different sources and forming my own thoughts as to what the truth is. I’m sure that I’m not entirely objective but I come to the subject out of curiosity over the past behind current events, otherwise my life has been estranged from the subject. i.e. I am not Jewish and I am culturally deprived in that respect – but I have no natural bias, either.

                If I have tried to make any point in this thread it’s that this particular reality is not black and white and that others thoughts on the matter like DWB are legitimate and should not be demonized.
                Sorry if I made you angry as that is not my intent.

  5. John Dentinger
    Posted August 27, 2018 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Based on this post, I just changed my charitable giving from MSF to the Equal Justice Initiative. I’m sure there are other international orgs that I could support, but I feel that with our current American political climate, I’m making the right choice–at present!

  6. Blue
    Posted August 27, 2018 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    in re the dosh that one leaves in a will or
    for any other of folks’ giving … … this
    recommendation: obstetric fistulae repairs.
    Deservedly.

    As of that done by United Nations’
    physicians and others: https://goo.gl/9znRMy

    Not seen, of course, very much at all within
    the Western world or developed areas but
    Worldwide ? This horror ?

    VERY often = THE result of, thus caused by religion / by patriarchy.

    And devastating. As can only be … … imagined.

    Blue

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted August 27, 2018 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

      A ‹i›very‹/i› worthy cause.

    • Diane G
      Posted August 27, 2018 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

      + 2

  7. Malgorzata
    Posted August 27, 2018 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    sub

  8. BJ
    Posted August 27, 2018 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Israel, more than any other army, takes the most extreme measures possible to minimize civilian casualties. If Belgium was a terrorist state with a terrorist government; constantly firing rockets and sending terrorists across the border into France to kill as many civilians as possible; raising children from birth and teaching them through school and media to consider all French people as subhuman and deserving of grisly deaths; and advocating the complete destruction of the French people and their country, the world and the Western media would not sympathize with Belgium, and would condone far more extreme and destructive measures by France to stop the attacks.

    Israel, as always, is held to a different standard. One can wonder why, but there is one difference in particular that stands out (the word starts with a J).

    • Dale Pickard
      Posted August 27, 2018 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      Are you saying that any other opinion is necessarily antisemitic? Do you really think that is true?

      • Posted August 27, 2018 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

        No, @BJ was arguing that there are double standards: one standard that applies to Israel and another for everyone else.

        • Dale Pickard
          Posted August 27, 2018 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

          BJ said this,
          “Israel, as always, is held to a different standard. One can wonder why, but there is one difference in particular that stands out (the word starts with a J).”
          He seems reluctant to just flat out call people who disagree with him antisemites – but his meaning is clear nonetheless – don’t you think?

          • BJ
            Posted August 27, 2018 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

            You hear and read what you want to hear and read, as you made clear the last time you talked about this subject, when you repeatedly posted falsehoods and then refused to answer when called out on them.

          • BJ
            Posted August 27, 2018 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

            I’m sorry, I mixed you up with Dave Coxill, whose rank and malicious dishonesty can be seen here:

            https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2018/08/14/jeremy-corbyn-celebrates-terrorists-who-murdered-jews-in-the-1972-olympics/#comment-1645774

            https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2018/08/14/jeremy-corbyn-celebrates-terrorists-who-murdered-jews-in-the-1972-olympics/#comment-1645656

            But my general point still stands. However, I unreservedly apologize for accusing you of Mr. Coxill’s disgusting prevarications, lies, and evasions.

            • Dale Pickard
              Posted August 28, 2018 at 12:33 am | Permalink

              Hello BJ, Thanks for the apology I guess.
              The part of your post I noted was where you strongly implied that those who did not accept the view that Israel is treated to a double standard were to be considered antisemitic. Is it true that you think that?

              • BJ
                Posted August 28, 2018 at 8:29 am | Permalink

                I think that many people use criticism of Israel as a cover for antisemitism. Is everyone who criticizes Israel an antisemite? No, of course not. I never implied that.

                I also believe that many people who think Israel is an “apartheid state” or whatever, despite dozens of other nations doing far worse and killing far more people in military engagements, are holding Israel to a double standard for some reason, and the only difference I can think of is that Israel is the Jewish state. But there is one other crucial difference that isn’t about Israel: the way the western media and many progressive thought leaders treat Israel and report on what happens with it. People tend to follow what they’re told by the people they trust. If they trust certain news outlets and thought leaders (like, say, three of the four organizers of the Women’s March; Keith Ellison; tons and tons of important progressive organizers and non-profit organizations), then they will believe those outlets and people when they tell them that Israel is evil. The people who follow those lies aren’t necessarily antisemitic (though some of them are).

          • Posted August 28, 2018 at 3:52 am | Permalink

            It is indeed anti-semitic to hold Israel to a different standard to every other country.

  9. dd
    Posted August 27, 2018 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    It’s beyond astounding how much animosity is directed at Israel, and especially now, by the left in comparison to other situations.

    I am thinking, as example, how comparatively little criticism and hostility has been aimed at Venezuela’s regime by the international left despite the catastrophe it has created there. Or American/Saudi murderous campaign in Yemen.

    Despite denials, I can only see the disparity as springing from anti-Semitism.

    • BJ
      Posted August 27, 2018 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

      Let’s not forget that there is another country that had a border with Gaza: Egypt. These lefties don’t seem concerned with that. They’re only concerned with the country being attacked by the people in Gaza. Somehow, the country being attacked is the oppressive, “apartheid” (they have no idea what this word means) state.

      • dd
        Posted August 28, 2018 at 12:33 am | Permalink

        I often wonder just how many people who have even a passing interest in the situation even know about Egypt’s border with Gaza

  10. Concobus
    Posted August 27, 2018 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Jerry, you say “According to those sources”; however, none of those sources has independently verified the claims. All of the sources explicitly say–in the headline no, less–“Israel says”. They are merely repeating what the government of Israel (who obviously have a vested interest in not being outed as having killed an MSF nurse) has told them.

    Also, the reports cited are not independent evidence since they’re all based on Reuters/AFP.

    I would not at all be surprised if these reports turn out to be true, but this seems to be an over-reaction seeing as there is no independent verification of Israel’s side of the story.

    • Posted August 27, 2018 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      Umm. . . the government of Israel SAYS it killed an MSF nurse, but that person was firing at Israeli troops. So what is their “vested interest”? If there is one, it’s in saying that they got fired at when they didn’t. As for my over-reaction, there’s been no denial from MSF or the Palestinians, so for the nonce I’ll take it as true. If it proves false, I’ll issue a correction.

      My overreaction has nothing to do with the nurse being killed, because he may have committed a “lone wolf” act for which MSF isn’t responsible. My withholding money from them is based on MSF’s own political history and leanings. And believe me, there are organizations that are just as good that will get my money.

      • Concobus
        Posted August 27, 2018 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

        Obviously, I do not have a problem with you donating money to whomever you choose. I just think it is premature to withhold money from MSF based on the word of the Israeli government.

        As I’m sure you know, governments are interested in their own self-interest and first reports are not always trustworthy. It would not be surprising to find that Israel’s report is true but–unless you think that Israel has never killed a civilian and manufactured a story after the fact–it would also not at all be surprising to find that their account is fabricated and that they had killed an MSF member unprovoked.

        Given that most governments have made up shit to cover their ass, colour me skeptical until reporters can verify Israel’s claims.

        • BJ
          Posted August 28, 2018 at 8:31 am | Permalink

          Did Israel also make up a brother for this “civilian” (that word should be in quotes because this person was firing a rifle and throwing grenades)? Is the brother simply a “crisis actor”? Shades of Alex Jones here.

          • Concobus
            Posted August 28, 2018 at 11:26 am | Permalink

            Also, I will note that Alex Jones and other conspiracy theorists rely almost entirely on fallacious first reports in order to support their conspiracies.

            Initial reports are almost always untrustworthy because investigations have not been done yet.

            • Posted August 28, 2018 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

              You might note that MSF has in fact ADMITTED that one of their nurses fired on Israeli troops. See this post from NGO monitor: https://www.ngo-monitor.org/medecins-sans-frontiers-staffer-opens-fire-on-israeli-troops/

              On August 20, 2018, Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF – Doctors Without Borders) acknowledged that one of its nurses, Hani Majdalawi, opened fire on Israeli troops stationed along the Gaza border. MSF stated, “MSF is working to verify and understand the circumstances regarding this extremely serious incident, and is not able to comment further at this stage.” Operating as a combatant while posing under the cover of the legal protection for medical workers is a serious violation of international humanitarian law and the Geneva Conventions. It is also a grave abuse of humanitarian principles under which MSF is bound.

              Good enough for you? Or don’t you even believe MSF?

  11. Posted August 27, 2018 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Okay, I spent an hour reading Schiffmiller’s claims, Cone’s defense and Foreign Policy article, and looking at the pictures and text in In Between Wars. (The latter is hard to parse and I may have missed stuff.) I did this because I think MSF does good work in war-torn regions snd wanted to know if it is “taking sides with a terrorist state.”

    It may be, but I cannot conclude that from what I saw and read here. Instead I saw a portrayal of the desperate state in which many Palestinians are living because of this monstrous conflict. This is not deniable. There isn’t equal time given to equivalent hardship in Israel because MSF does not operate there and because there simply isn’t equivalent hardship there. I defy anyone to look at In Between Wars and find equivalent scenes in Israel.

    Schiffmiller seems to think that stating facts without giving the Israeli side or saying that the Palestinians are at fault for their own situation is somehow siding with terrorism.

    • Roger Lambert
      Posted August 27, 2018 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      The desperate state of life in Gaza is “undeniable”? Perhaps if you look at montage photo from DWB.

      Here are alternatives:

      Google “shopping Gaza”:

      https://www.google.com/search?q=gaza+shopping+mall&num=50&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjLqvON2I3dAhVqUN8KHdnLA7UQ_AUICygC&biw=1279&bih=762

      Google “Gaza vacations”:

      https://www.google.com/search?biw=1279&bih=762&tbm=isch&sa=1&ei=kyuEW–WI9K9ggfdu7GoDA&q=gaza+vacations&oq=gaza+vacations&gs_l=img.12…175224.178861.0.180767.9.4.0.5.5.0.103.257.3j1.4.0….0…1c.1.64.img..0.8.215…0j0i8i30k1j0i30k1j0i24k1.0.tgc8IB7CLPM

      • Posted August 27, 2018 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

        I said the desperate state *for many Palestinians*. A picture of a mall does not refute that any more than a picture of a Trump property refutes the statement that there is poverty in America.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted August 27, 2018 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      My conclusion is the same, though I find a tendency of taking sides in both. E.g. Cone did make a political proposal, while Schiffmiller for instance neglects to make a double quote from the exhibit (“martyrs” were originally quoted) to put blame on MSF.

      I am disappointed of course. MSF has been accused of taking sides before. If Cone exemplify that tendency it is both a weak tendency and unnecessary; the same can be said for Schiffmiller.

      • Posted August 27, 2018 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

        What I read in Cone’s article is sympathy for the plight of the people in a war zone. Also, frustration that MSF is locked into what appears to be endless aid commitment, which is probably the reason for his political proposal for help in mitigating the suffering.

        • Posted October 13, 2018 at 7:42 am | Permalink

          To mitigate their suffering, all Gazans have to do is stop attacking Israel. As long as they keep attacking Israel, I stay unmoved by their plight.
          A little population control would also help. Living in a peaceful European country, I’d be in a desperate state if I had decided to have 8 children, which is normal in Gaza.

    • Posted August 27, 2018 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      Because I donate to MSF, I did some more research on this. While I do not find Cone’s views that problematic, there have been other events in the past that suggest that MSF leans towards or sympathizes with Palestinian organizations against Israel. This is unfortunate. I expect it does not reflect so much an institutional bias as the views of some MSF staff.

      I will continue to support the MSF for now, but I will send them a letter stating that the organization should remain neutral in this conflict if my support is to continue.

      As in the Stockholm syndrome, I expect MSF workers become entwined with the people in the country they are aiding. Also, the fact that Israel is powerful and the Palestinians are weak colors people’s views. The old punching up versus punching down issue.

      ‘Nuff said.

  12. Jon Gallant
    Posted August 27, 2018 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    One wing of the early Zionist movement, identified in particular with Judah Magnes, hoped to collaborate with the Arabs of Palestine to create a binational state. There was a minority of Palestinian Arabs as well who favored such a cooperative project, or were at least reconciled to it. These Arabs were silenced, often by assasination, as the Palestinian national movement came to be dominated by extremism and the virulent Jew hatred of Amin Al-Husseini, the Mufti of Jerusalem, who spent WWII in Berlin in deep collaboration with the Third Reich. Much of the history of this lost opportunity can be read in the richly documented book “Palestine Betrayed” by Efraim Karsh.

    • Diane G
      Posted August 27, 2018 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

      I was unaware of that–thanks.

  13. CAS
    Posted August 27, 2018 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t realize DWB was so anti-Israel. I’ve always had a problem with the word anti-Semitism, most of the Muslims surrounding Israel are Semites. Anti-Judaism would be more accurate. In Mein Kamph Hitler wrote:
    The anti-Semitism of the new movement [Christian Social movement] was based on religious ideas instead of racial knowledge. Hitler specifically references Martin Luther and the Catholic Church, of which he was a member in good standing.
    In WWII Hitler got along fine with Muslin allies in the middle east. The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem visited with Hitler and asked him to bring the Final Solution to Palestine. Fortunately, the war was going very poorly for Germany.
    Best to be accurate with words! This is all anti-Judaism.

    • Dave
      Posted August 27, 2018 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      No, “anti-semitism” has always meant specifically hatred of Jews, not hatred of people speaking Semitic languages. The fact that Arabs are also “semites” (in linguistic terms” is irrelevant.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_antisemitism

      Also Hitler defined the Jews as a racial group and persecuted then irrespective of how religiously observant (or not) they were. The same goes for today’s Jew haters in the Middle East and elsewhere. So “anti-Judaism” is most definitely not a synomym for “anti-semitism”.

      • Sarah
        Posted August 27, 2018 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

        I understand that Hitler was very careful to explain to his Arab allies that “antisemitism” was meant entirely for Jews. “Antisemitism”, after all, was a late 19th century coinage to make the old “Judenhass” –“Jew hate”– sound more respectable, another fashionable -ism that might pass for a reasonable system of thought.

  14. pablo
    Posted August 27, 2018 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    C’mon Jerry, I support Israel too, but what’s more likely, that an MSF nurse went Rambo, or the IDF accidentally killed one and needs to cover its ass?

    • Posted August 27, 2018 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

      His brother said he procured a gun. To me that tells the tale. And, as I said, if the IDF killed him accidentally or knew he was not firing at them, then I’ll correct myself.

      And lay off with the “C’mon Jerry” business, okay? It’s uncivil.

      • pablo
        Posted August 28, 2018 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

        Sorry. I meant the tone to be friendly, not disrespectful.

    • BJ
      Posted August 27, 2018 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

      It seems that, since his own brother confirmed he did it, that the MSF nurse going Rambo is the more likely version. Unless literally everyone is lying on both sides.

    • Dale Pickard
      Posted August 27, 2018 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

      I think that the reputation of the IDF supports Pablo’s expectation.

      • Malgorzata
        Posted August 28, 2018 at 1:29 am | Permalink

        In some circles “reputation of IDF” is build on blindly believed rumors and falsehoods, of which so many are like the stories told by Episcopalian Bishop Gayle Harris (it was described in many places, Boston Globe among them, but here is a nice summary: http://www.theaugeanstables.com/2018/08/24/response-to-episcopalian-bishops-on-the-matter-of-bearing-false-witness-about-israel/).

        However, if you look at worldwide statistics about the ratio of combatants/civillians killed in an urban warfare with the use of human shield, it turns out that IDF somehow manages to spare many more civillans than any other army.

        After Gaza war 2014 a High Level Military Group consisting of 11 former officials, who held top positions in the American, British, German, Italian, Spanish, French, Indian, Australian and Colombian defence forces, said they had a level of access that was “undoubtedly in excess of what our own countries would afford in similar circumstances”. As well as stating that Israel operated “within the parameters of the Law of Armed Conflict” and had “in some respects exceeded the highest standards we set for our own nations’ militaries”, the group unanimously agreed that the military response was reasonable. “No country would accept the threat against its civilian population that these rockets present to Israeli population centres,” the report said.
        “Israel’s efforts were entirely justified, appropriately conceived and lawfully carried out, and necessary in the defence of that country’s national security.”

        When you stop believing that Israelis are always lying through their teeth even to the degree to defend crimes committed by IDF’s soldiers (such soldiers, of course, exist,like in every army in the world, and they are tried and punished by Israeli courts)maybe you will stop believing in every word of Bishop Harris and others of her ilk.

      • Posted August 28, 2018 at 6:52 am | Permalink

        Pickard, you are compounding your ignorance. The “reputation” of the IDF to which you refer has been constructed by both Palestine and the Israel-hating left. Yet you fell for it, hook, line and sinker.

        Why don’t you deal with the facts instead of reputations? Until you give facts and not ludicrous opinions about the “reputation of the IDF,” I suggest you don’t post on this thread any longer.

      • Posted August 28, 2018 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

        p.s. Doctors without Borders has in fact ADMITTED that one of their nurses fired on Israeli troops. See here: https://www.ngo-monitor.org/medecins-sans-frontiers-staffer-opens-fire-on-israeli-troops/

        On August 20, 2018, Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF – Doctors Without Borders) acknowledged that one of its nurses, Hani Majdalawi, opened fire on Israeli troops stationed along the Gaza border. MSF stated, “MSF is working to verify and understand the circumstances regarding this extremely serious incident, and is not able to comment further at this stage.” Operating as a combatant while posing under the cover of the legal protection for medical workers is a serious violation of international humanitarian law and the Geneva Conventions. It is also a grave abuse of humanitarian principles under which MSF is bound.

        • Dale Pickard
          Posted August 28, 2018 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

          Thanks for the update. I think the strain on these health care workers must be incredibly high or that this person evolved a plan and took action after being exposed to the violence.k
          I still think that DWB is doing the right thing, especially by owning up to such events.

          However, I also think that the IDF largely deserves their reputation and I come by my thoughts on my own after researching the information available to me including the posts Dr. Coyne and others on this website. I think that truth is gleaned from a diversity and not a paucity of thought and opinion.

          • Posted August 28, 2018 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

            Of course! It’s clear that the poor guy was under STRAIN, and therefore had to fire and throw grenades at Israeli soldiers. Don’t you see how ludicrous your apologetics sound? Read this sentence again: “I think the strain on these health care workers must be incredibly high or that this person evolved a plan and took action after being exposed to the violence.” What you are doing is excusing terrorism because the poor nurse was just so STRESSED.

            And yes, by all means, read the Palestinian media, because they are so accurate in what they say.

            There’s nothing that will change your mind about the IDF, that’s for sure.

  15. rickflick
    Posted August 27, 2018 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    That’s very upsetting to me. For many years I’d considered donating to DWB to be a no-brainer. They are secular and do great things around the world for millions of people with lots of volunteer work. I would hope the leadership would get off this Jewish-Palestinian issue and just treat the sick. I can see them losing a ton of money from Jewish organizations who have supported them. Maybe they will get enough blowback to reconsider. I’ll be looking for an alternative.


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