Tuesday 24 March 2009

Trócaire: Misdirected Catholic Aid from Ireland Fuels Conflict

"Palestinians living in Gaza are being treated worse then [sic.] animals in a zoo. Ireland must do everything we can to end Israel’s collective punishment of civilians, which is a flagrant breach of international law." (Justin Kilcullen, director of Trócaire [he is also head of CONCORD, the Brussels-based powerful European confederation of 1,600 NGOs across 21 countries for relief and development. The European Union generously provides funds to Trócaire and CONCORD.)

Source: NGO Monitor
"- Trócaire, founded in 1973 by Irish Catholic bishops, is the official overseas development agency of the Catholic Church in Ireland. Funders include Irish Aid (Government of Ireland), which has budgeted €116 million to Trócaire between 2007 and 2011.

- In its programs related to the Arab-Israeli conflict, Trócaire displays a consistent bias, including the "campaign on the illegal Wall" and "Exile Remembered: Israel, Palestine, and the Nakba – 60 years on," marking the "750,000 people...made homeless during the foundation of the Israeli state." Trócaire's website also refers to the "nakba or catastrophe – the start of a process of dispossession which continues today."
- Trócaire's NGO partners in the region include Badil, B'Tselem, HaMoked, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), Zochrot, and Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP).

- Trócaire often engages in political campaigning to influence European policy and public opinion. During the Gaza operation, Trócaire called for "the suspension of EU-Israel Association Agreement."

- Trócaire officials make statements about international law that do not reflect expertise or objectivity. On the Gaza violence, Director Justin Kilcullen declared: "In the last seven years 17 Israeli civilians have died in Israel from homemade rocket attacks by Palestinian militants. Israel's response to this is massively disproportionate and a clear violation of international law." Whether an attack is disproportionate hinges on its relation to military necessity, not past casualty comparisons, and the right to self-defense is explicitly guaranteed under international law.

- Eóin Murray, Trócaire Palestine Programme Officer and former coordinator of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign, erased the context of terror and accuses Israel of racism in an item on his blog: "[s]ettlers are allowed to do as they please but Palestinians are prevented from doing anything, on the basis of their ethnicity... [This is] systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over another to maintain a regime.""
Read the whole report here and here

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