Western donors' withdrawal: Impact on Arab civil society criticizing Israel

2023-11-16 14:17:39 | Last Update : 2023-11-16 15:33:40

Human rights activists report that Western donors are cutting financial support to Arab civil society groups that criticize Israel's actions in Gaza

Western donors' withdrawal: Impact on Arab civil society criticizing Israel
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Human rights activists report that Western donors are cutting financial support to Arab civil society groups that criticize Israel's actions in Gaza. 

All humanitarian assistance groups and civilian societies that spoke to Al Jazeera said immoderate Western donors had withdrawn fiscal enactment for Arab media outlets, quality rights groups, and deliberation tanks. They also said that they become disillusioned with galore Western countries and foundations due to the fact that of their enactment for Israel’s bombardment and siege of Gaza.

“The amount of anger and bitterness is not just limited to our people, but to us (as human rights advocates in the Arab region). We don’t know how or if we can interact with some of these Western governments or partners ever again,” emphasized Hossam Baghat, executive director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR).


Days after Hamas’s unprecedented onslaught connected service outposts and surrounding villages successfully confederate Israel connected Oct. 7, Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Sweden suspended bilateral improvement assistance programs successful Gaza and the West Bank, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW). The intermission amounts to 139 million dollars successfully mislaid backing and affects U.N. agencies, the Palestinian Authority governing the West Bank, and a fig of civilian nine organizations.

European donors and partners have also refrained from expressing solidarity with Arab media outlets when they usually would after they were censored or smeared for their reporting on Israel-Palestine.

The recent halt in aid from Austria, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, and Switzerland has impacted U.N. agencies, the Palestinian Authority, and various civil society organizations. The decision to suspend funding is linked to alleged violations of a code of conduct and anti-discrimination clauses, while some attribute the move to pressure from right-wing groups and Israeli Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). Arab media outlets also report a lack of solidarity from European donors when they face censorship or smears for reporting on Israel-Palestine.

The situation raises questions about the compatibility of Western support for independent media and freedom of expression with their stance on Israel. Additionally, regional civil society organizations express disappointment in U.N. institutions for their delayed or insufficient response to Israeli atrocities in Gaza, leading to a loss of faith in the credibility of human rights work. Activists emphasize the urgent need for international intervention to address the longstanding Palestinian struggle and the ongoing crisis in Gaza.


Regional civil society organizations are also losing faith in UN institutions which either have not spoken out against Israeli atrocities in Gaza or have only done so after considerable delay, despite mounting evidence that such actions may amount to war crimes.

Ayman Mhanna, executive director of the Samir Kassir Foundation (Skeyes), which advocates for press freedom across the Levant, said he was particularly disappointed in the UN Democracy Fund (UNDEF), which partners with his organization but has been mostly silent on the issue of the Israeli bombardment of Gaza and violence in the West Bank.

“They are silent. They have not taken action against independent media [that they support], but their silence isn’t something that’s really understandable right now,” he told Al Jazeera.

Mhanna added that helium expects U.N. bodies to proceed reiterating the stance of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres who called for a ceasefire, raised the contented of Israel’s concern arsenic a basal origin of unit, and urged each sides to refrain from committing warfare crimes during a code helium gave connected Oct. 24.

“We are not expecting them to instrumentality a wholly pro-Palestine position, but what is happening close present defies immoderate logic,” Mhanna noted.

On Nov. 6, the heads of several U.N. bodies issued a joint statement along with global aid groups calling for a complete ceasefire. But Martin Griffiths, who leads the Office for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordination (OCHA), later requested a “humanitarian pause”.


Hamas' military wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, announced that they launched a comprehensive attack against Israel called "Al-Aqsa Flood" on the morning of Oct. 7.

While thousands of rockets were fired from Gaza towards Israel, armed groups entered the settlements in the region. The Israeli army also launched an attack on the Gaza Strip with dozens of warplanes. The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza announced that Israel killed 11,180 people, including 4,506 children, 3,027 women, and 397 elderly people. It injured at least 32,000 people in its attacks on Gaza.

It was reported that 1,200 Israelis, including 324 soldiers, were killed and 5,132 Israelis were wounded in the attacks from Gaza.

The Israeli army hit Damascus and Aleppo airports. As the Middle East is once again turning into a bloodbath, a deadline has been set for nearly 2.5 million Palestinians to leave the blockaded Gaza.

In the occupied West Bank, 106 Palestinians were killed in attacks by Israeli forces and Jewish settlers. In Israel’s attacks on Gaza, 48 journalists were killed.

In the clashes between the Israeli army and Hezbollah on the Israel-Lebanon border since Oct. 8, 55 Hezbollah members and 4 civilians, one of whom was a journalist, were killed. Three Israeli soldiers and one Israeli civilian were killed in the attacks organized by Lebanon.

Most recently, Israel attacked the Jabalia Refugee Camp in Gaza, killing civilians.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he was breaking off all contact with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu because of Israeli attacks on civilians in the Gaza Strip.

Source: Al Jazeera

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