Two weeks ago I asked readers to write to organizations known to have funded the Palestinian Commission for Refugees (sometimes called the Palestinian Commission for Refugees Rights Protection or PCRP) and ask about their apparent support for its head, Dr Gamal Abdel Nasser Mohammed Abu Nahel, who is a prolific author of virulent Jew-hatred, whose articles are linked to from the PCRP Facebook page.
I predicted that these organizations would distance themselves from Dr. Nahel rather than use their positions of influence to pressure the organization to fire him. And I was right.
The National Endowment for Democracy was the first to respond by saying that they have not funded the organization for several years.
Now, USAID has issued a similar response to several of my readers:
Thank you for your recent inquiry to the US Agency for International Development.
USAID does not currently fund the Palestinian Commission for Refugees (PCR). The organization last received funding from USAID in 2009-2010 to conduct community outreach in Gaza on women’s legal rights, through the USAID NETHAM Rule of Law Program, which ended in 2010.
PCR was subject to thorough anti-terrorism vetting prior to receiving funding from USAID, including the vetting of all board members. The statements in question were made by an individual who was not affiliated with PCR during the period that USAID funded the organization.
USAID is committed to supporting a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, leading to the emergence of two states living side-by-side in peace and security.
Michael Collins | Public Affairs & Outreach Team LeadMiddle East Bureau | US Agency for International DevelopmentRRB 4.10-084 | 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC, 20523 USAmcollins@usaid.gov @USAIDMiddleEastAnd again, I encourage my reader to write back to USAID and tell them that while it is very nice that they have nothing to do with Dr. Nahel, they have an opportunity to pro-actively do something about endemic Arab antisemitism rather than wash their hands of the matter. By telling PCRP that they will never receive funding again as long as Dr. Nahel is leading the organization - and that this information will be shared with other funders of Palestinian NGOs - they can do a great deal of good without spending a dime.
The articles I linked to have been removed from the PCRP's Facebook page, so clearly one of the funders made a phone call and PCRP responded by slightly dissociating itself from the antisemitism of its leader. (Or Facebook responded to a complaint, but I doubt that.) NGOs are far more motivated by the fear of losing funding than anything else. The funders of NGOs from democratic countries have an obligation to use their influence to root out the hate, not just to fund a program here or there that might help women or children.
I have not heard anything back yet from the Anna Lindh Foundation or the UN Development Program who also partner with PCRP, and whose partnership appears to be ongoing.
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