When “peacemakers” incite to conflict they make murder respectable.
It has become axiomatic in some circles that the sole cause of the Arab- Israeli conflict is Israel, by which is really meant Israel’s existence. For many holding this view the “solution” is a single “binational” state as opposed to the two-state solution favored by the international community. These “one state” proponents also insist on a “right of return” for 1948 Palestinian refugees and their millions of descendants, amounting to a call for the elimination of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.
A conference promoting this vision, funded mostly by Protestant and Catholic groups, is being held this week in Tel Aviv. These Christian groups are themselves largely funded by European governments that officially support the two-state solution. The conference, then, undermines these governments’ own policies.
The event, “From Truth to Redress: Realizing the Return of Palestinian Refugees,” is organized by Zochrot, a tiny Israeli fringe group.
Israeli one-state advocates are so few that they have neither a constituency nor influence in Israel. For Zochrot, foreign funding is their lifeline; the conference was “made possible thanks to the generous support of: Misereor, Christian Aid, HEKS-EPER, CCFD, Finn Church Aid, Broederlijk Delen, AFSC, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, Mennonite Central Committee, Trócaire, St. Het Solidariteitsfonds, Oxfam GB and private donors.”
NGO Monitor wrote each of the sponsors, and we received several replies.
France’s CCFD and Germany’s Misereor (both Catholic) wrote identical messages – including the same grammatical mistakes. They affirmed they are a “funding partner of Zochrot” and declared “refugee issues and refugee rights all over the world are of utmost importance to us.” But regarding funding they opted for fogginess: “Our privacy policies do not allow to disclose (sic) the amounts given to recipients.”
Belgium’s Broederlijk Delen, also Catholic, wrote a similar response: “We support the work of Zochrot as we believe refugee rights are important in any context and should be openly discussed.”
But regarding funding, they also chose murkiness: “With regard to details on funding, we wish to respect our partners’ privacy.”
What seems to be lost on these Christian groups is they are supported by public funds.
In 2012 Misereor received 114 million euros from the German government, CCFD received 1.1 million euros from the EU and another 368,000 euros from France, the Swiss government gave $12.7 million to HEKS and Broederlijk Delen received 6,891,347 euros from Belgium taxpayers.
As for the one-state formula itself, the onus for proving that this “solution” is workable is on the shoulders of its advocates. In Europe binational states have an unhappy history.
Czechoslovakia was one state, now it is two. Yugoslavia’s multi-national experiment ended in a horrific war that gave the world the term “ethnic cleansing.” Belgium, Spain and the UK each have strong national separatist movements (Flemish, Basque and Scottish respectively).