According to a report released Tuesday by NGO Monitor, anti-Israel NGOs are using Christmas motifs to propagate anti-Semitic messages and drum up support for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, Arutz Sheva reported.
NGO Monitor studied Christmas cards, nativity scenes and holiday messages by some of the most notorious NGOs, such as Pax Christi, Sabeel, and Kairos Palestine, finding religious motifs being used to slander the Jewish State.
“The recurring exploitation of religious holidays and theological language to advance discriminatory anti-Israel campaigns shows that nothing is holy for the BDS movement,” said Naftali Balanson, managing editor of NGO Monitor. “The church groups that support these NGOs, as well as the governments that fund them, must immediately repudiate the disturbing anti-Semitism emanating from NGOs that purport to promote human rights.”
Some examples cited include comparing the modern Jewish state of Israel to the Roman Empire of the 1st century CE, which occupied Israel and oppressed its Jews, implying Israel was doing the same to “Palestine”; and stating or suggesting Jesus would have been persecuted by Israel if he were born today.
“From a Palestinian worldview, there are certain similarities between the political conditions in Palestine during the times of Jesus’ birth and the political situation in Palestine today,” reads a Christmas message from the NGO Sabeel. “There is a flagrant occupation that dominates and oppresses people; and there are words that describe what people go through: fear, insecurity, instability, suffering, grief, despair, and other negative feelings that a repressive empire and an Israeli rightwing government can produce.”
NGO Monitor noted in its report, “This year, a common theme is the promotion of anti-Israel political advocacy under the guise of religious obligation and motivation.” This includes advocating for the release of Arab terrorists held in Israeli prisons, lobbying for the Right of Return for the descendants of Arabs who left Israel in 1948, and boycotting products produced in whole or in part in or for Israel.
These NGOs are funded by Europe and other governments. Pax Christi is funded by Belgium (via Broederlijk Delen), UK (via CAFOD), France (via CCFD), US (via CRS), and Germany (via ZIVIK); meanwhile Sabeel is backed by Sweden (via Diakonia) and the Netherlands (via ICCO and Kerk in Actie). Another NGO, Wi’am, is funded by the US (via the Middle East Partner Initiative), Sweden, and The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID).
NGO monitor says, “these governments are enablers and share the moral responsibility for the actions of the NGOs.”