Thursday, May 17, 2007

Adieu, Médecins Sans Frontières

We have been supporters of Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) for many years.

But today Laurette found this story from the Jerusalem post, which relates how an employee of MSF, Mazab Bashir, allegedly used his status to enter Israel and plot to assassinate Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

MSF's response? A spokesman, asked if MSF was embarrassed, said,

I don't think embarrassed would be the right word. We are very sad for Bashir who has been working for us for almost six years. But we would like to make it very clear that we make a distinction between his professional work and what he does on his personal time in the sense that all our staff is hired for professional reasons and I don't think our organization can be held liable for every aspect of their life.
A humanitarian organization is not embarrassed that one of its employees used his job status to plot and train for an assassination? It is "sad" for him, but not outraged or disgusted?

Maybe MSF will be even more sad when people like us withdraw their financial support.

3 comments:

Sue said...

I'm beginning to get a little tired of hatred that turns into murder against Israelis (and to Jews by extension) -- now by someone professing to value life. I'm getting jaded about a lot of organizations that seem humanitarian (it depends on which humans, apparently) what with the 'moral' anti-abortion poseurs and now the 'it's OK to murder' doctors-sans-sense.

It's not understandable; it's no longer to be tolerated; it's not a given anymore. I'm sick to death of it and this may just be that little straw...

I decided to be more charitable this year; to make more donations to organizations I value (and earlier than December). They just got crossed off my list of maybes.

Anonymous said...

Dave (and Sue): To play the devil's advocate for a moment, aren't you both being premature in your rejection of MSF? A quote from a local director in a single article in the Jerusalem Post, while alarming and worth sorting out, doesn't seem to be a reasonable basis for complete dismissal of an organization that does incredible good in places mere mortals fear to tread. If the leaders of MSF are truly so blase about employees' assassination agendas, ok, but I would challenge you that that judgment requires more time and research.

Wayne De Vos
Pennsylvania

David Wharton said...

Wayne, the guy who said that was the regional director.

We've been noticing that MSF has been increasingly politicized over the last few years, and I guess this just finally tipped the scales.