Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Closing NGOs underming Abu Mazen government

From our West Bank Correspondent, Conflicts Forum, October 8, 2007

".....Fadwa Eshaer, a director at the ministry argues that NGOs like Al-Wurud bring with them an Islamist agenda. “We need to build a state,” she says. “We do not need funds from Syria or Iran that will destroy our society. We do not need violence. We don’t need such NGOs which nurture an extreme Islamist agenda.” But Eshaer failed to detail exactly what Islamist agenda a bread-baking NGO like Al-Wurud promotes — or how supporting poor families by providing food packages promotes violence or “nurtures an extreme Islamist agenda.”.....

Mu’een Barghouthi, a lawyer and researcher in the centre freely states that the NGO closings are connected to the events that took place in the Gaza Strip in mid-June. Reports compiled by the research department at the centre show that since the rift between the West Bank and Gaza there has been a deterioration in human rights on many levels, including freedom of speech, educational and health opportunities. Barghouthi notes that Hamas’s strength has been in its ability to provide social services at a time that the Palestinian Authority had failed to do so. So the question is: is Fatah fighting extremism — or undermining its own credibility? And who will carry out the task of providing bread for the convent school of Birzeit?"

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