NGOs at Work: Gaza Doctor Plots Israeli Assassinations with Help From Doctors without Borders

An interesting item from AP, with a comment from David P. Steinman:

Palestinian Charged in Death Plot

By Associated Press
May 17, 2007, 10:31 PM EDT

JERUSALEM — A Palestinian working for an aid group was charged Thursday with gathering intelligence on Ehud Olmert as part of a plot to assassinate the Israeli prime minister.

Israel’s Shin Bet internal security service arrested Masseb Bashir, a resident of the Gaza Strip, a month ago, according to court documents.

The indictment said Bashir, 25, admitted during his interrogation that he entered Israel to gather information on several Israeli leaders, including Olmert, as part of an assassination plot against them.

Bashir said he easily entered Israel with a permit he held because he worked for the Paris-based Doctors without Borders.

The charges against him include contacts with a foreign agent and conspiracy to commit a crime. The assassination plot never went past the planning stages, the documents said.

An official from Doctors without Borders, Michael Neuman, said Bashir has worked with them for five years, but the charges were “completely unrelated to his work.” The group offers emergency medical treatment at trouble spots around the world.

He said Doctors without Borders has “always complied with Israeli regulations concerning movements of staff,” and could not comment on whether Bashir was guilty. He said the group hired a lawyer for him.

Bashir allegedly worked with the Popular Front militant group in Gaza Strip and observed the prime minister’s residence in Jerusalem several times, informing his handlers that the tight security would thwart any assassination attempt against Olmert.

According to the indictment, Bashir underwent weapons training and planned to kill Olmert with a pistol he purchased. Once he deemed that the assassination of the prime minister was impossible, Bashir began collecting information on other top Israeli politicians, including Cabinet minister Avigdor Lieberman, deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh and Labor Party lawmaker Ophir Pines-Paz.

Steinman comments:

This kind of stuff drives me crazy. Here’s this holier-than-thou oufit called Doctors Without Borders (DWB) , running around the world doing good and feeling virtuous as a result. So they hire a bunch of locals in the Palestinian — Jew Free Zone — Gaza Strip and one of them (I’m sure there are more just waiting to be discovered) turns out to have used his position with DWB to travel into Israel and plot to assasinate the Israeli Prime Minister and/or lots of other Israeli officials.

When this bum is caught what does DWB say and do? Well, they first announce that all that assasinaton stuff was “completely unrelated to his work.” OK. That I suppose is factually true. Having said that, one would assume that that was the beginning of an effort to dissociate DWB from this would be murderer. But no, DWB then hires a lawer to represent this accused murderer, indicating it would seem, that while efforts to murder Israel’s Prime Minister might technically be outside the scope of one’s employment responsibilities, DWB will nevertheless spend the money donated to it by well-meaning supporters to try to get this bum off. I wonder if their contributions would fall if their contributors were told that their contributions would be used to defend accused murderers.

So, as with all such NGO’s who are so sure of their moral superiority, DWB gets to have it both ways: dissociate itself from the crime as being outside the scope of the would-be murderer’s job description and then turn around and defend him for actions which they have already disowned. And the worst part of it is that they will get away with this. No one will call them on it. They will keep taking money from unwitting donors. They will continue to employ murderous Palestinians. And they will profoundly believe that they are morally superior to the Israelis who are the intended victims of DWB’s empoyees and their Palestinian brethren.

Maybe the Palestinians can help here: Come on you guys. Can’t you just kidnap and disapper a couple of these doctors to show the Crusaders who’s in charge in Gaza? After all, who wants help from infidels, anyway?

3 Responses to NGOs at Work: Gaza Doctor Plots Israeli Assassinations with Help From Doctors without Borders

  1. Peter B says:

    The new foreign minister in France is Bernard Kouchner, a founder of DWB.

  2. Barry B says:

    That’s a little hard on DWB (presumably actually Medecins sans Frontiers). The doctor was their employee. Why do you think they knew anything about his clandestine activities? He is only accused. One is presumed innocent until proven guilty (I think that’s still true here in the UK anyway), so why should they abandon him in a court of law? If he’s guilty then having defence won’t help him, but it will ensure that justice is done. What this will do for DWB is mean that Israeli security will now look suspiciously on any DWB doctor trying to enter Israel from Gaza. Perhaps they were anyway, but now a fortiori.

  3. RL says:

    to Barry B:

    you make a good point, although it would be nice to hear DWB say that, if this turns out to be true they will a) denounce the guilty party and b) establish more careful filters before hiring people, and especially before allowing cooperating physicians in the Palestinian Authority to enter Israel. The combination of — if he did it it wasn’t part of our program, and “we’re hiring a lawyer to represent him” — without any mention of an internal investigation into a) whether he is guilty, and b) what responsibility the orgnanization has for allowing itself to be used in this fashion.

    maybe if they took their own responsibility more seriously, the israelis would not end up being so suspicious.

    if Masseb Bashir is guilty as charged, this would be one in a long line of cases where well-intentioned but highly partisan NGOs are duped by demopaths who pretend they’re playing the game of civil society to do deeds that violate the very principles of these NGOs.

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