IHH — The Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief

At Huffington Post, Iara Lee from Cultures of Resistance, writes:

In the immediate aftermath of the massacre aboard the Mavi Marmara on May 31st, 2010, while journalists and activists were detained and isolated from the world, the Israeli government was quick to unleash their own version of events. Like the physical assault on the boat, the Israeli media assault was also reckless, clumsy, malicious, and dangerous. They were cynical enough to understand that first impressions in the mainstream American media are what count, and with this in mind they began to frantically hurl the word “terrorist” in reference to both the victims of their attack, as well as one of the main organizers of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, the Turkish NGO IHH. It is a curious thing that few people asked the Israeli government why they would release “terrorists” that they had in their custody, and even fewer asked for (or received) solid evidence to support this claim. Despite the fact that several courageous journalists both in the US and abroad thoroughly debunked the Israeli account of what happened (this includes deliberately doctored footage along with the libelous accusations of links to terrorism), the damage was done.

Before speakers from the Mavi Marmara were scheduled to speak in New York about what happened on May 31st, local politicians began to put forth the rhetoric of their Israeli handlers, using slanderous language to demonize the victims of Israel’s illegal act of war. And most recently, 87 US senators have urged President Obama to launch an investigation of whether or not IHH should be added to the US list of foreign terrorist organizations.

I am a firm believer that actions speak louder than words, and in this spirit I thought it might help to take a closer look at IHH, and judge this group based on their actions, rather than empty words.

IHH began in 1992 as a humanitarian mission to offer relief to victims injured and displaced during the Bosnian war. They have held Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council since 2004, and since becoming a fully-registered NGO in 1995, IHH — The Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief — has accumulated more than 60,000 volunteers for their grassroots humanitarian efforts in 120 countries all over the world. Since May 31st, the number of volunteers has skyrocketed.

After the attack on the Mavi Marmara, I had an opportunity to ask the vice president of IHH, Huseyin Oruc, about accusations of IHH terror links. While he was not interested in dignifying such claims, he was very emphatic about the transparency of IHH’s work over the years, and hoped people would look at their large-scale sanitation and medical missions around the African continent — including 40,000 cataract surgeries in Sudan alone, clean water projects in Ethiopia- and IHH’s extensive work dealing with orphans in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Gaza. While they are an Islamic organization, Oruc told me that IHH refuses to differentiate who receives attention based on religion, race, or political affiliation, and has noted their various projects in South America where Muslim populations are slight.

Their modus operandi is simple and direct. Given the neutrality of their humanitarian mission, IHH has been able to access some of the most inaccessible and dangerous regions of the world to help those most in need. Like most NGOs, this means they must coordinate with local governments in order to reach these populations. So while they must communicate with the Hamas government of Gaza to help civilians there, they must likewise do so with Fatah in the West Bank, Al Shabab in Somalia, the military junta in Myanmar and so on. Oruc was adamant that this did not mean IHH endorses any of those governments, and said that anyone who cared to investigate their work would find nothing other than great successes in helping ordinary people in situations of war, poverty, and natural disasters in places such as Haiti, Indonesia, and even the US in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He also told me people were free to investigate their funding, most of which comes from lower and middle class donors, while the rest is raised through food fairs, auctions for Turkish artifacts, and other cultural events. By its own mandate, IHH is not beholden to any government or business interests.

We must remember that an attack on IHH is an attack on all humanitarian groups around the world. Given that IHH is among the most courageous humanitarian NGOs in the world — risking their lives to work in places like Somalia, cleaning up American messes in Iraq and Afghanistan — our politicians should perhaps be thanking them, rather than trying to tarnish their stellar reputation. Thankfully, IHH’s track record speaks for itself, as do the actions of their accusers — a comparison which does not calculate favorably for the Israeli government when asking just who, exactly, the terrorists are.

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2 thoughts on “IHH — The Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief

  1. DE Teodoru

    You can’t know the truth in America if you don’t have a computer. As Saban said: control the politicians and media with money and set up think-tanks….presumably to tell people what to think!

    Zionists have every right to express their views but not to turn America into a helpless gut from which eats a parasitic tape worm on assumption that if it’s good for Israel it MUST be good for America. The same people who parasitically live off billions $ in yearly US aid for a few million are the ideologues who considered Jews that seek to be part of the nations of their birth to be “Parasitic Jews.” The Diaspora Zionists are not doing what Israel needs to be done to survive but whatever makes these puny people feel like “mensch” instead. They never knew accomplishment through intellectual endeavor and excellence. They made their money on the hustle, skirting the law as the NEWYORKER said about Saban. So they despise the intellectuals and accomplished scholars for “thinking that they are better than me.” The extremism of the Zionist money bags is alienating the intellectual Jews for the latter realize that everything the former do is over-the-top for the sake of their personal mensch-hood. So while the “mensch-hood” obsessed tell Israel to break the Arabs’ bones, most Jews are demanding a more honest objectivity. But because the “mesch-hood” obsessed have all the money, the fair-play Jews in the Diaspora are silenced. Now US media is like Pravda, even to the point of spreading lies. One thing they can’t control is the Internet. That’s why their man, Senator Lieberman, is pushing for laws that control and restrict it. Likud is not only extremist but criminally oriented on the assumption that all critics are anti-Semites or “self-hating Jews” so anything they do is fair. Everyday most media is censored but, as WAR IN CONTEXT proves over and over again, there will always be fair-minded Jews like Cook, Weiss and Levy who will not be intimidated and will report the truth. Unable to control them, these Zionists insist on controlling the media so that America is kept less informed than people were under Communism. The greatest gift from America’s Founding Fathers—FREEDOM OF SPEECH– is now more at risk than ever because of one issue, Israel. But for every Zionist determined to take it from us there are ten Jews who will join us in preventing that.

  2. Ian Arbuckle

    I could not agree with you more, DE Teodoru, you write;
    “But for every Zionist determined to take it from us there are ten Jews who will join us in preventing that.”

    I would add that I wish more people would study their history and see the truth of the Zionist movement that cynically used and even encouraged Anti-Semitism sometimes mounting black flag terror operations to prime the pumps of fear, reprisal and hatred as in the case of the Baghdad riots in 1947 reported by Naeim Giladi, or they did deals as in the case of Mussolini or the German SS in the thirties to institutionalize social division to support the Zionist nationalist cause as in the case of the Ha’avara agreement in 1933 with the Hitler’s Nazis.

    One only has to study the history of actions of Betar, Irgun and Haganah in the promotion of Zionism and the use of terror for the founding of the Jewish state to realise that Zionism has been the Jews’ worst enemy.

    Zionists try to confuse the ignorant to suggest that attacks on Zionism are attacks on all Jews. While the facts show that although the Zionists hold up and elaborate the atrocities of the Holocaust as the cause célèbre of the foundation of the Israeli state, they for their part are probably as responsible in their dogged pursuit of nationalism as many Nazi were for causing the horrors done to so many of Jewish population of Europe.

    “If I knew that it was possible to save all the children of Germany by transporting them to England, and only half by transferring them to the Land of Israel, I would choose the latter, for before us lies not only the numbers of these children but the historical reckoning of the people of Israel.”
    — David Ben-Gurion

    In November 1948, Begin visited the US on a campaigning trip. During his visit, a letter signed by Albert Einstein, Sidney Hook, Hannah Arendt, and other prominent Americans and several rabbis was published which described Begin’s Herut party, later to become Gahal in 1965 and then Likud in 1973, as closely akin in its organization, methods, political philosophy and social appeal to the Nazi and Fascist parties and accused his group (along with the smaller, militant, Stern Gang) of having inaugurated a reign of terror in the Palestine Jewish community.

    But anyway we are all Palestinians now.

    “[The Palestinians] are beasts walking on two legs.” — Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, speech to the Knesset, quoted in Amnon Kapeliouk.

    Finally a quote from — T.S. Eliot:
    “Men have left GOD not for other gods, they say, but for no God; and this has never happened before
    That men both deny gods and worship gods, professing first Reason,
    And then Money, and Power, and what they call Life, or Race, or Dialectic.”

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