Thursday, May 17, 2007

They Could Care Less

The Shin Bet (Israel's equivilant of the FBI) has uncovered a plot by a Palestinian member of Doctors Without Borders to assassinate Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. He got weapons and unarmed combat training from terrorist organizations in Gaza (it appears he had connections with the PFLP--Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine). Fortunately, they caught him before he was able to kill anybody, but like The Forward, I was a bit perturbed by Doctors w/out Borders' response:
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.

Errr....what? I doubt that, as an organization, Doctors without Borders was in any way linked to this plot. Nonetheless, they have at least some responsibility to insure that their employees do not abuse the trust of their host governments by assassinating world leaders. The rhetoric here is just astounding--they're "sad for Bashir," and they describe this as something he was doing "on his personal time." I really think that they have an obligation to respond more forcefully than this.

Any further statements by the group would be appreciated, but as it stands this is an appalling level of apathy. And, call me cynical, but I have to wonder if the politics of this group makes them sympathetic to their wayward employee's goal here (again, I'm not accusing them of knowledge or participation. But this is not the response of someone who is revolted at the thought of seeing the Israeli Prime Minister dead).

3 comments:

pacatrue said...

What are the "politics of this group" that you are referring to? I simply think of them as trying to provide medical care to people who do not receive it typically. Is there more going on?

David Schraub said...

I don't mean the group has an official political agenda, I just suspect that its membership consists of many continentalist-style "progressives" who tend to be very hostile to Israel.

Anonymous said...

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