A putative charity is the latest shill for Palestinian terrorism. The Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) presents itself as working for peace in the Middle East by helping out children caught in the war-torn nations of the region: Iraq, the West Bank and other Arab areas. However, upon closer inspection, we find that MECA is merely another advocacy organization protesting for Palestinian power.
MECA states it “is a non-governmental organization, working for peace and justice in the Middle East; focusing on Palestine, Israel, Lebanon and Iraq. Our programs emphasize the need to educate North Americans about the Middle East and U.S. foreign policy, and to support projects that aid and empower communities. We believe in insuring the human rights of all people in the region, especially focusing on the rights of children.” It is interesting MECA chose a name that denotes a humanitarian group helping kids. Yet, MECA clearly states they want to “educate” North Americans about the Middle East and U.S. foreign policy.
Founded in 1988 in Berkeley, California, MECA claims it has delivered more than $8 million worth of humanitarian aid to Lebanon, Iraq and the “occupied” West Bank and Gaza Strip since it was founded. It has also organized “fact-finding delegations to the region.” It has also developed Palestinian and Israeli, and children and women’s grassroots organizations. And it has also educated people in the United States about the Middle East.
According to its IRS filings, MECA’s revenues are $12 million from 1996 to 1999, $3 million in 2000 and $4 million in 2001-a total of $15 million in revenues from 1996 to 2001. If you were to include revenues from 1988 to 1995 MECA has spent less than 60 percent of its total revenues for humanitarian purposes. Despite its altruistic appellation, MECA is spending about half of their funds for non-humanitarian purposes. One would think an organization called the Middle East Children’s Alliance would be spending most of their funds aiding kids?
MECA does help fund some noble and worthy causes. UNICEF and the Nablus Medical Clinic are two such examples of their humanitarian aid. Yet, MECA seems more interested in spreading Palestinian propaganda than healing Palestinian children. For example, they fund the Alternative Information Center (AIC), which collects and publishes distorted information about Palestine and Israel. The AIC website on August 22, 2003, reported such headlines as “Palestinian farmers fear a repeat of 1948 as Israel's apartheid wall separates them from their land” and “Israeli Army Invades…” Never is there any mention of Arab terrorism.
MECA Founder and Executive Director Barbara Lubin and MECA’s entire Board of Directors, and Board of Advisors, are pro-Palestinian, and as such, anti-Israel. She has received numerous awards, including the 2001Aswat Honor Award, the 2000 American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee Award, the 1989 and 1990 Appreciation Award of the Palestine Aid Society and the 1990 Union of Palestinian Women's Association of North America. Yet, Lubin has “become increasingly outspoken against Israel,” according to an interview in Moqawama, the website of the Islamic Resistance.
Moqawama quoted Lubin as saying, “If Slobodan Milosevic is tried by the international courts, then Henry Kissinger, (former President) George Bush and Ariel Sharon should be in there with him…They butchered Arabs.” According to this same article, Lubin possesses an “open disgust for the state of Israel” and mentions “her support of organizations like Hizbullah.” The article also quotes Lubin as saying that Hizbullah is nothing more than a resistance movement composed of just plain folks….
MECA’s Board of Directors and Board of Advisors have at one time or another included such liberal luminaries as Leonard Weinglass, Noam Chomsky, Ramsey Clark, Maxine Waters, Ron Dellums, Gus Newport, and Maudelle Shirek. Newport (who is the president) and Shirek are Communists. Dellums and Waters are outspoken admirers of Fidel Castro. Clark is the founder of ANSWER, which is affiliated with the terrorist group the Kimist Workers World Party. Chomsky is well known for his anti-Israeli and anti-American beliefs. Weinglass was the attorney for Mumia Abu-Jamal. Another Director, Father William O’Donnell, was recently sentenced to jail for six months for protesting the School of the Americas, which Catholic liberation theologists want to eliminate. Other directors and advisors of MECA include Fathi Arafat, brother of PLO's Chief Yasser Arafat, Edward Said and Ibrahim Abu Lughod (who are members of the Palestine National Council), and co-founders of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, James Abourezk and James Zogby.
Activists, politicians, and ideologues staff MECA. What they have in common is a loathing of Israel and America. This is consistent with MECA’s disturbing relationships with Al-Awda, the Palestinian Solidarity Committee, and International ANSWER.
Compare MECA’s operations and staff with Feed the Children (FTC) a charity that provides humanitarian aid to kids both domestically and internationally. FTC spent $514 million of its $553 million in revenues for their programs in 2002, providing food, clothing, medical, education, and community development for kids–including those in Iraq. 89 percent of their funding is for their programs. The FTC board includes theologians, CPA’s, businesspeople, and philanthropists.
Feed the Children did not fund any efforts to educate North Americans about American foreign policy in the Middle East (i.e. criticize Israel and America for helping Israel). FTC is not affiliated with a political party or a political advocacy group. They are not organizing protests or attempting to influence political policy. They simply provide humanitarian aid to the needy.
The Middle East Children’s Alliance represents itself as a humanitarian organization. Whatever humanitarian aid MECA provides seems to be designed merely to provide it with the patina of a nonpartisan, charitable organization while it cements relationships with, and advocates on behalf of, terrorist groups.
What are the educational and grassroots activities of MECA? What does MECA spend for them? Who operates these groups receiving MECA funds? We know about funds for humanitarian efforts, but where does the remainder of the funds go?
MECA needs to be accountable for what they are doing, which is taking advantage of the altruistic under pretenses of charity, then aiding those who destroy the lives of children throughout the world.