Choosing a charity carefully – Do not give to Oxfam.
The desire to help those less fortunate than oneself, or assist your local or wider community or help someone in trouble, is one of those humanitarian practices that is common in all civilised societies and in nearly all religions. Whether you call this practise alms or charity, or tzdakah or dana or dasvandh we all are driven by either our gods or our consciences to give some form of help to the unfortunate.
We all have a duty to help, whatever our circumstances, our fellow man. Life is an ocean and any of us can find ourselves being tossed helplessly on its waves if life took a sudden bad turn. The phrase ‘there but for the grace of God go I’, is often spoken either out loud or internally when seeing a person in trouble. We are all vulnerable to having no job, becoming ill or suddenly finding that a previously safe place was now unsafe.
However, like cultures and cars, not all charities or similar organisations are equal. Not all causes that advertise themselves as being charitable are worthwhile things to support. One such charitable organisation that I used to believe were worthwhile of support but now longer do so is Oxfam.
Oxfam started off as a famine relief organisation formed in 1942 that initially pressed the British government into allowing food supplies to be allowed through an Allied naval blockade on Axis occupied Greece. It now has as one of its aims to help people in poor countries to stand on their own two feet with dignity. Sadly of late it appears to have been become less interested in famine relief and helping the poor and instead has become a quasi-political organisation aligned with the political Left. It has allowed its political bias to override its stated aims of helping the poor.
The recent row over Oxfam’s celebrity ambassador Scarlett Johansson is a glaring indication of how Oxfam has forgotten those it is supposed to help and has instead allowed itself to be dragged into the poisonous political world of ‘anti-Zionism’.
For those who do not know the back story to this here it is. The Hollywood actress Ms Johansson was asked in 2007 to be an ambassador for Oxfam, which she agreed to do. She put in personal appearances, raised the profile of Oxfam and saw the effects of various human disasters and Oxfam’s efforts to help people caught up in them.
The row has been caused by Ms Johansson signing up to promote the SodaStream brand of fizzy drink making machines. Now these machines are made in a factory in a Jewish town in the Judea area of Israel which the political Left and ‘Palestinian’ politicians claim doesn’t belong to Israel. Because of this Oxfam got on their high horse and complained about Ms Johansson’s association with SodaStream and whined that she was helping a company operating in what they seem to believe are illegally occupied lands. Ms Johansson, quite rightfully in my opinion, disagreed with Oxfams position that the SodaStream company was part of a Zionist plot to oppress ‘Palestinians’ and quit as Oxfam’s ambassador.
The reality on the ground in this situation is very different from what the Leftists and Israel haters who now run Oxfam say it is. The SodaStream factory in Ma’aleh Adumim, treats all its workers whether they be Israeli Jews or the Muslim Arab and Christian residents of Judea the same. The do not discriminate and pay all workers slightly above the Israeli minimum wage and these wages are 3 times higher than average wages paid by ‘Palestinians’ to ‘Palestinians’. A worker at the SodaStream plant, quizzed by a reporter from America’s National Public Radio (not exactly the most rightist of outlets, think BBC and just add more Leftist nutcases to get an idea of its output) said: “It’s an excellent place to work,” he said. “It provides a good salary and they treat us very well. At SodaStream, they do not discriminate between Arabs, Jews or any ethnic group.”
The SodaStream operation doesn’t just support Jewish, Christian or secular workers who live in the town of Ma’aleh Adumim, 10% of the 5000 workers are Arabs from nearby ‘Palestinian’ towns. If the anti-Israeli activists had their way and SodaStream products were boycotted, as the Leftists who have taken over Oxfam would very much like, and the Ma’aleh Adumim plant shut down, then it would be counterproductive for the local Arabs and plunge many of them into poverty. The very Arab people who Oxfam say they want to help would only be damaged by a policy of boycott, how on earth does that sort of action and that sort of thinking match up to Oxfam’s stated aims of reliving poverty? In my view it doesn’t and shows just how far a once good organisation like Oxfam has been hollowed out and corrupted by the political Left and Jew haters disgused as ‘anti-Zionists’.
I will no longer give anything to Oxfam and would advise others do do the same. I will not give to t their appeals nor top up my library with books from their shops. When I see their expensive television adverts pleading for funds, or a tin-rattling Oxfam street collector I will think of the Judean Arabs who they want to kick out of their jobs and walk on by.
Do not donate to Oxfam, they have departed from the path of justice that they set out upon all those decades ago. They are no longer part of a broad humanitarian solution to poverty, they are Leftists for whom starving Arabs are a price worth paying for attacking Israel. With Oxfam the lunatics have quite obviously taken over the aslylum. There are better and more honourable places to alms, charity, tzdakah, dana or dasvandh, than Oxfam.