May 18, 2009
To our Supporters:
It has been brought to our attention that a number of our supporters were upset by the article, "Gaza: A Devastating Disregard for Civilians," on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict published in the spring 2009 edition of the Alert newsletter.
At Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), we pride ourselves on transparency and accountability to our donors and to an open and constructive dialogue with those who believe in supporting the principles of providing assistance to victims of violence and disease regardless of political, religious, or economic affiliations.
Upon further reflection, we recognize the legitimacy of the concerns expressed that the Alert article was too one-sided in its presentation of the Gaza conflict. The article, as it was written, did not sufficiently contextualize the Israeli incursion into Gaza as a response to the longstanding and indiscriminate rocket attacks being launched by Hamas from the Strip into Israel. In no way was the omission of the broader context intended to diminish the suffering caused by these attacks on Israel. Human suffering is deplorable in all its magnitudes.
As MSF, we pride ourselves on a constant reflection of our medical humanitarian action and speaking out. This is a daily engagement playing out in our headquarters and among our field teams around the world. As our supporters, you are a vital part of this reflection. Just as MSF is an association composed of medical and non-medical field staff from across the globe, bound by independent, impartial, and neutral medical action, we are a movement supported by millions of individuals like you.
We thank you for the vitality of your engagement in our collective endeavors, and in difficult economic times need your continued support more than ever. Please continue to challenge us, in all aspects of our work, in the days ahead.