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Avaaz – Imperialism’s Willing Collaborator
March 5, 2015
by Ramona Wadi
PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ endeavours to obtain symbolic recognition of Palestinian statehood from European countries had, as intended, eclipsed the necessity of developing awareness of the importance of Palestine’s anti-colonial struggle.
With each assertion garnered, mainstream media hype created an additional illusion out of futile gestures. Meanwhile, seemingly on the periphery, international human rights organisations and NGOs continued with their strategy of working alongside the political hegemony advocating for the two-state paradigm.
Avaaz – the “global organization with a simple democratic mission,” which should accurately translate into the imperialist collaborator manipulating activism into diplomacy, has contributed to the agenda of rendering Palestinians subservient to Israel’s colonial demands.
In 2011, the Avaaz petition to UN member states calling for recognition of the state of Palestine contained a simplistic affirmation to “turn the tide on decades of failed peace talks, end the occupation and move towards peace based on two states.” The identical rhetoric was applied to another petition in 2012 prior to the UN’s recognition of Palestine as a non-member state, along with an update declaring the move a huge victory while once again eliminating the reality of settler-colonialism.
Prior to the European Parliament vote on Palestinian statehood, Avaaz urged its community “to support a resolution that calls for clear, urgent recognition of the state of Palestine, as a significant move towards a final agreement on a two state solution.” The European public’s support for Palestine, according to Avaaz, should enable Europe to lead “the way to peace”. The organisation’s tactic is an attempt to separate US and EU political dynamics, in an attempt to induce further oblivion among its global activist community about complicity in Israeli colonialism. The petition’s “success” was heralded with a hypocritical header that stated “Thanks! We’ve sent ripples of hope to Palestine and Israel.”
As expected, Avaaz refrained from explaining to its followers the implications of the two-state compromise; including the obvious seeking of legitimacy from the oppressor should the concept be implemented. Avaaz has maintained the unspoken international agenda – that of prioritising “occupation” over colonisation, in a manner that discards Palestinian history and memory for convenient terminology which lessens the implications of oppression inflicted upon the indigenous population by Israel’s colonial existence.
Avaaz’s global platform, allegedly 100% funded by “small online donations”, has become a principal actor in furthering the imperialist agenda. Its choice of causes, including the advocating of NATO intervention according to US agenda of regime change, are later interpreted as an expression of the global community – a reflection of the massive amount of signatures Avaaz is capable of garnering for their chosen agendas. However, its alleged dedication to fighting injustice and oppression is clearly subject to selective criteria, which is then packaged as an attractive, mainstream cause, divested of implications and disseminated online for people to sign and deem themselves participants in the struggle for Avaaz’s concept of justice. Millions of signatures later, the organisation publishes a congratulatory message on its website to maintain its community and Avaaz remains at the helm, retaining its duplicitous role as alleged activist and collaborator in imperialist oppression.