Dr Mads Gilbert's Media Campaign: From Justifying 9/11 to Promoting Hamas
Release Date: 6th January 2009
(Jerusalem) - NGO Monitor today uncovered the radical political and
ideological background of Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian doctor providing highly
one-sided criticism of Israel in the media, including The Times (UK), BBC,
Sky News and the Norwegian press.
Dr Gilbert traveled to Gaza's Al-Shifa Hospital as a member of the Norwegian
Aid Committee, NORWAC an NGO funded by the Norwegian government ostensibly
to provide health care services in partnership with the Palestinian Ministry
of Health. Since arriving in Gaza, Gilbert has repeatedly and falsely
accused Israel of deliberately targeting civilians and invoked a comparison
with the 1982 events in Sabra and Shattila. At the same time, he has made
no mention of evidence that Al-Shifa hospital has been used for military
Dr Gilbert is a former member of the fringe left Red Party in Norway, which
has its roots in the country's Communist Party. Gilbert stood as the Red
Party's candidate in local elections in the town of Tromsoe in 2007.
In addition, the centrality of his ideology was highlighted in comments
following Al-Qaida's terrorist attacks on USA on September 11th 2001, in
which Dr Gilbert expressed sympathy with the terrorists. Days after the
atrocity, in an interview for the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet Gilbert
said 'The attack on New York did not come as a surprise after the policy
that the West has led during the last decades...The oppressed also have a
moral right to attack the USA with any weapon they can come up with'. When
asked directly in the same interview, 'Do you support a terror attack
against the USA?', Gilbert replied 'Terror is a bad weapon but the answer is
yes within the context which I have mentioned'.
Given his background of ideological extremism, NGO Monitor urges media
outlets and human rights organizations to treat Dr Gilbert's comments and
assessment from Gaza with great caution. NGO Monitor's Executive Director
Prof. Gerald Steinberg commented that: "By justifying terror, supporting
Hamas and fueling the conflict, NORWAC and Mads Gilbert have violated the
Hippocratic Oath - 'first, do not harm'."