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July 24, 2010; Source: MELODIKA.net | Amidst the controversies around the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip, one U.S. charity was tangibly involved in the May 31st “Freedom Flotilla” that was intercepted and stopped by Israeli troops. An organization called the Rebuilding Alliance based in San Mateo, California had stocked the Irish ship, the MV Rachel Corrie, with backpacks, sports equipment, and building materials en route the Al Basma Club for the Disabled in Gaza.  By posting the project description on GlobalGiving.com, the Rebuilding Alliance won a matching grant for the donations it received from 100 donors.

In Ireland, another American donor, unnamed in this article, donated 300 bags of cement for the construction of a kindergarten.  Although the materials have been impounded since the Israeli navy’s actions, the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East has apparently made arrangements for these materials to be delivered to Gaza.

As of the end of its fiscal year in June of 2008, the Rebuilding Alliance’s total revenues for that year were only $156,410 and its net assets amounted to a negative $32,873.  Founded in 2003 and dedicated to peace between Israelis and Palestinians, the Rebuilding Alliance appears to be multidenominational, with Jews and non-Jews on its board. On the Foundation Directory online, only five foundations were listed as having contributed to the Alliance in 2006 and 2007 for a grand total of $13,000.  Has the Alliance’s involvement in the controversial Flotilla led to an increase, decrease, or no effect in its charitable support from U.S. donors and foundations?—Rick Cohen