A self-described "non-political organization" established in 1991, the Palestine Children's Relief Fund (PCRF) states that its founders were "concerned people in the U.S. [wishing] to address the medical and humanitarian crisis facing Palestinian youths in the Middle East." PCRF helps to secure free medical care for children in the region who are unable to get the specialized treatment they need in their homeland. Says PCRF: "We locate, sponsor and run volunteer medical missions to the Middle East in adult and pediatric cardiac surgery, pediatric cardiology, plastic and reconstructive surgery, maxillofacial surgery, pediatric urology, ophthalmology, vascular surgery, pediatric orthopedic surgery, occupational therapy, and other specialties. We also locate abroad free medical care for children who cannot be adequately treated in the Middle East."
PCRF focuses its efforts heavily on the Palestinian people living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip -- sending them medical supplies and equipment, training Palestinian surgeons to perform procedures with which they may be unfamiliar, and sending American medical personnel to the region to treat especially difficult cases.
Considered a "Partner Organization" of Al-Awda, PCRF is headed by Stephen Sosebee, who depicts Israelis as murderous Zionist terrorists whom Palestinians must resist by means of "armed struggle" (i.e., suicide bombings). Sosebee charges that the U.S. government, citizenry, and media are manipulated by a "Zionist lobby" and "Zionist influence." He speaks extensively at universities and other political "solidarity meetings," where he consistently delivers a virulently anti-Semitic, anti-Israel message; one of his speaking venues was
the Zayed International Centre for Coordination and Follow-up.
On June 24, 2003, NGO Monitor reported: "PCRF received assistance from [t]he Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, Global Relief Foundation, and [t]he International [Islamic] Relief Organization -- all of which were closed down by the U.S. government for funding terrorist groups. Yet, PCRF proudly claims on its website that it "works with these organizations" and acknowledges their 'support and cooperation.'"
In addition, PCRF received thousands of dollars from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC). According to the December 17, 2001 edition of Insight magazine: "Throughout the 1980s, the [ADC] lent its name to political-support campaigns for Soviet-backed guerrilla organizations around the world from the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the PFLP [Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine] to Marxist revolutionaries in Latin America."
On March 17, 2001, Stephen Sosebee spoke on behalf of PCRF at a "Conference on Palestine" held at the University of Michigan. The event was co-sponsored by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Global Relief Foundation, the International Action Center (the parent of International ANSWER), the Islamic Association for Palestine, and others. Also speaking at the event was Ibrahim Hooper, the National Communications Director for CAIR. The conference began with the showing of a video entitled "The New Uprising," a reference to the Second Palestinian Intifada against Israel.
Sosebee, who claims not to have "any political designs," also represented PCRF at an antiwar rally held at Kent State University on May 4, 2002. Other organizations represented at this event included the All-African People's Revolutionary Party and the Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade, the youth wing of the Revolutionary Communist Party.