Hanan Ashrawi’s MIFTAH Disseminates Jewish Blood Libel

hanan ashrawiMIFTAH is an organization that claims it “seeks to promote the principles of democracy and good governance within various components of Palestinian society”, “further seeks to engage local and international public opinion and official circles on the Palestinian cause” and ” To that end, MIFTAH adopts the mechanisms of an active and in-depth dialogue, the free flow of information and ideas, as well as local and international networking.” The Chairperson of its Board of Directors is none other than Hanan Ashrawi, Sydney Peace Price recipient and friend to Hollywood royalty Well, at least King of the Gerbils (yeah, an urban legend, but I couldn’t resist).

And how does Miftah do this? By running articles disseminating the pernicious Jewish blood libel.

In Miftah’s Arabic edition there is an article railing against President Obama’s speech to Israeli students. But one part of the speech particularly raised the ire of the author, Nawaf al-Zaru.

Obama said:

I also know that I come to Israel on the eve of a sacred holiday – the celebration of Passover. And that is where I would like to begin today. Just a few days from now, Jews here in Israel and around the world will sit with family and friends at the Seder table, and celebrate with songs, wine and symbolic foods. After enjoying Seders with family and friends in Chicago and on the campaign trail, I’m proud to have brought this tradition into the White House. I did so because I wanted my daughters to experience the Haggadah, and the story at the center of Passover that makes this time of year so powerful.

It is a story of centuries of slavery, and years of wandering in the desert; a story of perseverance amidst persecution, and faith in God and the Torah. It is a story about finding freedom in your own land. For the Jewish people, this story is central to who you have become.

Al-Zaru asks:

Does Obama in fact know the relationship, for example, between “Passover” and “Christian blood” ..?!
Or “Passover” and “Jewish blood rituals..?!
Much of the chatter and gossip about historical Jewish blood rituals in Europe are real and not fake as they claim; the Jews used the blood of Christians in the Jewish Passover …

He then quotes a 2007 Haaretz article on a book by a Bar-Ilan University professor that bizarrely claimed that a few blood libels could have had a basis in fact, without noting that the same professor recanted those claims a year later.

After blogger Elder of Ziyon ran the post exposing this, MIFTAH apologized for the oversight, repudiated the article and announced it was launching an investigation into how it was allowed to be published on their site.

Just kidding. They deleted the evidence, but not before Elder took some screenshots of the article, in its original Arabic and auto-translated English.

blood libel miftah arabic

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blood libel miftah english

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According to NGO Monitor:

Funders in 2011 include Anna Lindh Foundation (EU), NGO Development Center (joint funding from Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands), Italy, Austria, Heinrich Boell Stiftung (German government funding), Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (German government funding), Ireland, Norway, indirect US government funding via National Endowment for Democracy and International Republic Institute.

Back to Elder:

By ignoring the hate, the funders of Miftah are tacitly endorsing it. And people like Hanan Ashrawi will not be called to account for overseeing a publication and website in which such hate can be published, past all the editors and webmasters and other gatekeepers whose salaries are being paid by these NGOs.

The NGOs themselves should be falling over themselves to distance themselves from Miftah. The Anna Lindh Foundation says “Our purpose is to bring people together from across the Mediterranean to improve mutual respect between cultures.” How exactly can that purpose fit in with Miftah’s encouragement of hate of Jews? Shouldn’t people be tweeting them about this?

Oxfam says “We strive to do what we say we will do. Read about our core values and operating principles against which we measure ourselves.” One of these is that “Unjust policies and practices, nationally and internationally, must be challenged and people’s rights must be respected.” Should Oxfam be measured by their own words? They are on Twitter as well.

Part of UNESCO’s mission is “to contribute to the building of a culture of peace.” How can Arab Jew-hatred contribute to peace? Shouldn’t people tweet to them as well?

The National Endowment for Democracy is a US-based NGO that also supports Miftah. They say that “NED provides hundreds of grants each year to non-governmental groups working abroad in the areas of human rights, independent media, the rule of law, civic education and the development of civil societyin general.” How does Miftah’s hate and cover-ups fit in with that vision? You can tweet them and ask.

As of the time of this posting, none of these organizations have responded to the tweets sent their way. Let’s keep the pressure on by joining the chorus of voices demanding action.


David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media