Click here for a PDF version of this report

The network of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that claim to promote human rights and humanitarian agendas in the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict often use antisemitic themes and imagery. These groups include international NGOs (Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch), Palestinian NGOs (MIFTAH, Badil, Sabeel, Kairos Palestine, Electronic Intifada, Gaza Community Mental Health Programme), and Israeli groups (Coalition of Women for Peace, Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions).

The detailed examples discussed below embody both classical antisemitism, including blood libels and theological attacks on Judaism, and “new antisemitism,” where hatred of Jews manifests itself in demonization of and double standards on Israel.  

Contemporary antisemitism is evidenced in NGO political campaigns based on the strategy adopted by the NGO Forum of the 2001 Durban Conference, through the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement (BDSM) and legal attacks (“lawfare”). These campaigns regularly include a radical fringe of Jews, recruited in an attempt to deflect accusations of antisemitism, double standards, and demonization – which is itself a form of antisemitism.

Human rights NGOs also fail to report on or condemn antisemitism and incitement against Jews, particularly as it emanates from Iran and its proxies in Hezbollah and Hamas.

Contrary to NGO claims that they are engaging in “legitimate criticism” of Israel, the NGO rhetoric, publications, and activities often violate accepted standards, including the EU and U.S. definitions of antisemitism. Notably, the U.S. Department of State Fact Sheet “Defining Anti-Semitism” lists the following examples of antisemitism “with regard to the state of Israel”:

DEMONIZE ISRAEL:

Using the symbols and images associated with classic anti-Semitism to characterize Israel or Israelis
Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis
Blaming Israel for all inter-religious or political tensions

DOUBLE STANDARD FOR ISRAEL:

Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation
Multilateral organizations focusing on Israel only for peace or human rights investigations

DELEGITIMIZE ISRAEL:

Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, and denying Israel the right to exist

Funders as Enablers
Despite the extensive evidence of NGO antisemitism, governments continue to fund these groups. Officials justify the funding under the pretense that it is intended for distinct “projects” unrelated to the grantee’s wider agenda and expressions of antisemitism. However, funders are enablers, and share full responsibility for the activities of their grantees.

The ongoing government funding for NGOs that engage in antisemitic activities and use antisemitic rhetoric highlights the persistent double standard: Hatred of Jews is tolerated in a way that would be unthinkable for other racial, ethnic, or religious groups; moreover, Jewish and Israeli targets are often denied the right to define what constitutes discrimination against them. 

Report Contents 

MIFTAH Uses Blood Libel to Attack Pres. Obama
Badil: Antisemitic Cartoons and Campaign Against AIPAC and ADL
Amnesty’s Kristyan Benedict’s Twitter “Joke”
CWP and ICAHD at a Blood Libel Rally
Ken Roth (HRW) Refers to Israel and Judaism as “Primitive”
 
Sabeel and Supersessionism
Christ at the Checkpoint Conference (2010) 
Bringing the “Good News” of Palestinian Liberation Theology to the Pews
Christmas Campaigns
 
BDSM and Double Standards
Electronic Intifada
Whitson (HRW) Race-baits the U.S. Jewish Community
Antisemitism at the Center for American Progress
 
EU-Funded Document on the Price Paid for Israel’s Creation
Ittijah: Gaza=Extermination Camp
Gaza Community Mental Health Programme: Testimony before the Goldstone Committee
Ma’an News Agency’s Holocaust Denial
Alternative Information Center 
Electronic Intifada on Zionism and the Holocaust
Palestinian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)
Amnesty International and the “Wall of Death”
Middle East Children’s Alliance’s Nazi Rhetoric
Free Gaza’s Holocaust Revisionism
Use of Holocaust Language by Israeli NGOs
 

Blood libels and “Protocols”

Since the Middle Ages, massacres of Jews have been triggered by “blood libels” – the charge that Jews ritually murdered Christian children and used their blood to bake Passover matzah (unleavened bread) and/or to prepare sacramental wine. Similarly, “the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions,” notoriously featured in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, have frequently driven antisemitism, particularly Nazi racial antisemitism.  

MIFTAH Uses Blood Libel to Attack Pres. Obama
MIFTAH’s funders in 2011 included EU (via the Anna Lindh Foundation) , 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, and indirect U.S. government funding via National Endowment for Democracy and International Republican Institute.

On March 27, 2013, Palestinian NGO MIFTAH published an Arabic-language article, in response to U.S. President Obama’s support for Israel and his celebration of the Passover Seder, repeating the antisemitic blood libel. The author wrote, “Does Obama in fact know the relationship, for example, between ‘Passover’ and ‘Christian blood’… ?!  Or ‘Passover’ and ‘Jewish blood rituals...?! Much of the historical stories and tales about Jewish blood rituals in Europe are based on real rituals and are not false as they claim; the Jews used the blood of Christians in the Jewish Passover ...” (translated from the original Arabic by NGO Monitor). 

After significant public criticism, MIFTAH removed the article, but attacked the blogger who exposed the article for “smearing” the organization and downplayed the centrality of the blood libel in the article. 

On April 1, five days after the original publication of the article and following further condemnations from the ADL and Simon Wiesenthal Center, MIFTAH issued an apology, stating that the article was “accidentally and incorrectly published by a junior staff member” and “We express our sincerest regret for offense caused by the oversight that resulted in said publication.”  However, this statement was posted only in English, not on the Arabic website that contained the article. 

Badil: Antisemitic Cartoons and Campaign Against AIPAC and ADL
Badil’s 2011 funders included the NDC (joint funding of Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands), DanChurchAid, Trócaire, ICCO, Open Society Institute, United Methodist Church, Oxfam Solidarity, Swiss InterChurch Aid, and Catalan Agency for International Development.

Badil, a Palestinian NGO that focuses on promoting the so-called “right of return,” has repeatedly been linked to antisemitic images and rhetoric. In 2010, an antisemitic cartoon won a monetary award for 2nd prize in Badil’s Al-Awda Nakba caricature competition. The cartoon is a blatant representation of classic antisemitic tropes, including a Jewish man, garbed in traditional Hasidic attire, with a hooked nose and side locks. He stands above a dead child and skulls, holding a pitchfork dripping with blood. The antisemitic caricature was removed from Badil’s website after NGO Monitor approached Badil partner DanChurchAid on the issue.

Other antisemitic images, such as a depiction of a monstrous octopus with a Star of David on its head and its tentacles dripping with blood – recalling the most virulent antisemitic imagery of the Nazi era – were submitted for Al-Awda Nakba competitions and featured in galleries on Badil’s website. 

Examples of Badil’s antisemitic rhetoric include accusing Israel of “genocide,” “slow genocide,” and “systematic ethnic cleansing.” Additionally, in 2007, Badil launched a “Call to Action,” which advocated anti-Israel boycotts and sanctions, and enlisted “journalists to organize a targeted campaign to expose the lies of AIPAC and the Anti-Defamation League and to expose the Jewish and Zionist community’s double standards regarding Nakba & Occupation.” (emphasis added)

Amnesty’s Kristyan Benedict’s Twitter “Joke”
Although Amnesty claims that it does not accept donations from governments or political parties, in 2008 the organization received a 4-year grant from the UK Department for International Development (DFID), totaling £3,149,000. In 2010, AI received £842,000 from DFID. Amnesty International and its branches have also received funding from the European Commission, the Netherlands, the United States, and Norway.

Amnesty-UK’s Campaign Manager for the Middle East and North Africa, Kristyan Benedict, has a strong anti-Israel obsession, fuelled by global conspiracy theories. In an interview with Labour Friends of Palestine (February 9, 2011), Benedict stated, 

“The USA plays both Arab and Israel sides to generate money, power and control. The main reasons are: The Arms Trade: The conflict makes loads of money for the ‘weapons trade’. Israel always pushes the buttons to make all the surrounding Arabic states such as Syria, Lebanon feel insecure.  So they then buy weapons off other states and this is a great profit-making industry...Also, it seems that many in the current coalition are driven by a feeling of ‘ethnic supremacy’.”

Benedict’s antisemitism was most pronounced in an incident during the November 2012 conflict in Gaza. In response to a British Parliamentary session where many members supported Israel’s operation, Benedict tweeted an attempted “joke,” suggesting that three Jewish MPs are warmongers. This tweet prompted an inquiry by John Mann MP, chair of the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group against Antisemitism, seeking clarification on Amnesty’s policies towards preventing antisemitism.

Following the public criticism, Amnesty-UK launched disciplinary proceedings against Benedict. After a few weeks, he was forced to apologize for the “inappropriate and offensive” tweet, but Amnesty refused to acknowledge the antisemitism behind the incident, and Benedict remained on staff. 

CWP and ICAHD at a Blood Libel Rally 
In 2011, CWP received funding from the EU, ICCO, and Oxfam Novib (Netherlands). For 2013, CWP is a partner on another EU grant. ICAHD’s main donors have included the European Union; the governments of Denmark, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Sweden via NDC; Spain; Trocaire (Ireland); UN Development Programme; World Vision; and Mennonite Central Committee.

Representatives of Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP) and Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) participated in a May 12, 2010 anti-Israel divestment rally in Brussels. The event featured an antisemitic episode, when one rally leader drank fake blood out of a wine glass – an apparent reference to the libel of Jews drinking Christian blood as wine – to highlight Israel’s alleged brutality.(Photos of the blood drinking at the rally are available here.)

Ken Roth (HRW) Refers to Israel and Judaism as “Primitive”
During the Second Lebanon War (2006), Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch (HRW) wrote a letter to the New York Sun, attacking critics of HRW’s sloppy and biased reporting during the fighting. 

In his letter, Roth falsely accused Israel of killing hundreds of Lebanese citizens “whether by design or callous indifference.” Roth followed this slur by writing, “An eye for an eye – or, more accurately in this case, twenty eyes for an eye – may have been the morality of some more primitive moment.” 

As noted by an editorial by the New York Sun, in suggesting “that Judaism is a ‘primitive’ religion incompatible with contemporary morality,” Roth is engaging in “supersessionism, the de-legitimization of Judaism, the basis of much anti-Semitism.”

Theological Antisemitism

In the past decade, Christian pro-Palestinian activists have introduced resolutions calling on their respective churches to boycott Israel and divest from companies doing business in or with Israel. Through the use of regressive theological language these groups seek to weaken and disrupt Jewish-Christian relations as a means of diluting Christian support for Israel, particularly in North America. 

This trend is the result of a concerted strategy developed by Palestinian Christians to synthesize Christian theology with Palestinian nationalism. The name given to this body of thought is Palestinian Liberation Theology, developed by Rev. Naim Ateek of the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center of Jerusalem. This doctrine creates a theological framework for the advancement of the Palestinian nationalist agenda within Christian churches, and simultaneously revives religious antisemitic themes such as supercessionism (replacement theology). 

Other Palestinian Christian NGOs (Holy Land Trust, Christ at the Checkpoint in Bethlehem, Kairos Palestine, and others) also promote this agenda. [1

The controversy caused by the Church of Scotland’s report assailing Judaism and Jewish religious and historical claims to Israel is yet another example of the influence of these pro-Palestinian Christian activists in mainline Protestant churches. The Scottish Church’s report, “The Inheritance Of Abraham? A Report On The ‘Promised Land’,” declares any claims the Jewish people have to the Land of Israel as being theologically invalid.

A radical fringe of Jews participate both in the promotion of Palestinian Liberation Theology and in defending groups such as Sabeel from accusations of antisemitism.  Jewish Voice for Peace’s Rabbinical Council issued a “Statement of Support for the Sabeel Institute” that declared, “As rabbis and people of faith, we stand in solidarity with the work of Sabeel.”

Sabeel and Supersessionism
Governments providing funds to Sabeel include the Netherlands (via Dutch church-based aid organizations Kerk in Aktie and ICCO), Sweden (via Diakonia), and Canada (via the Catholic Organization for Development and Peace).

In delegitimizing Israel and Zionism, Sabeel’s Palestinian Liberation Theology draws from, and revitalizes, historic Christian anti-Jewish teachings, especially replacement theology and deicide imagery.  

Sabeel’s founder Naim Ateek is on record saying or writing the following:

  • “We share the Old Testament with Jewish people.  And the heart of it, how do we re-interpret the text, is it an exclusive theology of land or an inclusive theology of land… It’s a theology that opens up the whole world.  For us Christians ‘God so loved the world’ it doesn’t say ‘God so loved the Jewish people’” (snickers in audience). [2]  
  • The “Jewish religion sees non-Jews as the strangers in the land, without rights… That is why many of our people do not want to have anything to do with God. The god they see before them is a bigot, racist, land grabber, discriminator, prejudiced, hateful killer.. The true God must re-emerge.  The God we have come to know in Christ is the God of peace, not war; the God of love, not violence; the God of justice and love, not injustice and hate.”
  • “The tragedy of many Zionists today is that they have locked themselves into the nationalist concept of God. They are trapped in it and they will be freed only if they discard their primitive image of God for a more universal one…” [3

Christ at the Checkpoint Conference (2010) 
Rev. Mitri Raheb offered a racial theory for why Jews are not “the people of the land.”

  • “Israel represents Rome of the Bible, not the people of the land. And this is not only because I’m a Palestinian. I’m sure if we were to do a DNA test between David, who was a Bethlehemite, and Jesus, born in Bethlehem, and Mitri, born just across the street from where Jesus was born, I’m sure the DNA will show that there is a trace. While, if you put King David, Jesus and Netanyahu, you will get nothing, because Netanyahu comes from an East European tribe who converted to Judaism in the Middle Ages.”

Rev. Stephen Sizer also spoke:

  • “The promises made to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph are therefore now fulfilled only through those who follow Jesus Christ since they alone are designated the true children of Abraham and Sarah. Jews who reject Jesus Christ are outside the covenant of grace and are to be regarded as children of Hagar… It is inappropriate to maintain racial distinctions within the Body of Christ, or claim the Jewish people have a separate relationship with God based on their ancestry or Mosaic law. The promises made to the Patriarchs and Israel are now being fulfilled in and through the Church.” 

Bringing the “Good News” of Palestinian Liberation Theology to the Pews
Within various mainline denominations in the U.S., Canada, UK, Europe, South Africa, and Australia are thousands of pro-Palestinian activists who accept and promote Palestinian Liberation Theology.  In the last decade, these activists have formed single-issue caucuses within their respective denominations to promote the Palestinian national agenda. Their primary activities include advancing resolutions before national church bodies calling for divestment and boycotts against Israel, such as campaigns in the Church of Scotland (May 2013), Mennonite Central Committee U.S. (March 2013), United Church of Canada (August 2012), Presbyterian Church USA (July 2012), Church of England (July 2012), United Methodist Church (May 2012), American Friends Service Committee (Quakers) (September 2012). 

These efforts have been met with varying degrees of success depending on the denomination. However, the greatest impact has been serious friction between Jewish communities and some of these denominations.

Christmas Campaigns
Christian Aid is funded by UK, Ireland, Norway, and EU; War on Want’s government donors include UK, EU, and Ireland.

NGOs and well-known charities consistently exploit the Christmas season for anti-Israel campaigns. NGO Monitor analysis has shown that these groups use offensive, inflammatory rhetoric in Christmas carols, holiday messages and cards, nativity scenes, and other products. Groups such as Christian Aid (UK), Kairos Palestine, Sabeel, War on Want (UK), Amos Trust, and Adalah-NY have repeatedly used theological themes to advance immoral anti-Israel efforts and, in some cases, antisemitism. Both Kairos Palestine and Sabeel invoke antisemitic imagery by linking their attacks on Israel to the ancient libel blaming the Jews for the death of Jesus (deicide). Other organizations promote the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement (BDSM).

Examples:

  • The Israel Palestine Mission Network, Presbyterian Church (USA), published its Daily Advent Devotional 2012, which contains theological language to demonize Jews (including I Thessalonians 2:15-16, which has historically been used for this purpose). For example: “Our Advent/Christmas traditions fit this allegory. A loving God sends prophets to Israel to guide them to justice and righteousness. The prophets are rejected, persecuted and often killed.”
  • In Sabeel’s 2012 annual Christmas message, Naim Ateek compared Israel to the Roman Empire, claiming that the “people of first century Palestine were looking for salvation and liberation from the oppressive yoke of the Roman Empire...Today’s Palestinians are looking for salvation and liberation from the oppressive yoke of Israel.” This is a blatantly antisemitic analogy, equating the Palestinians with Jesus and Israel with the evil Roman Empire responsible for his death.
  • UK-based Amos Trust advertises an annual Bethlehem Pack, which contains the following theological references: “If Jesus was born today in Bethlehem, the Wise Men would spend several hours queuing to enter the town” and “The shepherds, despite being residents of Bethlehem, would struggle to graze their sheep because their land would be annexed by the building of the separation wall...” 
  • The Ireland Palestinian Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) sold its own Christmas cards. One card displays the Madonna and Child, with the Madonna dressed in the Palestinian flag and star of Bethlehem in the background. The card reads, “This Christmas remember Palestine.” In 2011 IPSC promoted a number of items as “Ideal for Christmas Gifts,” including the book “Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide.” 
  • In 2010 Friends of Sabeel--North America circulated a list of ten companies to boycott entitled “All I want for Christmas is an End to Apartheid,” stating that “While there are many Israeli and multinational companies that benefit from apartheid, we put together this list to highlight ten specific companies to target.” The vast majority of the list comprises companies located within the 1949 armistice lines and are included because they are Israeli or Jewish-owned.

New Antisemitism, Double Standards, and the Durban Strategy

Beyond classical and theological antisemitism, NGOs also use rhetoric that violates antisemitism “with regard to the state of Israel,” as appear in the U.S. and EU definitions – as shown in the overt examples presented below.

Additionally, a wide range of NGOs delegitimize and demonize Israel, with frequent accusations of “war crimes,” violations of international law, “indiscriminate killings,” apartheid, and racism, in which the context of terror is erased and Israeli is singled out for obsessive condemnation. As with BDS and lawfare campaigns, this rhetoric and activity aim at isolating Israel internationally, as part of the Durban strategy.

BDSM and Double Standards
The EU definition of antisemitism lists “Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation,” while excluding “criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country.”

The boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement (BDSM), a central outgrowth of the 2001 Durban Conference, is one manifestation of this form of antisemitism. BDSM is rooted in immoral double standards that single out and condemn Israel as a pariah state and collectively punish Israelis. BDSM also rejects the very existence of Israel as a Jewish entity, seeking to eliminate Jewish self-determination.

In addition to these double standards of action, NGOs advance double standards in their one-sided condemnations of and disproportionate focus on Israel. One example raised in the U.S. government definition is “Multilateral organizations focusing on Israel only for peace or human rights investigations,” such as the NGO-driven resolutions and “fact-finding” missions of UN Human Rights Council (i.e., the Goldstone report). Similarly, systematic NGO Monitor research has shown that, for years, Human Rights Watch devoted disproportionate resources to allegations and politicized attacks against Israel relative to other Middle Eastern countries.

Electronic Intifada
The Electronic Intifada website is one of the most prolific purveyors of new antisemitism in the world. 

In the most recent of countless examples, co-founder and executive director of Electronic Intifada Ali Abunimah attacked Al Jazeera for (temporarily) removing an antisemitic article by (Columbia University professor) Joseph Massad from its website.  The article, “The Last of the Semites” (May 14, 2013), combined historical revisionism with the assertion that Zionism is the true antisemitism.[4]  

Abunimah is also a leader in promoting new antisemitism on Twitter. For instance, he has tweeted that Zionism “is one of the worst forms of anti-Semitism in existence today,” claiming that it “dehumanizes its victims, denies their history, and has a cult-like worship of ethnoracial purity.” He also wrote “That is something Zionism shares with anti-Semitism, a disdain for actual Jewish culture and life as it existed,” and “Zionism is a distortion of Judaism. We must not blame Jews.”

Whitson (HRW) Race-baits the U.S. Jewish Community 
In an April 15, 2011 op-ed (“A Matter of Civil Rights,” Huffington Post), Human Rights Watch (HRW) Middle East director Sarah Leah Whitson exploited the U.S. Civil Rights Movement to vilify and demonize Israel. She also employed stereotypes, and generalizations about American Jews, writing, “And why should American Jews, who have a history of deep engagement with the U.S. civil rights movement, support settlements built on these kinds of laws and policies in Israel?” 

A central theme of Whitson’s article was fictitious allegations of Jewish race-hatred of Arabs, abusing the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King: “In a week when the U.S. paused to recall the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, President Peres might have considered King’s message -- an end to segregation -- and why such a system of racial inequality remains in place in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”

Whitson’s dishonest attacks reflect deep prejudices and hatred, as well as institutional bias at HRW.  

Previously, Whitson had made other controversial statements relating to Israel. In 2009, she represented HRW at a fundraiser in Saudi Arabia. There, she invoked the specter of “pro-Israel pressure groups” to solicit funds from “prominent members of Saudi society.” That year, at a public lecture, she also referred to the armed conflict between Israel and neighboring countries and terror entities as “Israel’s wars in the region.”  Whitson was also quoted, in discussing Norman Finklestein, “I continue to have tremendous respect and admiration for him, because as you probably know, making Israeli abuses the focus of one’s life work is a thankless but courageous task that may well end up leaving all of us quite bitter.”

Center for American Progress and Antisemitic Social Media
CAP’s funders include the Open Society Institute.

The Center for American Progress (CAP) is a Washington, D.C.-based policy and advocacy organization. In late 2011, bloggers from CAP accused Israel of warmongering and its supporters of being “Israelfirsters,” and the organization was accused of condoning these statements. Some commentators traced the roots of the phrase to antisemitic charges that American Jews are more loyal to a foreign country, Israel, than to the United States. University of Maryland historian Jeffrey Herf, who has authored books on antisemitism, said, “the phrase ‘Israel firsters’ is dangerous. The notion of ‘Israel firsters’ delegitimizes support for Israel and stokes the dual-loyalty charge against American Jews.”

In a similar case, a CAP staffer described a U.S. senator as showing more fealty to the AIPAC than to his own constituents. Staffers also suggested that AIPAC was pushing the United States toward war with Iran and likened Israel’s treatment of Palestinians in Gaza to the segregation in the American South.

As noted by NGO Monitor, articles by CAP bloggers were also posted on Electronic Intifada, reflecting their extreme nature.

Subsequently, one of the CAP personnel involved apologized for using “Israel-firster” and left the organization. Additionally, as reported in the Jerusalem Post, “CAP [] introduced a new social media policy to monitor and prevent prejudicial writings.”

Exploiting the Holocaust

In order to demonize Israel and label it evil and genocidal, NGOs compare Israeli officials and soldiers to “Nazis,” and Gaza to a “concentration camp” or “ghetto.” 

NGOs also claim that the Palestinians are paying the price for European crimes, minimizing the importance of Israel in Jewish history and denying the legitimacy of the Jewish presence in Israel.

The EU Working Definition of Antisemitism includes: 

  • Holocaust denial; 
  • “Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust”; and 
  • “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.” 

EU-Funded Document on the Price Paid for Israel’s Creation
Mada al-Carmel received a €358,827 three-year grant in 2009 from the EU; current donors also include Cordaid, Ford Foundation, and Open Society Institute. According to New Israel Fund (NIF) officials, NIF has ended funding for Mada al-Carmel.
Adalah’s funders include EU, NDC (joint funding of Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands), New Israel Fund, Christian Aid (UK), Oxfam NOVIB (Netherlands), EED (Germany).

The Haifa Declaration is an NGO document from 2007, “a consensual statement of a collective vision that Palestinian citizens in Israel articulate about themselves.” It was spearheaded by Mada al-Carmel, and the head of Adalah, Hassan Jabareen, also participated. The EU funded the document, and its logo appears on the back cover. 

The document calls for a “change in the definition of the State of Israel from a Jewish state,” and the implementation of the Palestinian “right of return.” “look with pride on the resistance to the military regime put up by our people and its national leadership,” and refer to “massacres” committed by the “Zionist movement” and Israel’s “policies of subjugation and oppression in excess of those of the apartheid regime in South Africa.”

The NGO authors also reference the Holocaust, writing, “We believe that exploiting this tragedy and its consequences in order to legitimize the right of the Jews to establish a state at the expense of the Palestinian people serves to belittle universal, human, and moral lessons to be learned from this catastrophic event, which concerns the whole of humanity.”

In addition to essentially denying the Jewish people’s right to self-determination in its national homeland, this statement also appears to create a moral parallel between the experience of Jews during the Holocaust and the “price” paid by Palestinians in the creation of Israel. 

Ittijah: Gaza=Extermination Camp
Cordaid (Netherlands) funded Ittijah in at least 2004-2010

During the January 2009 Gaza conflict, Ittijah issued a statement claiming that “the IDF is turning Gaza to kind of an extermination camp, in the full sense of the word and with the full historical relativity.” [5

Gaza Community Mental Health Programme: Testimony before the Goldstone Committee
According to its annual report, in 2009 GCMHP received $3,514,761 in grants from Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Norway, the Palestinian National Authority, UNRWA, OCHA, UN Development Programme, and UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture, ACSUR (Spain), Bread for the World (Germany), Grassroots (USA), Welfare Association, Arab Fund, and Mercy Corps (Scotland).

On June 29, 2009, two officials from Gaza Community Mental Health Programme (GCMHP), Eyad Sarraj and Ahmed Abu-Tawahini, appeared before the Goldstone Committee to “testify.” In response to an inappropriate (and arguably antisemitic) line of questioning initiated by Goldstone panelist Desmond Travers, [6]  both GCMHP officials demonized Israeli soldiers. 

Abu-Tawahini asserted that “this very clearly shows that the instability, the psychological instability with the Israeli soldier has accumulated fear in him, has, deprived him of this halo feeling that he had over the years and now he wants to restore this lost image.”

Sarraj went further: “The Palestinian in the eyes of the Israeli soldier is not an equal human being.…He is not dealt with as an equal human being. This is the base of everything and then there is the fact that there is no restraint, no discipline within the army and, uh, uh, even there’s an encouragement. …Many Israelis need this and also the Palestinians because inside Israel there is an identification with the aggressor, the Nazi.” (emphasis added)

Ma’an News Agency’s Holocaust Denial
A part of the Ma’an Network, Ma'an News Agency is funded by the EU, UNDP, UNESCO, and UK.

Following International Holocaust Remembrance Day in 2013, Ma’an ran an article calling the Holocaust a “myth” (“On the ostensible ‘Holocaust’ memorial day,” Ghassan Mustafa Al-Shami, January 31, 2013). Israel is referred to as a “thieve entity for themselves on a Palestinian land” and “the Jews” are claimed to “have succeeded in achieving many goals by using ‘Holocaust’, and taking “advantage of them [the lies] to win sympathy.” Claims that “there is no basis for claims about what happened to Jews in Germany and that they were cremated in gas chambers” and questions about the number of Jewish victims of the Holocaust were also presented. 

Ma’an subsequently removed the article.  

Alternative Information Center 
Funders include (as of 2011): Sweden (via Diakonia); Netherlands (via ICCO); Belgium (via Solidarite Socialiste). In addition, several Spanish regions funded AIC via Spanish NGOs, including: NGO Mundubat (Basque Government); Sodepau (Catalan Government); Paz Con Dignidad; ACSUR Las Segovias, and Si Bilbao.

  • “Ehud Barak, Tzipi Livni, Gabi Ashkenazi and Ehud Olmert…You are not representing any continuity with the Warsaw Ghetto, because today the Warsaw Ghetto is right in front of you, targeted by your own tanks and artillery, and its name is Gaza…” (Michel Warschawski, Absolutely Not in Their Name, Not in Ours, AIC, January 18, 2009)
  • “Their crimes are definitely not less horrible than the ones that brought Milosevic and his generals to an international war crimes tribunal…BARAK & all the rest of them—TO NUREMBERG!” (Michael Warschawski, Barak and all Israeli Leaders—To the Hague, AIC, January 15, 2009)

Electronic Intifada on Zionism and the Holocaust 

  • An article titled “The Gaza genocide” (March 2, 2008) compares Israeli actions in Gaza to the Holocaust, describing them as “a slow and calculated genocide -- a genocide through more calibrated, long-term means... In many ways, this is a more sinister genocide, because it tends to be overlooked.”
  • Ali Abunimah (see above) has said that “Supporting Zionism is not atonement for the Holocaust, but its continuation in spirit.” (Twitter, October 25, 2010).
  • He also offensively equates Israel to Nazi Germany, comparing the Israeli press to “Der Sturmer,” referring to Gaza as a “ghetto for surplus non-Jews,” and repeating a claim that IDF statements are the words “of a Nazi.” 

Palestinian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)
In pushing for a cultural boycott of Israel, PACBI referred to Gaza as a “concentration camp,” and accused Israel of “apartheid,” “war crimes,” and “crimes against humanity.”

Amnesty International and the “Wall of Death”
A June 2007 Amnesty International report, “Enduring Occupation,” refers to the security barrier as the “Wall of Death” (page 10), a term associated with the Holocaust. In Auschwitz, this appellation was used for the wall in the courtyard against which prisoners were executed. This exploitation of Holocaust terminology draws a parallel between the Nazi regime and the Israeli government.

Middle East Children’s Alliance’s Nazi Rhetoric 
MECA founder and Executive Director Barbara Lubin wrote that “[t]he concept of ‘Jewish morality’ is truly dead. We can be fascists, terrorists, and Nazis just like everybody else.” 

Free Gaza’s Holocaust Revisionism 
Greta Berlin, co-founder of the Free Gaza group, tweeted on September 30, 2012: “Zionists operated the concentration camps and helped murder millions of innocent Jews.”

Use of Holocaust Language by Israeli NGOs

  • Ir Amim (funders include the Ford Foundation, the EU, New Israel Fund, Open Society Institute, Norway, UK, Czech Republic, and the Netherlands) described the Shuafat refugee camp as “an overcrowded, and impoverished Palestinian ‘ghetto’ in the heart of Jerusalem whose inhabitants defy Israeli control...”
  • In response to security measures taken by the Israeli army, HaMoked (funding from France, Netherlands, NDC [joint funding of Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands], Norway, Spain, UNDP, Norwegian Refugee Council, Oxfam Novib [Netherlands], New Israel Fund, and Trocaire [Ireland]) accused Israel of the “ghetto-ization of the West Bank” (translated from the original Hebrew).
  • Following the announcement that Israel was going to build a tent city and detention center for African migrants, Israeli NGO Bimkom (funded by EU, NDC [joint funding of Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland, and Sweden]; Ireland; UN Habitat; NIF) accused Israel of creating “a huge concentration camp.” 

Endnotes:

[1]  This complements BDS strategists who view the churches as a key target for promoting the BDS agenda: “Religious institutions are seen in many communities as embodying important moral and ethical principles... Not only will successful divestment campaigns (in the churches) financially weaken the Occupation, but will raise both the public profile and legitimacy of the BDS campaign.” 
[2]  Sabeel Conference: “A Time for Truth; A Time for Action”, First Presbyterian Church, San Anselmo, CA – March 5 – 6, 2010 (verbatim transcript)
[3]  Justice and Only Justice: A Palestinian Theology of Liberation, Orbis Books, 1989
[4]  Representative excerpt: “The Jewish holocaust killed off the majority of Jews who fought and struggled against European anti-Semitism, including Zionism. With their death, the only remaining ‘Semites’ who are fighting against Zionism and its anti-Semitism today are the Palestinian people…They insist that for there to be peace in the MiddleEast, Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims must become, like the West, anti-Semites by espousing Zionism and recognising Israel’s anti-Semitic claims....the Palestinian people and the few surviving anti-Zionist Jews continue to refuse to heed this international call and incitement to anti-Semitism.”
[5]  In January 2011, Ittijah Director Ameer Makhoul was sentenced to nine years in prison for spying on behalf of the Hezbollah terrorist organization.
[6] “I would like to ask you if you have any professional insights as to what mindset or what conditioning or what training could bring around a state of behavior that would cause a soldier, a fellow human being to shoot children in front of their parents. Do you have any professional insights into that kind of behavior?”