On December 10, 2018, Germany and France awarded Daoud Nassar, founder of the Palestinian non-governmental organization (NGO) Tent of Nations (TON), with the German-French Prize for Human Rights and the Rule of Law. According to Germany’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “this prize supports and honors all those, who have distinguished themselves by meritorious service in the human rights efforts in their home countries and worldwide” (translated from original German).
There are a number of concerns regarding Tent of Nations’ (TON) activities. In particular, the record demonstrates that the organization:
- Offers “programs and facilities for solidarity movements, churches, youth organizations and tourist groups and host a large number of visitors each year,” including delegations of the World Council of Churches and Eyewitness Palestine (formerly known as Inter-faith Peace Builders), and others.
- Utilizes highly biased and politicized rhetoric, distorting the reality of the conflict and calling the security barrier the “Apartheid wall” and alleging that “everyday …more land is being confiscated for new settlements or expanding the existing ones and more and more Palestinian farmers are attacked by Israeli settlers.”
- Presents an English language course to Palestinians run by the highly problematic Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Israel and Palestine (EAPPI).
- TON is a private family enterprise run by Palestinian Christian Dauod Nassar, and reportedly funded by Christian communities abroad. The organization does not publish financial information, reflecting a lack of transparency and accountability.
Based on this information, the question is: Were the German and French governments aware of TON’s politicized narrative of the conflict and partnership with groups that promote anti-peace agendas discriminatory BDS campaigns before awarding a prize based on human rights?