|Founded||1998 in Jerusalem by Hanan Ashrawi, member of the Palestinian Legislative Council.|
|In their own words||Seeks to “disseminate the Palestinian narrative,” “influence policy and legislation,” and “achieve a more supportive policy environment for reform and democratization in Palestine.”|
- In 2021, total income was $1.7 million; total expenses were $1.5 million.
- Donors include the European Union, Norway, Germany, Ireland, United Nations Population Fund, Oxfam Novib (Netherlands), Arab Fund (Kuwait), and Canada Fund. (See table below for further funding information.)
- In 2019-2023, Miftah and the Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counseling (WCLAC) will receive €617,078 from the European Union to “Contribute to the promotion and protection of women human rights in the Palestinian society through the development of a national conducive legal environment and enhancement of the international accountability towards higher protection of Palestinian women.”
- In 2017-2020, the European Union (EIDHR) granted €300,000 to MIFTAH for a project titled “Youth as Human Rights Defenders.”
- In 2017–2018, MIFTAH received €140,000 from Ireland (Irish Aid).
- In 2015-2019, MIFTAH received €286,900 from Germany (BMZ/GIZ).
- AMAN – the coalition for integrity and accountability, of which MIFTAH is a member, received €376,971 from the Dutch Representative Office in Ramallah (Netherlands). (See below for further information on the Aman Coalition.)
- In 2015-2018, Miftah received NOK 6.8 million from Norway.
- In February 2015, Canada terminated a funding agreement with Miftah.
- According to Miftah, this followed Hanan Ashrawi’s attack against then Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird for stating that the Palestinians are making a “huge mistake” by going to the ICC. Ashrawi said, “Israel is enabled by apologists like John Baird to persist with the support of self-appointed advocates who become complicit in these war crimes,” and alleged that “Canada is indulging in political blackmail at the expense of our civil society institutions.”
- According to the Canadian government, the agreement was terminated due to Miftah failing to “meet its terms and conditions” by “refusing to acknowledge Canada’s contribution to the project.”
- Hanan Ashrawi, founder and Chair of the MIFTAH Board of Directors, addressed the virulent 2001 UN Durban Conference, claiming to represent the Palestinian people, which she called a “nation in captivity held hostage to an ongoing Nakba, as the most intricate and pervasive expression of persistent colonialism, apartheid, racism, and victimization.”
- Regularly lobbies the United Nations to “end the Israeli occupation and uphold accountability through international mechanisms.” It called for the removal of the separation wall, referring to it as an “Apartheid Wall” that creates “ghettos.”
- Hanan Ashrawi, founder and Chair of the MIFTAH Board of Directors, and Leila Fadi, MIFTAH Executive Director, signed a document asserting that Palestinian negotiators involved in 2013-2014 talks with Israelis should reject any agreement that “includes recognition of Israel as a Jewish state in any form.”
- In January 2020, Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO), of which MIFTAH is a member, vehemently opposed a new clause in European Union grant contracts with Palestinian NGOs that prohibits grantees from working with and funding organizations and individuals designated on the EU’s terror lists. According to media reports, PNGO claimed that Palestinian terrorist organizations are “political parties.”
- Miftah’s publications use highly politicized language, accusing Israel of “massacres,” “apartheid,” “summary executions” of Palestinian youth, and “Judaizing” Jerusalem.
- In February 2022, as part of a project funded by the European Union (see above), MIFTAH held a training session on “monitoring and documenting Israeli human rights violations.” According to MIFTAH, the training helps women “update their skills and knowledge on documenting these violations, which could be used as evidence in international advocacy.”
- In October 2021, Miftah held a meeting of civil society organizations to “strategize against the recent Israeli government decision to label six Palestinian NGOs as ‘terrorist organizations’.” In November 2021, MIFTAH was a signatory on a statement condemning the decision by the Israeli Ministry to designate six Palestinian NGOs as terrorist organizations. According to the statement, “The main task of our institutions and of Palestinian human rights defenders is to work towards an end to the occupation, the dismantling of the apartheid regime and towards the realization of our collective human rights to self-determination and the right of return…We further call on diplomatic missions, parliamentary representatives, and international organizations to reject and condemn the unlawful designation of the six Palestinian CSOs, to pressure the United States to condemn Israel’s designation and call for its rescission.”
- In February 2021, Miftah was a signatory on a joint statement to the United Nations alleging that “Israel has imposed and proactively maintains an apartheid regime over the Palestinian people.” The statement falsely claimed that Israel has a legal obligation to provide vaccines to the Palestinians, altogether ignore that Palestinians residing in Jerusalem are part of the Israeli health care system; that under the Oslo Accords the PA is responsible for health care of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza; and that the PA has adopted its own vaccine policy for its population.
- In December 2019, MIFTAH interviewed Director of Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem (ARIJ) Jad Ishaaq, discussing how “we must pursue Israeli officials as war criminals.”
- In July 2019, as part of a UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP) conference on “Preserving the Cultural and Religious Character of Jerusalem,” MIFTAH Project Manager Tamara Tamimi submitted a report titled “Israeli Appropriation of Palestinian Cultural Heritage in Jerusalem,” calling to “Support and lobby the International Criminal Court to open an investigation into Israeli crimes in Jerusalem.” The submission further called for an “imposition of a ban on the import of settlement products…[and] cease its policies and practices in Jerusalem. This should include trade and arms agreements.”
- In August 2019, MIFTAH sponsored a trip to Israel and the West Bank for Members of Congress Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN). The trip was cancelled when Israel barred their entry over their support for BDS.
- In Fall 2017, Hanan Ashrawi was on the Board of Advisors for the North American Nakba Tour sponsored by Al-Awda and the Northern California International Solidarity Movement. The Nakba Tour called for individuals to “Keep up the pressure on Congress.Tell your representatives to stop U.S. aid to Israel now” as well as to “Build the boycott of Israel – including academic, cultural, economic and military boycotts. The Israeli state doesn’t accomplish its ongoing Nakba alone; the support of complicit governments and corporations is critical. By joining boycott campaigns, people of conscience can provide a material boost to Palestinians’ struggle for return and liberation.”
- In July 2017, Miftah published a factsheet titled “International Humanitarian Law: The Siege on the Gaza Strip,” which discussed how Israel is “collectively punishing the Palestinians to ensure political gain” and is “in complete violation of international humanitarian law.”
- In 2016, MIFTAH sponsored a trip for five US Congressmen to visit east Jerusalem and Ramallah. According to the trip’s itinerary, the Congressmen met with Shawan Jabarin, who has alleged ties to the PFLP terrorist organization and as such has been denied exit visas by Israel and Jordan.
- Following the trip, one of the congressmen, Hank Johnson, made comparisons between Israeli settlers and termites. After significant criticism, Johnson apologized for his “poor choice of words.”
- Publishes articles that advocate for BDS (boycotts, divestment, and sanctions) against Israel, alleging that “the BDS campaign calls for justice first, framing the conflict in terms of colonization, oppression and denial of the basic human rights of the Palestinian people.”
- Published a list of Israeli products and companies, located both in Israel and abroad, for individuals to boycott in order “to force foreign governments, corporations, and individuals to abandon their support of Israel vis-a-vis threats to the economic interests.” The document compares Israel to Apartheid South Africa.
- In March 2022, MIFTAH was a signatory on an oral statement at the UN Human Rights Council calling to “adopt effective measures, including sanctions, to end Israeli apartheid.”
- In February 2022, MIFTAH participated in a campaign titled “#StopTradeWithSettlements,” calling “for an EU law that will end trade with illegal settlements once and for all.”
- In August 2021, MIFTAH signed a letter to the States Parties to the Arms Trade Treaty calling to “put an end to Israel’s notorious use of arms and military equipment…by immediately imposing a comprehensive two-way arms embargo on Israel.” According to the letter, “This systematic brutality, perpetrated throughout the past seven decades of Israel’s colonialism, apartheid, pro-longed illegal belligerent occupation, persecution, and closure, is only possible because of the complicity of some governments and corporations around the world.”
- In August 2020, Hanan Ashrawi signed a statement calling for a “broad range of effective sanctions” against Israel. According to the statement, the signatories “fully support the right of the Palestinians to utilize all forms of legitimate resistance to this plan and to the dispossession, occupation, oppression and systematic discrimination to which Israel subjects them, including their right to campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel.”
- In December 2019, MIFTAH published an interview with Undersecretary of the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Amal Jadou, applauding the decision by the European Court of Justice to apply a discriminatory labelling regime on products originating in the Israeli settlements. According to the interview, “The decision by the European Court of Justice to label Israeli settlement products is binding; we hope it will evolve into a ban on import…We hope this decision will be followed by European recognition of a Palestinian state on Palestinian land occupied in 1967.”
- In November 2019, as a member of PNGO, MIFTAH signed a statement calling for the “international community to immediately impose sanctions on the State of Israel and illegal Israeli settlements” and “implement domestic legislation to prohibit and criminalize the import of illegal settlement goods and services into their territory.”
- In May 2019, as a member of PNGO, MIFTAH was a signatory on a statement calling on the German Bundestag to revoke a joint resolution defining BDS campaigns against Israel as antisemitic.
- Shared an article about the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (formerly the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation), in which Israel is compared to the Ku Klux Klan and which calls for an end to Israel’s “colonial/apartheid policy.”
- In March 2013, published an article written by Nawaf al-Zaru that repeated the antisemitic blood libel that Jews use Christian blood to bake Passover matzah. 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 January 22, 2011, MIFTAH published an article by journalist Jonathan Power calling for Jews to abandon Israel as a homeland and posing the question “Were not under-populated Birobidzhan, Uganda or Argentina better opportunities to build an Israel?”
- On February 1, 2010, MIFTAH published an article by Bouthaina Shaaban, Presidential Political and Media Adviser to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, in which she claimed that Israel kills children to steal their organs:
- “After the Swedish journalist Donald Bostrom wrote about the Israeli army killing Palestinian youth in order to harvest their organs, there were other media reports about Israelis stealing Ukrainian children in order to harvest their organs. Once again there are documented reports from Haiti that organs are being stolen by Israelis without international justice intervening to put an end to such criminal practices against innocent vulnerable people.”
- On September 8, 2007, MIFTAH published an article by conspiracy theorist Elias Akleh that claimed that Israeli rabbis instructed their followers “to steal and burn Palestinian crops, to kill their farm animals, and to poison their water wells.”
- In a January 2017 interview for Deutsche Welle, founder and chair of the Miftah board of directors Hanan Ashrawi claimed that Palestinian “attacks and their perpetrators” (as described by the interviewer, Tim Sebastian) “are seen by the people as resistance. And you cannot somehow adopt the language of either the international community or the occupier by describing anybody who resists as terrorist (sic)” (3:20).
- MIFTAH has hosted and cooperated with members of US-designated terror organizations, such as the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP).
- On July 28, 2019, the organization hosted Jamil Hilal to discuss his book, Spotlight on the crisis of the Palestinian political elite, which analyzes “the imposed priorities and obstacles to efforts towards realizing a Palestinian state.” Hilal has been referred to by Arabic news sources as a former member of the DFLP and an editor of the DFLP’s magazine.
- On May 2, 2018, MIFTAH published an interview with Majida Al-Masri, a member of the DFLP Political Bureau. In a 2012 op-ed in the Palestinian newspaper Al Hayat al Jadida, Al-Masri called for reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas “so that we will be able to stand against the occupation, to halt its activities against our prisoners, and to turn to the struggle to liberate Palestine – all of Palestine.”
- Following the killing of terrorists responsible for carrying out lethal attacks on Israeli civilians, on December 13, 2018, Ashrawi tweeted, “In the last 24 hrs. Israeli forces carried out 4 summary executions of #Palestinians in the West Bank, raided villages & towns, & detained dozens. Israeli settlers are on the rampage, protected by the Israeli army. This reign of #terror has compounded the pressure cooker effect.”
- On January 26, 2008, MIFTAH published a memorial notice for George Habash, founder of the PFLP.
- In 2006, MIFTAH described Wafa Idrees, one of the first female Palestinian suicide bombers, as “the beginning of a string of Palestinian women dedicated to sacrificing their lives for the cause.” Idrees detonated herself on January 27, 2002, killing 81 year-old Pinhas Takatli and wounding another 150 Israeli civilians. She is described as one of the “several young women” who “decided to join the ranks of the resistance movement.
- Miftah is a “Coalition Member” of the Aman Coalition.
- Member of the Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO), which refused to sign the anti-terror clause that is a condition of US government funding, stating “that its members would not sign funding agreements that included the ATC [Anti-Terror Certificate]: this is now a condition for membership under PNGO byelaws [sic]” (emphasis added).
- In June 2017, PNGO condemned Norway for pulling funding from a youth center named after Dalal Mughrabi, a terrorist who in 1978 murdered 37 civilians, including 12 children. PNGO referred to Mughrabi as a “Palestinian Woman Freedom Fighter,” stating that “PNGO believes this is another form of foreign domination and oppression calling Palestinian resistance a terrorist resistance against Israeli occupation…PNGO stands strong against conditional funding, especially when it threatens Palestinian right to resist foreign domination, exploitation, oppression and occupation” and that “there is a difference between freedom fighters and terrorists” (emphasis added).
- In April 2017, PNGO called on the international community not to “use aid to undermine legitimate Palestinian resistance.” According to PNGO, “We reject all de-legitimization or criminalization of lawful Palestinian resistance, whether in form of allegations of terrorism, anti-semitism or otherwise… We call on all governments and aid providers to respect our right to lawful resistance, support Palestinian human rights defenders, and ensure equal, impartial and transparent access to funding for all.”
2018-2021 Funding to MIFTAH
|Donor (Amounts in $US)||2021||2020||2019||2018
|Switzerland (Swiss Cooperation Office)||568,421||180,000||180,000||
|Representative Office of Norway||475,959||330,846||221,782
|Representative Office of Ireland||93,960||94,678||91,671||79,709
|United Nations Population Fund||25,000||26,000||143,557||76,400
NGOs that claim to promote human rights often use antisemitic themes and imagery, including blood libels, theological antisemitism, new antisemitism, and exploitation of the Holocaust.
MIFTAH posted an article claiming that medieval blood libels "are based on real rituals and are not false as they claim." MIFTAHs funders include the EU, Netherlands, Italy, Austria, Ireland, Norway, National Endowment for Democracy (US) and International Republic Institute (US).
The international prominence of Miftahs leaders and heavy networking with diplomats, civil society institutions as well as the media has spread its reports far. Despite its universal goals, the organization has a highly partisan political agenda.
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