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Miftah

Profile

Country/TerritoryPalestinian Authority
Websitehttp://www.miftah.org/
Founded1998 in Jerusalem by Hanan Ashrawi, member of the Palestinian Legislative Council.
In their own wordsSeeks to “disseminate the Palestinian narrative,” “influence policy and legislation,” and “achieve a more supportive policy environment for reform and democratization in Palestine.”

Funding

  • In 2016, total income was $1.2 million; total expenses were $1.1 million.
  • 20152016 donors include: NorwayGermanyIreland,  United KingdomNGO Development Center, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP),  United Nations Population Fund,  Oxfam Novib (Netherlands), Arab Fund (Kuwait), and Canada Fund. (See table below for further funding information.)
  • In 2014-2017, Miftah received $605,000 in core funding from the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat(joint funding by Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, and the Netherlands).
  • In 2016, Miftah received €70,000 from Ireland.
  • In 2015-2016, Miftah received NOK 3.2 million from Norway.
  • AMAN – the coalition for integrity and accountability, of which Miftah is a member, received €961,028 (2013-2017) from the Dutch Representative Office in Ramallah (Netherlands). (See below for further information on the Aman Coalition.)
  • 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.”

Activities

  • Miftah’s publications use highly politicized language, accusing Israel of “massacres,” “apartheid,” “summary executions” of Palestinian youth, and “Judaizing” Jerusalem.
  • 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.”
  • 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.”

BDS

  • 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.
    • 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.”

Lawfare

Antisemitism

Terrorism

  • 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).
  • 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.

Partners

  • 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.”

2012-2016 Funding to MIFTAH

Donor (Amounts in $US)20122013201420152016
Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat 80,000
International Republican Institute (US)154,45718,423--
Representative Office of Norway130,000133,913167,987404,538
Representative Office of Ireland74,06076,454
NGO Development Centre130,00032,000330,000--
United Nations Development Programme70,477 --57,640181,257
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ireland66,680 96,28587,360--
United Nations Population Fund64,50659,20829,693149,32119,752
Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (Germany)44,702 -- -- --
National Endowment for Democracy (US)31,883 -- -- --
UN Women19,747 -- -- --
Oxfam Novib (Netherlands)5,272587406,623128,605169,677
Arab Fund --177,135--264,113
U.S. Consulate --175,000----
British Council --269,422 -- --
Department for International Development (DFID; UK) / UK Aid -- -- --1,485
GIZ (Germany) -- -- 50,876116,087124,183
Canada Fund -- -- 13,45523,614

Archive of Articles about Miftah

Further Reading