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

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.”
  • 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 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.”

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).
  • MIFTAH has hosted and cooperated with members of US-designated terror organizations, such as the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP).
  • 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.

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.”

2012-2018 Funding to MIFTAH

Donor (Amounts in $US)2012201320142015201620172018
European Union372,630
Switzerland (Swiss Cooperation Office)180,000
Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat 80,000201,700
International Republican Institute (US)154,45718,423
Representative Office of Norway130,000133,913167,987404,538220,388221,782
Representative Office of Ireland66,680 96,28587,36074,06076,45482,78979,709
NGO Development Centre130,00032,000330,000
United Nations Development Programme70,47757,640181,257
United Nations Population Fund64,50659,20829,693149,32119,75227,76676,400
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 Fund177,135264,113165,617
U.S. Consulate175,000
British Council269,422
Department for International Development (DFID; UK) / UK Aid 1,485
GIZ (Germany)50,876116,087124,18320,893
Canada Fund13,45523,614
Oxfam International212,722191,923

Footnotes

  1. On August 21, 2019, Akleh claimed “Israel had used its nuclear weapons against other nations making it the second nation after the US to use nuclear bombs. Israel has used nuclear bombs against its closest friend; the USA, in the false flag attacks of 911 [sic] to start the wars against the Arab World under the justification of the war against terror. Israel had also used nuclear bombs against Syria. Also, in collusion with Saudi Arabia, Israel had dropped two neutron bombs against Yemen.” 

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Further Reading