Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs (PASSIA)
|In their own words||"an Arab non-profit institution with a financially and legally independent status. It is not affiliated with any government, political party or organization."|
- According to its website, PASSIA’s donors include Finland, GIZ (Germany), Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (Germany), and ANERA.
- In 2019-2022, PASSIA, alongside PalVision, received €1,184,538 from the European Union for “Protecting Islamic and Christian cultural heritage in Jerusalem.”
- Seeks “to present the Palestinian Question through academic research” and “endeavors that research…be specialized, scientific and objective and…open, self-critical and conducted in a spirit of harmony and cooperation.”
- Refers to Israel as a “racist apartheid regime in the West Bank” and accuses it of “Israelization” and “Judaization.”
- Accuses Israel violating international law and of “systematically implement[ing] law in a discriminatory way” in East Jerusalem.
- Publishes works dealing with the “Nakba,” and “resistance” in the forms of the Intifada and BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns.
- In October 2021, PASSIA signed a joint statement condemning the decision by the Israeli Ministry to designate six Palestinian NGOs as terrorist organizations. According to the statement, “This unprecedented designation is merely the latest escalation in Israel’s widespread and systematic institutionalized campaign that has aimed to silence and discredit any Palestinian individual or organization that dares seek accountability for Israel’s grave human rights violations, war crimes, and crimes against humanity…the international community, especially the European Union and its member states who are key supporters of and donors to Palestinian civil society, should ensure that banks and financial institutions in their jurisdiction are notified Israel’s designation of Palestinian organizations is unfounded and inapplicable.”
- In June 2021, PASSIA held a conference on the “Three Phases” of Israeli “Settler Colonialism.”
- In July 2020, PASSIA was a signatory on a statement calling for “Immediate targeted sanctions to stop Israel’s annexation and apartheid.” The statement further called for “A ban on arms trade and military-security cooperation with Israel,” “Suspension of trade and cooperation agreements with Israel,” and “Investigation and prosecution of individuals and corporate actors responsible for war crimes/crimes against humanity in the context of Israel’s regime of illegal occupation and apartheid.”
- In June 2020, PASSIA was a signatory on an “Appeal from Palestine to the Peoples and States of the World” calling for “States to take specific measures against settlements, settlers and settlement products, including preventing such products from entering their markets,” as well as to “Support the steps taken by the State of Palestine and other countries before the International Criminal Court, and national courts throughout the world that allow such legal challenges, against Israeli officials responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity, including annexation.”
- In November 2017, PASSIA published a “wall calendar” for “50 Years of Occupation…in which Israel continued unabated to suppress an entire nation and to establish an apartheid system in the making.”
- In December 2016, Mahdi Abdel Hadi, chair of PASSIA’s board of trustees, published an article describing the “road map to liquidation” that is taking place in Israel, and calls upon Palestinians to “internationalize the Palestinian cause” in the UN Security Council as well as the International Criminal Court.
- Calls upon Palestinian youth to “continue under the banner ‘Resist to exist with dignity, for freedom and justice.’” Tools include extending BDS campaigns against Israel.
- Calls for the prosecution of “Israeli leaders for war crimes and crimes against humanity.”
- Denies any historical Jewish connection to the Temple Mount and its Western Wall, claiming that “Zionists could not present any documentary evidence of Jewish claims to the Wall.” Under “provocations,” lists “Placing signs at the gates of Al-Aqsa Mosque indicating that they are the gates of the ‘Temple.’”
- In a report titled “Palestinian Women,” cites Addameer but no evidence to claim that “Imprisoned Palestinian women are usually held in HaSharon (Tel Mond) prison under harsh conditions and degrading, humiliating treatment, which includes torture, psychological and physical abuse, sexual harassment, refusal of family visits, medical neglect, cell raids at day and night, and solitary confinement.” The report adds, providing no evidence to back its claims, that “Sometimes Palestinian women are arrested to force male relatives to surrender themselves to the Israeli occupation army or to force imprisoned relatives into confessing what they didn’t do.”
- The same report mentions that “The currently longest serving Palestinian woman prisoner is Lina Al-Jarbuni, 40, from Arraba Al-Batuf near Acre in 1948 Palestine, who is serving a 17-year sentence since 2002 for ‘aiding the enemy’ – Palestinian resistance.” Israeli-Arab Lina Jarbuni is serving a 17-year sentence for assisting Hamas in carrying out attacks against civilians during the early 2000s.
Rationalization of terror
- In describing “tools of resistance,” Abdel Hadi calls on Palestinian youth to transfer “the culture of fear to the other party.”
- In a 2015 publication funded by Friedrich Ebert Stuftung, PASSIA describes a wave of terror that began in October 2015 as a “youth uprising,” and claims that it “reflects the anger and frustration of Palestinian society after four decade of Israeli policies and practices of dehumanization, occupation, Israelization and Judaization.” Further stated that Palestinian youth exhibit “Survival and resistance with self-confidence, courage and accepting the consequences of their actions against Israelis with a smile!”
- Refers to a Palestinian terrorist who carried out an attack that killed three Israelis in October 2015 as a “martyr.”
- Explains that “This generation threw stone, burned tires, attacked Israeli with knives, and were shot by live and rubber bullets.”
- Referring to the Intifada in the 1980s, claims that the “Palestinian uprising is a normal reaction. It is a natural response to the accumulated oppression, suppression, and deprivation.”
Examples of speakers at PASSIA conferences:
- Diana Buttu (May 21, 2015), the former spokesperson for the Negotiations Support Unit for the Palestinian Liberation Organization and was also involved in promoting the discredited advisory opinion against Israel’s security barrier at the International Court of Justice. Buttu has accused Israel of “war crimes,” “ethnically cleans[ing] 75% of the Palestinian population, ” “a massacre against Palestinian civilians,” and promotes BDS campaigns. She also participated in the Russell Tribunal on Palestine in New York (2012).
- Mazen Sinokrot (May 21, 2015) served as the PA’s Minister of Economy in 2005 and 2006. In 1998, Sinokrot was arrested by Israel for operating Beit el-Man, an investment company that was believed to be involved with Hamas. In 2001, the U.S. Treasury designated the company and froze its assets for financing Hamas.
- Sheikh Ikrima Sabri (February 17, 2010) was the “Mufti of Jerusalem” from 1994-2006. In 2001, Sabri criticized a Saudi cleric who had denounced suicide bombings, saying “The Muslim loves death and [strives for] martyrdom.” Sabri also commended suicide bombings carried out by children, stating that “the younger the martyr, the greater and the more I respect him.” In 1997, in a sermon broadcasted on the PA’s official radio station, Sabri exclaimed, “Oh Allah, destroy America, her agents and allies!”
- Khalid Abu Arafeh (February 17, 2010): former Palestinian parliamentarian, as well as former Palestinian Minister of Jerusalem Affairs. Arafeh was elected on the list of Hamas in the 2006 elections. Arafeh was among a number of Palestinian Parliamentarians who had their residency revoked by the Israel government due to “breach of trust.”
- PASSIA is a 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 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.”
- In March 2016, as a member of Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), PNGO stated that “Israel’s current government, its most racist ever, has dropped all pretences of ‘enlightenment’ and ‘democracy’. This has helped to expose Israel’s regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid to world public opinion like never before.”
- In March 2014, Abdel Hadi addressed a delegation from the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum of the World Council of Churches (WCC). The WCC plays a key role in mobilizing churches worldwide to support international BDS campaigns against Israel, including through the EAPPI and PIEF programs.
- Member of Euro-Mediterranean Study Commission (Euro-MeSCo).
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