On June 21, 2020, the Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO) reported that Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCI-P) had elected a new board. Individuals who celebrated convicted terrorists, posted violent images, and made antisemitic statements (per the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance [IHRA] working definition of antisemitism) were appointed, including to the important position of treasurer.1
The composition of the new board demonstrates that the organization continues to embody and promote values that are entirely inconsistent with the ostensible mission of human rights and work with Palestinian minors. This raises serious concerns about the messages of incitement they communicate to Palestinian youth, and recruitment to and use of minors in terror activity.
The new members are in addition to the at least 12 current and former DCI-P officials, board members, and employees with ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) – designated as a terrorist organization by the US, EU, Canada, and Israel. Notably, as a result of such ties, on June 26, 2018, UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI) announced that Citibank and Arab Bank PLC “no longer provide banking services” to DCI-P. Global Giving, a US-based crowdfunding resource, also removed DCI-P from its website.
The troubling rhetoric and connections reinforce the important questions regarding continued European- and UN-supported partnerships with DCI-P, including UNICEF’s NGO Working Group.
(For more information, see NGO Monitor’s report, “Defense for Children International – Palestine’s Ties to the PFLP Terror Group.”)
Glorifying terrorists and celebrating violence
Yaser Amouri was appointed Treasurer. He has posted in support of terrorists who attacked Israeli civilians and police officers:
- On June 21, 2015, Amouri posted a bloody image of Yasser Tarwa, who stabbed a police officer in Jerusalem and was then shot by the officer. Amouri wrote, “Blessed is the city of suffering. For martyrs eternity.”
- On January 5, 2014 Amouri posted pictures from celebrations honoring released PFLP prisoner Yasin Abu Khdeir (see Appendix I), writing, “If this happiness is just for liberating prisoners, how would the happiness for liberating the nation be…”
- Abu Khdeir was a member of the PFLP cell that murdered Israeli civilian Yigal Shahaf in an October 10, 1987 shooting in Jerusalem. Abu Khdeir was convicted of supplying the murder weapon and participating in other attempts to murder Israeli civilians in Jerusalem.
Amouri has also glorified leaders of other terrorist organizations:
- On July 18, 2014, Amouri posted a picture of Yasser Arafat, PFLP founder George Habash, and Mahmoud Darwish and wrote, “Their condition as if said ‘if we were failed defenders of the [Palestinian] cause, it is more worthy that we would change the defenders and not the cause.’”
- On April 25, 2012, Amouri posted a picture of the PFLP’s Ghassan Kanafani with the quote: “It is not important if a person dies before achieving his noble ideas, but it is important that one finds noble ideas before he dies.”
- On October 9, 2014, Amouri posted a picture of Arafat and Majed Abu Sharar, commenting “the great leaders do not die.” Abu Sharar was a Fatah and PLO leader in the 1970s and ‘80s, when the organization regularly launched attacks against Israeli civilians from Lebanon. He was allegedly assassinated by Israel in 1981.
Adla Nazer was appointed Secretary. She has used Facebook to honor terrorists and promote violent rhetoric:
- On December 13, 2018, Nazer posted a picture of Salah Barghouthi and Ashraf Na’alwa –active terrorists who had been killed by Israeli forces: “Once more, what a loss for us – every drop of blood of theirs. What a bad morning.”
- Barghouti carried out a December 8, 2018 shooting attack, claimed by Hamas, wounding 8, including a pregnant woman whose injuries lead to the premature birth of her baby, who later died.
- Na’alwa brutally murdered civilians Kim Levengrond Yehezkel and Ziv Hagbi in an October 7, 2018 shooting in the Barkan industrial zone. Levengrond was handcuffed by Na’alwa before she was executed by him at point blank range.
- On February 6, 2018, Nazer posted a picture of Hamas terrorist Ahmed Jarrar following his death in a shoot-out with Israeli forces. Nazer wrote, “What a loss for us, and that’s it.”
- Jarrar allegedly commanded the terror cell that murdered Rabbi Shevach Raziel, father of six, in a January 18, 2018 shooting.
- On October 19, 2015, Nazer wrote on Facebook, “our knives that stretch to their necks are not comparable even a little to the repression that the occupation has done to us over decades. Our small and large knives, the ones that kill and the ones that injure, they are but our mothers’ kitchen knives… it is the knife of the Jerusalemite who revolts against the occupation’s policies… They [the Israelis] cause panic in the hearts of our children, they burn our houses, poison to death our sheep, burn our olives, open fire at our hearts, they walk within us with their weapons, they hurl at us the most offensive and racist curses, they celebrate our blood and are even capable of drinking it. They take by force the earth and the heavens… long live the nation, long live the knife.” (emphases added)
- On November 15, 2012, Nazer’s Facebook cover picture was of a terrorist holding an RPG launcher (see Appendix II).
Appendix I- Yaser Amouri
Appendix II- Adla Nazer
- In addition, Yazan al-Zubaidy took the position of DCI-P’s Vice President. On several occasions, he has utilized social media to promote extreme rhetoric, dehumanize Zionists, and delegitimize Zionism.
- In a November 23, 2017 he posted a picture of pilgrims and Native Americans, writing, “#Thanksgiving for some its a celebration… and for the #INDIGENOUS its a mourning day… such as #nakba (catastrophe) was an independence day for israelis and a mourning day for the indigenous people of #Palestine … #wake_up.”
- On May 11, 2015, he posted a picture of a sign reading, “Smoking Kills Your Body, Zionism Kills Your Conscience.”
- On June 29, 2015, he wrote, “Accept all as humans … Except extremists and zieonests (sic)…”